Butternut Squash Risotto

Perfect for autumn, this savory, creamy butternut squash risotto recipe is slowly cooked with plenty of Parmesan cheese. Serve it as a main dish or a side.

Butternut Squash Risotto recipe

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Our next door neighbor Pat has a wonderfully productive garden where she grows much of her own food. We are the lucky beneficiaries of her overflow in times when, for example, she has harvested 15 large butternut squash and there are still 15 more on the vine.

No matter how much Pat loves winter squash, even she knows that she can't eat all thirty of them by herself. Yikes!

Here's a lovely risotto we made recently with about half of one butternut squash that Pat brought over. (The other half went into pumpkin bread.)

The risotto is so simple, with arborio rice, squash, broth, onions, white wine, and Parmesan; it just takes a bit of attention (stirring) while the rice slowly absorbs the broth.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

We are serving this with chopped chives, but you could also crisp up a few fresh sage leaves in simmering butter, then crumble them into the risotto.

Adapted from a recipe by Biba Caggiano, published in the Sacramento Bee, May 1988.


  • 6 cups (1.4 liters) chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock for gluten-free version)

  • 5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 cups (240g) butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced (1/4-1/2 inch)

  • 2 cups (400g)  arborio rice (can substitute medium grained white rice, but arborio is preferred)

  • 1 cup (236 ml) dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

  • 3/4 cup (40g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or garlic chives

  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat the broth:

    Heat broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

    Warm stock in a pot for butternut squash risotto

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  2. Cook the onion and squash in butter:

    Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

    sautéing butternut squash for rissoto

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  3. Add the rice:

    Add arborio rice to the onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Add the wine:

    Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated.

    butternut squash risotto ingredients in a pot

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  5. Start adding broth:

    Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed.

    ladling broth into risotto

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    stirring risotto with a wooden spoon

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Continue cooking, stirring rice enough to keep it from sticking to the pan, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Add the butter, Parmesan, and chives:

    During the last minutes of cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and chives.

    At this point, the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. (The amount of salt you add will depend on how salty your broth was to begin with. I usually add at least a teaspoon of salt, sometimes more.)

    adding Parmesan to pot of butternut squash risotto

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    how to make butternut squash risotto

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Serve with the remaining grated Parmesan.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
269 Calories
14g Fat
24g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 269
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 1209mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 160mg 12%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 365mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.