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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.

Welcome to #FallFlavors where more than 25 food bloggers are sharing recipes with favorite Fall flavors. Our sponsors, Millican Pecan, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Nairn’s, and Republic of Tea, have furnished participating bloggers with complimentary product to use in their recipe creations that they will be sharing this week. These same sponsors have generously offered prizes for our giveaway so be sure to enter and share with your friends so they can enter too. Be sure to follow our Fall Flavors Pinterest account for more inspiration.

This post is sponsored by Melissa’s Produce in conjunction with Fall Flavors Week. I was sent a produce box for recipe creations, however, all opinions are my own.

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

  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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

6. 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 the 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.

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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 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: butternut squash risotto
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

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Six (6) winners will be randomly selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #FallFlavors bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and the contest is open only to US residents. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #FallFlavors posts or entries. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan Company, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Republic of Tea, and Nairn’s for providing prizes.

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