Serves a Crowd

Butternut Squash Risotto with Brown Rice

October 27, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6 servings
Author Notes

Brown rice offers a toothier, nuttier alternative to the traditional arborio rice used in risottos, and is perfectly paired with butternut squash. Sage, rosemary and roasted walnuts round out this cozy fall dish. - theyearinfood —theyearinfood

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish combines colors, flavors, and textures from all over the spectrum and presents them in perfect balance. The sweetness and softness of the butternut squash is tempered by the freshness of sage and rosemary, the crunchiness of toasted walnuts, and the heartiness of brown rice. The components blend together beautifully, creating a meal that is incredibly satisfying. It is simple to put together, but takes time, as risottos tend to do. The best part about this risotto was the brown rice—it really holds its own against all of the additions to the dish. I was beyond impressed! - forester_lady —duclosbe1

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups butternut squash, roasted and pureed (instructions below)
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  1. FOR THE SQUASH: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise. Place open side down in an oiled baking dish, and roast until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. When cool, measure and scoop the two cups needed for the risotto, mashing to form a smooth consistency if necessary. You will probably have more than you need; the rest can be frozen.
  2. FOR THE RISOTTO: In a large pot, warm the stock over low heat. It should be warm when adding to the rice.
  3. Warm another large pot over medium-low heat. Saute the onions in the butter or oil until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the rice, sage and rosemary and stir frequently until the rice becomes translucent around the edges, another 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add the wine and stir. It's not really necessary to stir risotto constantly, as is tradition. Instead, stir the risotto frequently, and check on it regularly.
  6. When the wine has been mostly absorbed, begin adding the warm stock, one cup at a time. Again, continue to stir at regular intervals, but don’t be afraid to leave it alone for a bit.
  7. As each cup of stock is absorbed, add another. If you have added four cups of stock and find that the rice is still not cooked, add the fifth cup in quarter cup increments, checking often to see if the rice is done.
  8. When the rice is cooked, add the parmesan and blend with the rice. Next, fold in the butternut squash and the toasted walnuts, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Garnish with a few walnuts and a sprig of rosemary or a sage leaf, and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Traci Michele Kincaid
    Traci Michele Kincaid
  • adele93
  • Mary Alice
    Mary Alice
  • AntoniaJames
  • JoanG

11 Reviews

Traci M. September 4, 2014
I have to agree with the warning on the cooking time. I halved the recipe, as I was only cooking this for two people. Unfortunately, I made this in conjunction with the non-vegetarian meal I was making for other people. Our guests ate an hour before we did, and I started this 90 minutes before I planned to eat it. Definitely allow 2.5 hours MINIMUM to prepare this recipe. That said, it was absolutely delicious.
Kelly D. November 10, 2013
Made this last night with pork tenderloins and steamed broccoli. Wow. This was absolutely divine! My husband and I were totally impressed. So savory and wholesome! Thanks for the great recipe!
adele93 May 22, 2013
i might try this with some chicken tenderloins, my dad is a strict non- vegetarian...unless i can hide some lentils in bolognese sauce :p
Mary A. November 16, 2011
Delicious! Such a warm, comfort food kind of dish. I just used canned, pureed butternut and it worked well. Also did pecans instead of walnuts and was yummy.
rlsalvati September 24, 2011
Delish. We had this for dinner last night. How fortunate that our CSA hands out pints of butternut squash puree! I left out the walnuts, my husband doesn't like them, but plan to add some to my leftover portion at lunch today. Warning on the cooking time: this took almost 4 hours. I started early, but not that early. We had a late, late dinner. Next time I may try parboiling the rice before starting.
AntoniaJames April 1, 2011
Mmm, yum . . . and congrats on this EP! I have some Crispy Rosemary Brined Walnuts (recipe posted here on food52) that would go perfectly in this, and some butternut squash left from my own EP testing earlier this week. Dinner!! ;o)
theyearinfood April 13, 2011
Antonia, thanks! Hope it was delish!
Meredisu March 3, 2011
Made it and loved it! The brown rice worked perfectly and it was a major hit with my husband. Thank you for the recipe!
theyearinfood March 16, 2011
Fantastic! You're welcome, and thanks for the kind words.
JoanG October 28, 2010
What a great healthier version of risotto, will have to try this.
AppleAnnie October 27, 2010
So glad for a brown rice risotto recipe, and I have a cup of squash puree already made. Thanks!