The meals I make at home have to be simple enough to do any night of the week. With four kids and a husband to feed, I need quick and easy options that still pack a punch. This easy, cheesy butternut squash risotto is perfect. It’s a healthy dinner option that takes very little time to make, and it’s chock full of the nutrition my kiddos need. Plus, butternut squash is a very kid-friendly vegetable, as it has a slight sweetness to it. The orange color is also great, as you can simply tell the kids it’s cheese sauce!
Even better than all that, this little dish is equally as suitable to whip up on date night. Stay in and cook it together after the kids go to bed! It’s perfect with a glass of white wine.
Now, if I’m honest, the entire dish can take over an hour to prepare if you do it all at once. I actually suggest cooking up your butternut squash early in the day and set it in the fridge to use later, as it means you can do the rest of the dinner in less than half an hour. You may also be inclined to switch the butternut squash for some pureed pumpkin, and that is great, too! It’s a slightly different flavor, but still delicious!
However you choose to prepare the squash, just cut it into chunks, and then use an immersion blender to puree it with ½ cup vegetable stock to make a nice sauce. Set it aside.
For the risotto, heat your oil and garlic over a medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the garlic is nice and fragrant, add in your risotto and stir to coat it.
Next, reduce your heat to medium and add in about half of your vegetable stock. You can also use chicken stock for this, but the veggie stock gives it a cleaner taste, allowing the squash to really show through. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally while the risotto absorbs the liquid. Then, add the rest of the stock and cook for another ten minutes or so until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
Finally, stir in your butternut squash and parmesan cheese, cooking for another ten minutes or so to ensure it’s nicely coated and warmed through.
Top with parmesan and parsley to serve.
This is a great standalone dish, but it also works served with roasted chicken or even fish! I love the creamy texture and the sweetness from the squash. It’s definitely a must-try dish!
Easy Cheesy Butternut Squash Risotto
This delicious dish is perfect for the kids but elegant enough for date night!
- Prep Time: 45 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups uncooked risotto
- 1 butternut squash
- 4-5 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Pepper and oregano for seasoning as desired
- Poke holes all over your butternut squash, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until it becomes soft. Remove from oven, cool for a minute, and peel the skin off – if cooked enough this should come off easily.
- Cut into chunks, and use an immersion blender to puree it with ½ cup vegetable stock. Set aside.
- Heat oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet around 5 minutes or until fragrant, then add in your risotto. Stir to coat.
- Reduce heat to medium, pour in 2 cups vegetable stock, cook for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) while risotto absorbs the liquid.
- Pour the rest of your stock in, stir risotto, and cook another 10 minutes.
- When liquid is mostly absorbed and risotto is soft, stir in butternut squash and parmesan cheese, and cook a final 10 minutes.
- Serve topped with parmesan and parsley if desired.
Check out some of my other favorite recipes here: