Butternut Squash Risotto


Published October 18, 2023


Risotto is one of my very favourite dishes. But for me it is best served on a cold fall or winter’s evening, when you can just curl up with a bowl of it under a blanket. That’s what I did this past Sunday with this yummy recipe. Risotto is a very diverse dish that you can really make with any additions you’d like. For autumn, there is no better combination than butternut squash and pancetta in my opinion.


  • 1 butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 6 oz pancetta (or bacon), diced
  • 1 cup shallots finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups broth (I used homemade vegetable stock but chicken would work too), heated on the stove
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 pecorino-romano or parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup ricotta or mascarpone cheese (you could use cream cheese to if you’re okay not being totally authentic)


  1. Heat your oven to 400° F and toss the butternut squash and sage with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes or until soft. 
  2. Remove from the oven and lightly mash with a fork – you want the squash to retain some texture.
  3. Add the pancetta to a heavy bottom saucepan or pan and cook over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from heat, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 
  4. Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Once hot, add shallot and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute until fragrant. 
  5. Add the rice and stir until the rice is toasty and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and stir constantly until the liquid is nearly reduced by half.
  6. This is the workout part – add one ladle of broth and stir consistently until the broth is absorbed. You will continue to do this for about 20 to 30 minutes, until most of the broth is gone. The rice should be cooked al dente.
  7. Stir through the roasted butternut squash and pancetta and add the cheeses and butter, stirring to a creamy consistency. 
  8. Check for seasonings and top with reserved pancetta, fresh ground pepper and crispy sage leaves if you wish!

It sounds like a lot of work but it really is a pleasant dish to make. I find it comforting! And the squash and pancetta can be made ahead of time. 

Please let me know if you try this recipe! I would love to see photos and hear your feedback. 

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