Butternut Squash Risotto

With cold weather and Halloween fast approaching, I’m craving nothing more than rich dishes that utilize the flavors of fall. As a college student, I’m always looking for simple yet delicious recipes that can be made on a budget.

I find butternut squash to be synonymous with autumn and couldn’t wait to include it in a recipe.  I chose to make risotto, because while daunting, it proves to be a true crowd-pleaser when done correctly.  The key to success in the kitchen is patience.  Stirring occasionally and paying close attention to when the liquid is absorbed will ensure the rice cooks evenly.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Adapted from “Real Simple[AH2] ”

Serves five to six people.


1 medium butternut squash

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped

1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup white wine

1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Wash and peel the squash, then seed and grate it (about 4 cups).

2. Warm the broth in a medium saucepan over low heat.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the sage, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and squash and cook for 4 minutes.  Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.

5. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally and waiting until it is absorbed to add more.

6. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan.

Note: Arborio rice can be found in two places at King Soopers, but be sure to find the small 2-cup bag that costs less than $3[AH3] .

To accompany the risotto, a hearty fall salad provides the perfect complement.  I prefer to use a salad green that will stand up to the toppings, such as kale, spinach, or arugula, but you can substitute your favorite type of lettuce.  Similarly, any variety of apple will work, but I like the tanginess of a McIntosh or Granny Smith apple for this type of salad.  I love the saltiness of feta, but blue cheese would taste great too.

Autumn Kale Salad

Serves five


5-6 large handfuls of kale, washed and patted dry

1 apple, cored, thinly sliced

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Handful of walnuts, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Add the apple slices and feta to the kale.

2. Heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the walnuts and coat completely.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.  As a general rule, use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

Check out next week’s edition of The Catalyst for spooky Halloween treats!


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