This roasted butternut squash risotto is a cosy comfort food dinner for all the family. The roasted squash has so much flavour, and is a lovely seasonal ingredient for fall meals. Made without wine, butter or cream, this is a vegan squash risotto, as well as being gluten free.
Risotto always feels like a big hug in a bowl on colder days. Sometimes it is nice to make them in a slightly less time-consuming way such as my baked fennel risotto and baked asparagus risotto. But when time allows, I do suggest making this roasted squash risotto for its depth of flavour and cosy vibes.
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Why you'll love this recipe
- All the comfort food flavours. There's just *something* about risotto that makes it feel cosy and comforting on a colder day.
- Family friendly. This squash always goes down well with everyone in my family.
- Easy to make. Although there is a lot of stirring to be had, there aren't any complicated steps.
This vegan roasted butternut squash risotto has a fairly short list of ingredients, and many are pantry staples. You will need:
- Butternut squash - make sure it isn't too wrinkled as that can suggest it is a little old and you want a nice fresh vegetable (well, fruit technically!).
- Garlic and leeks - both give a lot of flavour to the risotto. Use onion if leeks don't work for you.
- Risotto rice - you need to use a specific rice such as arborio rice for risotto, rather than just white rice.
- Thyme - to give a nice herby flavour.
- Vegetable broth - either make your own or buy from the store (check ingredients if the latter to check it is suitable for any dietary requirements).
Make sure to check the recipe card below for the full ingredients and their quantities!
Step by step instructions
Making this butternut squash risotto involves four key steps:
STEP 1: Roast your butternut squash. Cube and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle over the thyme.
STEP 2: In a large pan fry the leeks and garlic, if using, in olive oil for 4-5 minutes on a low heat. Watch for the garlic burning! Pour in the rice and stir well so that it is all combined. Add the vegetable broth (ensure it is hot) ladle by ladle, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through.
STEP 3: Transfer about ¾ of the roasted squash to a blender and blend to a puree. Add into the risotto and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, if using.
STEP 4: Ladle into bowls, top with the remaining butternut squash pieces and sprinkle over a fresh herb of choice.
Which rice to use?
For risotto you need to use a specialist rice such as arborio rice or carnaroli. I always use arborio rice as it the easiest to find in the store and works perfectly. These forms of rice absorb liquid such as your broth, as well as other flavours and become really creamy, which others types of rice won't do in the same way.
Risotto arm ache
The key tip for making risotto? Give yourself arm ache . . . Yep, I know, not the usual advice from a food blogger, but unfortunately risotto does involve a little bit of effort. Stirring frequently helps you get the creamy consistency that is the best thing about this comfort food dinner. Try roping in a partner or friend to take on some stirring duties too!
Recipe tips and notes
- As above, ensure that you use a risotto rice rather than regular white rice.
- Stir, stir and stir some more for a creamy risotto!
- If leeks don't work for you, simply swap out for white onion instead.
More risotto recipes
There are many risotto recipes to enjoy:
Roasted butternut squash risotto
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once at temperature scatter the squash on the tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme. Roast for 30 minutes.
- In a large pan fry the leeks and garlic, if using, in olive oil for 4-5 minutes on a low heat. Watch for the garlic burning! Pour in the rice and stir well so that it is all combined. Add the broth (ensure it is hot) ladle by ladle, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
- Once the squash is done, transfer about ¾ to a blender and blend to a puree. Add into the risotto and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, if using.
- Ladle into bowls, top with the remaining butternut squash pieces and sprinkle over a fresh herb of choice.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- If you like a more 'herby' flavour then add more dried thyme.
- Not a fan of thyme? Then sage would be lovely too.
- If you prefer to stick with foods rated as 0 on SIGHI, then swap out leeks for white onion.
- vegetable broth, which isn't scored and will depend upon ingredients.
- leeks, which score 1 and have a ? as a liberator. There is a note that states 'in small amounts, usually well tolerated'.
- black pepper, which scores 2.
- garlic, which scores 1.