Butternut squash risotto is the perfect side dish. Made with just 4 ingredients, this simple but elegant dish is perfect for weeknight meals or fancy parties! This would be a great side dish at the holidays as well! Naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan, grain free, paleo and Whole30 approved this dish is sure to become a family favorite!
Why you will love this recipe
- Made with just 4 ingredients this butternut squash risotto is packed with flavor and is easier to make than traditional risotto. No standing around stirring rice for 45 minutes, this dish is grain free (no rice) and made with riced butternut squash.
- Lower in carbs than typically risotto, this butternut squash risotto is the perfect side dish! With savory notes from the sage, this risotto pairs well with most proteins and would be perfect for the holidays! Serve it with baked drumsticks or oven roasted chicken breast during the week for a simple but flavorful meal!
- This dish reheats well and parts of it can be made in advance! This is great for getting dinner on the table faster during the week or if you are serving this at a party or get-together, you can prep parts of it ahead of time!
Why you should eat more butternut squash:
Butternut squash is a winter squash that is typically available year round in most grocery stores. You may not know this but butternut squash is technically a fruit but it’s normally prepared like a vegetable!
The skin of the butternut squash is thick and is not edible, so it will need to be removed prior to eating. Cutting and peeling a butternut squash can be tough but don’t let the shape and size intimidate you! Butternut squash are packed full of flavor and are a great source of vitamins and minerals!
Butternut squash is a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A (as most orange vegetables are) and is also a great source of potassium, magnesium and Vitamin B-6.
Low in calories (per cup) and high in fiber, butternut squash is a great addition to any meal as it will help fill you up while also helping you feel full for hours thanks to the fiber!
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How do you peel a butternut squash easily?
Butternut squash have a bulbous end, making them a bit tougher to peel and cut than other squash.
I like to tackle the squash as if the top of the squash and the bulbous end are two separate entities.
First hold the squash in your non-dominant hand by the bulbous end and rest the top of the squash on the cutting board. Take a very sharp vegetable peeler and peel the skin off, going from right above the bulb to the top of the butternut squash, continuing around the squash.
Note: Peel away from the hand holding the squash.
Next: Once the top of the squash has been peeled, handle the squash by the long end you just peeled and rest the bulbous end on the cutting board. Peel from the top of the bulb down to the bottom, going around the entire squash.
Tip: Sometimes peeling the squash is easier if you cut the squash in half at the top of the bulb. If you find the squash is difficult to cut, you can microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute to help soften the skin.
How do you cut butternut squash?
- Step 1: Once the squash has been peeled, start by cutting off the top and the bottom of the butternut squash using a very sharp knife.
- Step 2: Divide the squash in half at the very top of the bulb. If you find the squash is too difficult to cut through, you can microwave it for 1 minute to soften the squash slightly.
- Step 3: Once cut into 2 pieces (the top of the squash and the bulb end), stand the top end of the squash up and cut straight down the center, cutting it into 2 even pieces. This allows you to have a very flat, sturdy base when cubing the squash.
- Step 4: Take 1 of the top halves and place it flat on the cutting board, cut side down. Cut down to make 1-inch half-moon shapes. Continue down the entire squash. From here, cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.
- Step 5: Repeat Step 4 with the other side.
- Step 6: Take the bulb end of the squash and stand it on the cut end. From here cut the bulb in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Once the seeds are gone, cut into 1 inch strips and then into 1 inch cubes.
How do you make butternut squash rice?
To make rice from butternut squash, you will need to start with peeled and cubed butternut squash pieces. You can either peel and chop your own butternut squash or buy it already peeled and chopped from the store!
Microwave the butternut squash cubes for 5 minutes to soften (or you can add them to a steamer basket on the stove and steam for 5-7 minutes).
Once softened, add about ½ of the butternut squash cubes to a large food processor. Pulse the squash until it resembles rice.
Remove the butternut squash rice from the food processor and repeat with the rest of the butternut squash.
Store in a glass storage container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months in a well- sealed freezer safe bag (with all the air removed).
How do you make butternut squash risotto?
Step 1: Peel and cube the butternut squash
Step 2: Microwave the butternut squash cubes and process in the food processor until it resembles rice (see steps above).
Step 3: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, vegetable broth, chopped sage leaves and salt to the skillet and cook covered, about 6 minutes.
Step 4: After about 6 minutes of cooking, add 1 cup of vegetable broth and stir well. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes.
Step 5: Turn off the stove and stir the butternut squash risotto well. Leave uncovered, allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to allow excess liquid to evaporate, stir occasionally.
How to cut sage leaves:
- Step 1: Wash and dry the sage leaves.
- Step 2: Stack the sage leaves on top of each other.
- Step 3: Roll the sage leaves into a tight cylinder shape.
- Step 4: Holding the cylinder shape tightly, cut thin strips, creating little ribbons of sage.
- Step 5: Finely chop the ribbons running your knife over the ribbons from left to right.
What to serve with butternut squash risotto:
Can you prepare butternut squash risotto in advance?
Yes! This dish actually is great in the fridge for up to 4 days after cooking. Simply reheat in a large skillet. You may want to add 1-2 tablespoons of water if you find the water evaporates off when cooking during reheating.
You can also prepare the butternut squash rice in advance and store that in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze butternut squash risotto?
You can freeze the butternut squash rice before making it into risotto but I would not advice freezing the risotto as the texture will likely change when defrosting.
Butternut squash: You can also use peeled delicata squash in place of butternut squash.
Fresh Sage Leaves: You can also use dried rubbed sage. You will need about ½ tsp of dried rubbed sage.
Vegetable broth: Chicken broth can be used in place of vegetable broth for a non-vegan version. The broth is important to the flavor of the dish so don’t skip it!
If you love butternut squash, you have to try:
- Creamy Garlic Butternut Squash Noodles
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Slow Cooker)
- Butternut Squash Protein Cookies
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Tahini Dressing
What you will need to make this risotto:
Grain free Butternut Squash Risotto
- Peel and cube your butternut squash.
- Place the butternut squash cubes in a bowl and microwave on high for 6 minutes (or steam on the stove for about 10 minutes).
- Add the slightly softened squash to the food processor and pulse until the butternut squash resembles rice.
- Add 1 cup organic vegetable broth and chopped sage leaves to the butternut squash in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook covered for about 6 minutes.
- Stir well and add another 1 cup of vegetable broth.
- Cook 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let remaining liquid evaporate.
- Serve hot!
- Butternut squash: You can also use peeled delicata squash in place of butternut squash.
- Fresh Sage Leaves: You can also use dried rubbed sage. You will need about ½ tsp of dried rubbed sage.
- Vegetable broth: Chicken broth can be used in place of vegetable broth for a non-vegan version. The broth is important to the flavor of the dish so don’t skip it!
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Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in January of 2016, but was published again in February 2020 to include step by step directions, recipe notes and new photos