Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe










Its starting to get chilly in Portland, which makes me crave soup, apple crisp, hot cocoa, pretty much any comfort food. I love curling up on the couch with a blanket, hot dinner, and a little Modern Family. (Yes, we usually eat in front of the TV. We take advantage while we don’t have kids. Once kids come along, to the dinner table we go.)

One of my favorite comfort food recipes is this butternut squash risotto. Some of my girlfriends and I get together around once a month to try new recipes, drink wine, and best of all, gossip :) I got this recipe last Fall from one of my cooking club friends, and I’ve made it several times since then. Its delicious!

Creamy Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash (serves 4)

1 spray cooking spray
2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 a small onion (not part of the original recipe, I just added it)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 tsp thyme, fresh, or 8 whole sprigs (sprigs preferred)
2 Tbsp fat-free half-and-half
1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
Wine (at cooking club, we don’t dine without wine :))



Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

(My first step is to con my husband into peeling and chopping up the squash. For some reason I just really don’t like this step.)


In a medium bowl, toss squash with oil and salt; spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, leaving space between squash cubes. Roast, stirring halfway through, until squash is tender and lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.


Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add orzo. Stir constantly until orzo begins to smell toasty, about 3 minutes. This is where I added the onion. It was still pretty strong but a great addition. Next time I’d probably sauté the onion first for a couple minutes before adding the butter and orzo.

Add water, broth and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs; stir in half-and-half, cheese and roasted squash. Season well with salt and pepper; serve.


Can I just say that food is really hard to photograph? I can’t seem to get a picture that looks appetizing :)

I’d love to hear if you try this recipe! What is your favorite comfort food for the chilly weather?

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  1. Yum, yum, and more yum! Sounds delicious. Goin' on my Pinterest board!
    And yes, it is getting cold here. Which makes it REALLY hard to get motivated when it comes time to walking my kiddo to school in the morning. Brrrrrrr!
    But I do love me some fall food!

  2. P.S. We ate dinner on the couch pre-kids too. :o)

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  4. Yum! If you poke a few whole in the squash then pop in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel for 1-2 min, makes it a lot easier to peel :)

  5. It looks delicious! It seems like good risotto recipe.


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