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This butternut squash risotto is a stunner! The sweet squash contrasts against the ultra creamy rice, savory Parmesan and earthy sage.

Butternut squash risotto
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The smell alone of this butternut squash risotto bubbling away is reason enough to cancel all your plans and make this recipe! The tender, caramelized roasted squash makes sweet pockets in the creamy Parmesan rice dotted with sage. And that smell of shallots sauteing in butter, with a splash of white wine? DIVINE. Alex and I have officially decided that this will be our inaugural fall meal every year. But the great thing about this risotto is that it works all fall and winter long. It’s a perfect vegetarian dinner recipe for entertaining.

Butternut squash risotto

Why everyone should make a risotto at least once

When Alex and I first started cooking together, I thought risotto was an ingredient: like something that came in a box. But when I checked the shelves at the grocery, I couldn’t find anything labeled “risotto”. Come to find out that it’s actually a dish made with a specific type of rice: arborio rice! Arborio rice is a short grain rice that takes on a creamy texture when it’s cooked with broth. Of course, you probably already knew this.

Risotto sounds fancy: like it’s something you should order in a restaurant, not make at home. But turns out: it’s not as hard as you think! Making risotto at home is relatively easy and seriously satisfying. You’ll see that by cooking the risotto gently and adding a few ladles of broth at a time, it takes on that luxuriously creamy texture quite quickly. And after tasting that savory flavor? You’ll immediately become a homemade risotto convert.

How to cut butternut squash

How to wrangle (cut) a butternut squash

The hardest part about butternut squash risotto? Wrangling that notoriously tricky squash! We’ll admit: peeling and cutting a butternut squash is not our favorite kitchen activity. However — the more you practice it, the easier it gets.

One of our favorite tips for peeling a butternut squash: use a squash peeler! It’s serrated, which makes it easier than a normal peeler. Here’s the serrated vegetable peeler we use.

How to actually peel the squash? Instead of writing out the steps, which can be hard to follow, we made you a video! See the video above to watch the process.

Butternut squash risotto

Tips for making butternut squash risotto

This classic fall dinner recipe is a must for a cozy evening in! It also works all the way through the winter: as a Thanksgiving dish or holiday recipe. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making it:

  • The most time-consuming part is roasting the squash. Dicing a butternut squash takes a good chunk of time even for a pro. Then you’ll roast it for about 30 minutes. If you’d like a shortcut, you could roast frozen butternut squash: we haven’t tested it ourselves, but it’s an option. However, we love buying butternut squash at the farmers market to support our local farmers: so to us it’s worth the extra few minutes!
  • You’ll have some broth left over. The main part of making risotto is slowly stirring the broth into the rice. You’ll find in this recipe that you’ll have broth left over at the end: that’s to be expected! You can save the broth to use to reheat leftovers to regain that creamy risotto texture.
Risotto with butternut squash

How to serve it

Once you’ve got yourself a big pot of butternut squash risotto, how to serve it? Here are a few ideas:

This butternut squash risotto recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Butternut squash risotto

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This butternut squash risotto is a stunner! The sweet squash contrasts against the ultra creamy rice, savory Parmesan and earthy sage.



For the squash

  • 1 small butternut squash (1 ½ pounds, about 4 cups diced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

For the risotto

  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 12 to 14 sage leaves (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Peel and cut the butternut squash into small cubes (about 1/2-inch thick). Follow the video tutorial or go to How to Cut Butternut Squash.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss with the olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the squash on top in an even layer. Roast 30 to 35 minutes until tender and browned, turning once.
  4. Meanwhile, mince the shallots. Roughly chop the sage.
  5. Combine the broth, water, and kosher salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. (You’ll use this warmed broth to stir into the risotto).
  6. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until tender. Add the chopped sage, garlic powder, and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown. Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  7. Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of broth. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring. After the 12 minutes, taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more.
  8. When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Then stir in the butternut squash serve immediately. (Note that there will be some broth left over: this is expected! You can save and use it to stir into leftovers to return it to a creamy texture.) Stores refrigerated in a sealed container for 3 days; reheat before serving.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

More butternut squash recipes

If you love butternut squash, here are some butternut squash recipes we recommend:

Did you know you can cook squash in an Instant Pot? Go to Instant Pot Acorn Squash.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Susan Drake says:

    Thanks for showing how to cut up butternut squash, I have never used a peeler to get Whine off my squash I have always used a knife to cut it off which is very hard to do, so bless you for showing me and any one else that was not aware of the easy way. Yea can’t wait to try it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yaty dish very nice ty

  3. leah says:

    hi! just made the risotto and it was really close to perfection; it was a tiny bit bitter. where did i go wrong? and how can i fix it? (i have a feeling it got something to do with the wine).

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      thanks for the question! There could be a few things: What type of wine did you use? Also, was it the butternut squash itself that tasted bitter? We’ve had a couple bad squashes before that are old and taste bitter — a good squash should taste very sweet.

      1. leah says:

        Hi! i used a semi dried wine, gevurtz. I think i had a bad squash though, didn’t taste sweet at all…thank you so much for your answer.

  4. Angie Paris says:

    Just made this tonight. It is delicious and pretty easy!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. Ruth says:

    Can you please clarify? Do I add the chopped sage with the rice or at the end with the squash? Thank you! Btw, I have loved every recipe I’ve prepared from A Couple Cooks!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Sorry, that was a typo! Add the sage with the rice before the liquid :)

  6. Amber Vanderlinden says:

    I can never find fresh sage near me! Can I use dried instead?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi, yes — but I think I’d do one tablespoon for dried sage.