Butternut Squash Risotto – Super Healthy Kids

Butternut Squash Risotto is a creamy, cheesy, savory dish that is easier to make than you might think! It’s the perfect Fall dish. Simple enough for a weeknight meal, but feels fancy enough for a special occasions.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is a creamy Italian dish that is made by cooking a starchy, short grain rice in broth until it becomes creamy. It is one of those dishes that just sounds fussy. It’s usually served at nice restaurants and feels completely unattainable (or unrealistic..) for a home cook.

But risotto is actually very easy to make! It just requires a bit of patience, and a lot of stirring. But we promise, the end result is totally worth it!

Butternut squash risotto in a white and blue ceramic pot with cheese and a grater in the background.

How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto

Truly, this dish couldn’t be easier to make. For this recipe we started with raw butternut squash, but it’s a great place to use up leftover roasted butternut squash also!

  1. Saute the onions until softened, then add the squash. Cook for a couple minutes to start to soften and brown, then add your rice. You’ll want to use a short grain rice for risotto because of the high starch content. That’s what makes it so creamy! The most common rice in risotto is arborio rice, but you can use regular rice in a pinch! Barley is another alternative that will work for risotto!
  2. Simmer your chicken broth in a separate pan and keep warm while you cook your risotto. You’re going to add it to your rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed by the rice before adding more.
  3. Stir, stir, stir! The secret to creamy risotto is low heat and constant stirring. This can be a great job for older kids that are comfortable around the stove.
  4. Once all of the liquid has been added and your rice is tender (but not mushy!) stir in your cheese and fresh herbs. We love the flavor of fresh sage with the butternut squash, but basil is delicious too! If you are using leftover roasted veggies you can stir them in at this point also.

butternut squash in a white and blue ceramic pot with a ladle

What goes with Butternut Squash Risotto?

We typically eat this as a main dish, because it is so hearty. But it can also make a pretty spectacular side dish when served with chicken or pork! I usually serve it with a fresh salad. This Fall Harvest Salad pairs so perfectly with the Fall flavors of the risotto!

butternut squash in a white plate with a white pepper grinder on a marble countertop

More Vegetarian Dinner Ideas:

  • 7 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup, chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups butternut squash cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoon fresh sage or basil, optional
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.

  • Add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until it begins to soften.

  • Add the butter, garlic and butternut squash to the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice and cook for another minute or so until the rice is translucent.

  • With a ladle, add about 1 cup of the chicken broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add remaining broth about 1 cup at a time, continuing to allow the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. 

  • Stir often and cook until squash is tender and risotto is creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and fresh herbs and serve.

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 361mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g

Natalie Monson

I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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