Butternut Squash Risotto

We all have heard of risotto, but have you tried butternut squash risotto? This creamy butternut squash risotto is the perfect fall recipe!

two bowls of butternut squash risotto and two spoons.

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What is Butternut Squash Risotto?

If you’ve had risotto, then you understand the base of this dish. However, with this delicious butternut squash risotto, you finely chop up the raw butternut squash and add it to the risotto during the cooking process.

This will add a nice texture to the creamy risotto, and it’s a great way to incorporate vegetables into your meal.

What is in Butternut Squash Risotto?

Chances are you might not exactly have everything you need for this recipe at home, but your local grocery store should carry most of the ingredients. I promise it’s worth the trip to the store for the extra ingredients. 

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Chicken broth or chicken stock If you want to make this vegetarian, consider using vegetable broth
  • Saffron
  • Butter you can use salted butter or unsalted butter
  • Butternut squash
  • Onions
  • Arborio rice – (Not sure which rice? Go here: the kind of arborio rice to use)
  • Dry white wine – I recommend a dry Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
butternut squash risotto ingredients on a tray.

What if I can’t find Arborio rice?

If you are not able to find Arborio rice, or won’t pay extra for premium Arborio rice, then you can substitute it with medium-grain rice instead. You shouldn’t have a problem finding the medium-grain rice at the grocery store so give it a try.

However, you cannot use Minute Rice, long-grain, or jasmine rice for this recipe. They will not produce the creamy effect that this recipe needs.  

Can you cook risotto without wine?

The wine gives a nice flavor boost and depth to the dish, but if you prefer not to use wine in recipes, then you are welcome to replace the wine with more chicken broth. If you don’t include the wine, you must replace it with another liquid; do not just omit it. 

Do not use white wine vinegar, as that will not produce the flavor you are looking for. Chicken broth will be your best substitute for white wine. 

How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto

If you have never made risotto before, it may be because you heard it was difficult or really labor-intensive. It isn’t difficult, but this is a dish where you do need to be actively watching and sometimes stirring the pan as you cook it.

What’s the payoff? You will get a wonderfully creamy rice dish that can be served as a main dish or an appetizer.

  1. Peel, and cut the butternut squash into small cubes.
  2. Heat chicken broth and saffron strands in a large pan. You want to heat the saffron and the chicken broth together so you get the flavor from the saffron.
  3. Sauté the butternut squash in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes. When it begins to brown, add the diced onion.
sauteed diced butternut squash and onions in a skillet.
  1. When the onions have become translucent, add the rice and stir to coat the rice with the butter. Continue to cook and stir until the rice turns white and chalky.
sauteed diced butternut squash, onions, and rice in a skillet.
  1. Add 1 cup of the broth at a time, as well as the wine, until all of the liquid is soaked into the rice. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes. When all of the stock is incorporated, the mixture should be creamy.
  2. Add cheese, and stir to incorporate. Taste the rice, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Parmesan cheese tends to be a little salty, so don’t check for seasoning until the dish almost complete.
  3. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving.
butternut squash risotto in two bowls and two spoons on a cloth napkin.

What flavors pair nicely with butternut squash?

Butternut squash is one of those foods that is meant for fall. You can pair this with anything that reminds you of the season.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cloves all work wonderfully with butternut squash. So when you are looking to spice up this recipe to make it your own, I recommend starting with those spices and go from there.

Can I add protein to risotto?

Yes! This delicious butternut squash risotto recipe works wonderfully with protein. If you have any grilled chicken or sausage, you can add it in toward the end of the cooking process so that it heats through.

Shrimp and scallops are great seafood additions to risotto. Just add them at the end because they only take a few minutes to cook.

Now the risotto is no longer just a side dish, but a full-fledged entrée this is downright amazing!

How to Store Butternut Squash Risotto

You will need to store your risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will ensure that you do not lose the moisture of the dish and that it will reheat well. 

Unfortunately, this is not a recipe you should freeze. If it is frozen, the rice tends to get super mushy when you thaw and reheat it.

How to Reheat Squash Risotto

The microwave is the easiest way to reheat risotto.

  1. Before you heat it up, add a little chicken broth or dry white wine.
  2. Place it in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through.

The extra liquid will prevent the risotto from drying out and becoming less creamy.

overhead view of two bowls of butternut squash risotto.

Great Recipes with Rice

Favorite Winter Squash Recipes

Check out more of my easy rice and pasta recipes and the best fall recipes here on CopyKat!

two bowls of butternut squash risotto and two spoons.

Butternut Squash Risotto

You are going to fall in love with this creamy butternut squash risotto. 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Butternut squash, Butternut Squash Risotto, Risotto
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 354kcal


  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pinches saffron
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 2 cups Arborio or medium-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or substitute additional chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the chicken broth in a large pan along with the saffron threads to extract the color and flavor from the saffron. When the saffron has steeped to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the butternut squash in butter for a few minutes. When the squash begins to brown, add the diced onion.
  • When the onions have become translucent, add the rice and stir to coat with butter until all of the rice is shiny, and the rice turns white and chalky.
  • Gradually add one cup of broth at a time, as well as the wine, until the liquid soaks into the rice. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes, until all of the broth and wine, if used, is incorporated. At this point, the mixture should be creamy.
  • Add Parmesan and stir to incorporate. Taste the rice, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Parmesan is a little salty, so don’t check for seasoning until after you’ve added the cheese. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving.


Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1415mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 243mg | Iron: 3.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Eddie

    5 stars
    Are you SURE, 10 CUPS of stock PLUS wine ?
    If I am making plain old rice it is always 1 cup rice, 2 cups liquid.
    I want to make this for my wife, but do not want to make her butternut squash and rice soup. (though that may be good lol)

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