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.
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!
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Serve. Serve the risotto with some reserved roasted squash, some bacon, and some extra parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions:
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.
This rice can be difficult to find at times. Several grocery stores do carry it as well as Amazon.
If you don’t want to include the wine, feel free to substitute additional chicken broth.
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:
- If serving as a main dish (which we normally do), you can pair the risotto with some Chewy French Bread, or some Roasted Tomato Bruschetta. Also, a simple salad like my Arugula Caprese Salad would be perfect.
- If serving the risotto as a side dish, consider making my Slow Cooker Beef Au Jus Sandwiches or my Crispy Roasted Whole Chicken
Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)
Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto
- 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
- 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.
More #FallFlavors Recipes Below:
Appetizers and Snacks
- Caramel Pecan Clusters from An Affair from the Heart
- Carrot Top Hummus from Savory Moments
- Fall Charcuterie Board from Magical Ingredients
- Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Savory Cheesecake from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Sweet And Spicy Roasted Nuts from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Breakfast and Baked Goods
- Apple Cranberry Pecan Overnight Oats from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Cinnamon Apple Bread from Lemon Blossoms
- Sweet Potato Pancakes from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Soups and Salads
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from Devour Dinner
- Panera Autumn Squash Soup from The Fresh Cooky
- Salmon Salad With Grapes And Pecans from Art of Natural Living
- Apple Butter Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Candied Pecans And Green Apple from Soulfully Made
- Butternut Squash And Bacon Risotto from SueBee Homemaker
- Loaded Bacon And Kale Salad from Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts And Butternut Squash from Eat Move Make
- Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash from Hostess At Heart
- Apple Cider Rubbed Pork Chops from That Recipe
- Thai Butternut Squash Curry from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Butternut Squash Parmesan Pasta from Frugal & Fit
- Grape & Gorgonzola Pizza from The Spiffy Cookie
- Honey Dijon Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Simple and Savory
- How To Air Fry Pork Tenderloin With Sweet Potatoes from West Via Midwest
- Butter Pecan Fudge from Take Two Tapas
- Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake from Fresh April Flours
- Easy Apple Crisp from Life Love and Good Food
- Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies from Books n’ Cooks
- French Apple Tart from Jen around the world
- Individual Grape Crumble from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Roll from House of Nash Eats
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from Family Around The Table
- Slow Cooker Apple Pear Crisp from Blogghetti