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Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto

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Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto combines creamy risotto with butternut squash puree, topped with more squash, crumbled bacon, and parmesan cheese. This melt-in-your-mouth risotto is a great meal for entertaining, but makes a perfect weeknight meal as well!

Risotto is one of our favorite meals, and while this one is a favorite, I have others for you to try as well. Try my Creamy Mushroom Risotto, date-night Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon, or a spring-inspired Lemon Risotto with Peas.

A stockpot of risotto with cubed squash.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Using butternut squash in recipes is 10/10, and they are truly some of my favorites. We love Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta and this fan-favorite Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach. For a healthy salad recipe, try my Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad!

Ya’ll, this is SO good. The creamy risotto, the sweet and nutty taste of the butternut squash, the salty bacon and parmesan cheese, and the taste of this all together is AMAZING.

I highly recommend taking the time to puree some of the squash. It incorporates the flavor into every single bite of this dish PLUS keeping some in whole chunks adds to the texture. While you can puree it all or leave it all in chunks, I think you should use the squash in both forms!

Fall flavor overload here, but if you can find squash during other times of the year, do it!

Overhead shot of butternut squash serving with a fork.

Ingredients Used:

  • Olive Oil plus Butter – You’ll add olive oil to the squash and butter to start the risotto. You can also switch out the fats if you’d like.
  • Butternut Squash – I used one large squash and chopped it into small chunks.
  • Onion plus Garlic – Diced onion and minced garlic add wonderful flavor to the risotto.
  • Arborio Rice – This type of rice resembles pasta when cooked correctly. It’s soft and delicious!
  • Liquids – I added a cup of white wine plus four cups of chicken broth. You could also skip the wine and add an additional cup of chicken broth.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for best results.
  • Bacon – Just a few slices of cooked and crumbled bacon adds incredible flavor.
  • Seasonings – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

How to make Butternut Squash Risotto

Step 1
Prep squash. Chop off both ends of the squash. Then use a potato peeler to remove all the skin off of the squash. Chop into small chunks, discarding the seeds. You should get between 6-7 cups of diced squash.

Step 2
Roast Squash. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cubed squash on the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast the squash until fork tender.

Step 3
Puree squash. Reserve a cup of cubed squash, and spoon the remainder of the roasted squash into a food processor (or blender). Puree the squash until smooth. You may need to add a bit of chicken broth to get it to a good consistency.

Step 4
Cook risotto. In a medium stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Then add the diced onion and sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and risotto, and stir for about a minute. Then add the white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc) and cook until fully absorbed, stirring frequently.

Next add the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until it’s absorbed before adding more. This slow method of adding liquids is the key to creamy risotto!

Step 5
Prep bacon and parmesan cheese. Cook the bacon according to your favorite method. You can fry it in a pan, microwave it, or bake it in the oven. I prefer baking it in the oven on a wire rack.

Step 6
Add squash and toppings to risotto. When risotto is fully cooked, spoon in the pureed squash, and the parmesan cheese. Stir well until the squash is well combined and the cheese is melted.

Step 7
Serve. Serve the risotto with some reserved roasted squash, some bacon, and some extra parmesan cheese.

Closeup on a pot of butternut squash risotto with bacon.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Arborio rice?

Arborio Rice is a variety of short-grained rice. It retains more of it’s natural starch content due to less milling (than ordinary long-grained rice). The slow cooking process (and the technique below) releases this starch, giving risotto it’s creamy consistency.

Where can I find Arborio rice?

This rice can be difficult to find at times. Several grocery stores do carry it as well as Amazon.

Do I have to use wine in risotto?

If you don’t want to include the wine, feel free to substitute additional chicken broth.

What does butternut squash do to this dish?

The squash adds a lovely sweetness and nutty flavory to this risotto. It’s delicious, especially with the salty bacon and parmesan cheese!

What to serve with risotto:

A closeup on a bowl of risotto with bacon.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A stockpot of risotto with cubed squash.

Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto

Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto combines creamy risotto with butternut squash puree, topped with more squash, crumbled bacon, and parmesan cheese. This melt-in-your-mouth risotto is a great meal for entertaining, but makes a perfect weeknight meal as well!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 608kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-7 cups butternut squash – chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine – or use extra broth
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices bacon – cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep butternut squash by peeling and chopping into chunks, discarding the seeds. Spread on a sheet pan and drizzle olive oil over the squash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, and when melted, add the onion, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté until softened, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and Arborio rice, and stir for a couple of minutes to brown the rice slightly.
  • Add the white wine, and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Then add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth at a time, waiting each time until the broth is absorbed. This will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the broth is absorbed and the rice is soft, remove from heat and add parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Use a food processor to puree the squash, reserving some for garnish. You may need to add a little chicken broth to help it along.
  • Add the squash to the cooked risotto and stir to combine.
  • Serve the butternut squash risotto with some reserved squash, the bacon, and some extra parmesan cheese.

Notes

Arborio Rice is a variety of short-grained rice. It retains more of it’s natural starch content due to less milling (than ordinary long-grained rice). The slow cooking process (and the technique explained above) releases this starch, giving risotto its creamy consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 911mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 18161IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 339mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

More #FallFlavors Recipes Below:

Appetizers and Snacks

Breakfast and Baked Goods

Soups and Salads

Side Dishes

Main Dishes

Desserts

7 Comments

  1. Riscotto is my JAM and I often order at restaurants. This one is so easy and delicious so will be making often. I mashed the squash for more texture. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      We love this one too, Shari! Enjoy your leftovers!

  2. David Reding says:

    Like many families, we are creatures of habit when planning meals – we have our go-to’s and we tend to make them a little too often. More and more we are digging into Sue’s blog to find something different. Her Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto was new and sounded like a great fall meal so we decided to give it a try. We had it as a main course along with some fresh chewy french bread (from same blog) and a salad. It was excellent as a main course and would make an excellent side as well! There’s nothing like butternut squash to bring back memories of harvest season back home. Well done.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the risotto, Dave! Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

  3. Amazing! I could eat this daily!

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