Butternut Squash Risotto

We all have heard of risotto, but have you tried butternut squash risotto? This creamy butternut squash rice dish is a wonderful fall comfort food.

two bowls of butternut squash risotto and two spoons.

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What is Butternut Squash Risotto?

If you have had risotto, it will be similar. But with this delicious butternut squash risotto, you finely chop up raw butternut squash, saute it with butter and onion, then slowly cook it with rice, broth, and wine.

This will add a nice texture to the creamy risotto and it is a great way to add vegetables into your meal.

What is in Butternut Squash Risotto?

Chances are you might not exactly have everything you need at home. If that’s true, your local grocery store should carry most of the ingredients. I promise it’s worth the trip to the store.

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Chicken broth or chicken stock If you want to make this vegetarian, consider using vegetable broth
  • Saffron
  • Butter you can use salted butter or unsalted butter
  • Butternut squash
  • Onions
  • Arborio rice
  • Dry white wine – I recommend a dry Chardonney, or a dry pinot grigio
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
butternut squash risotto ingredients on a tray.

What if I Can’t Find Arborio Rice?

If you are not able to find Arborio rice, or would not like to pay extra for premium rice, then you can substitute it with medium grain rice. You shouldn’t have a problem finding the medium-grain rice at the grocery store so give that kind a try.

However, you cannot use long-grain, minute, or jasmine rice for this recipe. They do not have the starch needed to make creamy risotto sauce.

Can You Cook Risotto without Wine?

If you prefer to not use wine in recipes, then you are welcome to replace the wine with more chicken broth. Do not just omit it.

The wine gives a nice added flavor boost and depth to the dish. Do not use white wine vinegar as that will not produce the flavor you are looking for, chicken broth will be your best substitute for the white wine.

How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto

If you have never made risotto before, it may be because you heard it was difficult or really labor-intensive. It isn’t difficult, but this is a dish where you do need to be actively watching and sometimes stirring the pan as you cook it.

What’s the payoff? You will get a wonderfully creamy rice dish that can be served as a main dish or an appetizer.

  1. Peel, and cut the butternut squash into small cubes.
  2. Heat broth and saffron threads in a large saucepan or a dutch oven.
  3. In a large saucepan, sauté the butternut squash in butter until it begins to brown. Add the diced onion and cook until they are translucent.
sauteed diced butternut squash and onions in a skillet.
  1. Add the rice and stir to coat with butter until all of the rice is shiny and turns white and chalky.
sauteed diced butternut squash, onions, and rice in a skillet.
  1. Gradually add wine and broth one cup at a time until the liquid soaks into the rice after each addition.
  2. Add Parmesan and stir to combine. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving.
butternut squash risotto in two bowls and two spoons on a cloth napkin.

What Flavors Pair with Butternut Squash?

Butternut squash is one of those foods that is meant for fall. You can pair this with everything that reminds you of the season.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, all work wonderfully with butternut squash. So if you are looking to spice up this recipe to make it your own, I would start with those spices and go from there. You may also want to add a few fresh sage leaves as garnish, sage is a wonderful flavor to add.

Can I Add Protein to Risotto?

Yes! This delicious butternut squash risotto recipe works wonderfully with protein. If you have any grilled chicken or sausage you can add it in towards the end of the cooking process so that it heats through.

Shrimp and scallops are great seafood additions to risotto. Just add them at the end because they only take a few minutes to cook.

Now the risotto is no longer just a side dish, but a full-fledge entree this is downright amazing!

How to Store Butternut Squash Risotto

You will need to make sure to store this risotto in an airtight container. It will ensure you do not lose the moisture of the dish and will reheat better.

Unfortunately, this is not a recipe you should freeze. If it is frozen, the rice tends to get super mushy and will not thaw and reheat well.

How to Reheat Squash Risotto

When you reheat risotto, the easiest way is in the microwave.

Before you heat it up, add a little chicken broth or dry white wine. Microwave it for 3 to 4 minutes.

Adding the extra liquid will prevent the risotto from drying out and becoming less creamy.

overhead view of two bowls of butternut squash risotto.

Great Recipes with Rice

Favorite Winter Squash Recipes

Check out more of my easy rice and pasta recipes and the best fall recipes here on CopyKat!

two bowls of butternut squash risotto and two spoons.
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Butternut Squash Risotto

You are going to fall in love with this creamy butternut squash risotto. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Butternut squash, Butternut Squash Risotto, Risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 354kcal


  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pinches saffron
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 2 cups Arborio or medium-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or substitute additional chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the chicken broth in a large pan along with the saffron threads to extract the color and flavor from the saffron. When the saffron has steeped to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the butternut squash in butter for a few minutes. When the squash begins to brown, add the diced onion.
  • When the onions have become translucent, add the rice and stir to coat with butter until all of the rice is shiny, and the rice turns white and chalky.
  • Gradually add one cup of broth at a time, as well as the wine, until the liquid soaks into the rice. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes, until all of the broth and wine, if used, is incorporated. At this point, the mixture should be creamy.
  • Add Parmesan and stir to incorporate. Taste the rice, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Parmesan is a little salty, so don’t check for seasoning until after you’ve added the cheese. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving.


Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1415mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 243mg | Iron: 3.1mg

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