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The best butternut squash risotto

The best butternut squash risotto

Martha Collison's dish takes the sweet nuttiness of butternut squash and elevates a simple risotto to a beautiful orange bowl of autumn comfort.

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook55 mins
  • Total time1 hr 15 mins
  • Plusstanding

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  • 1 small butternut squash (or your favourite squash variety)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 175ml dry white wine
  • 1 L 800ml-1L vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra to serve

For the kale topping

  • 2 tbsp butternut squash seeds (saved from the squash)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g Pentland Brig kale, shredded, thick stems removed
  • 50g g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Cut the butternut squash in ½ and remove the seeds (reserve these for the topping). Slice into 2cm half moons, leaving the skin on, and place onto a baking tray. Rub with 1 tbsp olive oil, season, then roast for 35-40 minutes until tender and caramelised.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and 25g butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and celery and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the rice, then add the wine and simmer until absorbed. Pour the stock into a medium saucepan next to your cooking pan and keep warm.

  3. Keeping the rice pan on a low heat, add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until each has been absorbed before adding the next ladle. Repeat the process for 25-30 minutes, until the rice softens and is almost cooked through. You might need to add a little boiling water if the stock is fully absorbed but the rice isn’t quite soft.

  4. Once the squash is cooked, use a spoon to tease the flesh away from the skin and add straight into the risotto. Discard the skin. Stir the roasted squash into the risotto – it should turn it a rich orange colour. Take the pan from the heat, add the parmesan and remaining butter, stir briefly, then cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

  5. For the topping, clean any residual squash from the seeds and scatter onto the tray you roasted the squash on. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and roast for 5 minutes. Add the kale to the tray and toss everything together to coat, then sprinkle over the 50g parmesan and toss again. Return to the oven for 5 minutes more, or until the kale is crisp.

  6. Divide the risotto between bowls and sprinkle with the crispy kale and extra parmesan, if liked.

Cook’s tip

Make it meaty
Crispy pancetta works wonderfully with this risotto. Fry off some Cooks’ Ingredients Diced Pancetta until cooked through, then crumble it over the finished risotto for a sweet and salty twist.

Festivity unleashed
Roasted chestnuts will turn this risotto into a festive treat. Simply roast a pouch of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts with the butternut squash for the final 10 minutes, then crumble them into the risotto.

Lovely leftovers
Leftover risotto means you’ve got everything you need for delicious arancini balls the next day. Chill any leftover risotto in the fridge overnight, then shape into balls using a spoon and your hands. Coat in plain flour, followed by beaten egg, breadcrumbs, then deep fry for 3-6 minutes at 180ºC, gas mark 4, until golden brown and piping hot in the middle.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,567kJ/ 852kcals



Saturated Fat












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Overall rating (5/5)

5 out of 5 stars1 rating