Butternut Squash Arborio with Mushrooms

So it dropped down into the 70's for a week here, and I quickly pulled out my fall recipes to take advantage of the cool weather before it heated back up again. One of the recipes that I've been dying to try is this one. I love that it's an all-in-one skillet meal and that it features butternut squash. It's been a long time since I made arborio or risotto. I just never think of it as a full meal and now that I don't eat meat anymore I find it hard to find something to pair it with that would go with it. However, with the squash and the butternut squash, I thought this made a delicious dinner. It had a lot of flavor and different textures that I didn't feel like I was eating just a bowl of flavored rice. However, if you want to have something with this dish, chicken or salmon would be perfect. I actually warmed up some of the leftovers and broiled a piece of salmon to go with it and it was delicious.

This dish was easy to make and easy to clean up (which I love). If you wanted to shave some time off of making this dish you can always used pre-peeled and chopped squash from your grocery store. However, you will be saving a lot more money if you just buy a whole squash and do it yourself. Sure, it takes a little more time and effort but you can do it all ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make dinner. I wouldn't use the frozen squash though. I tried recreating this dish with the frozen squash I had on hand and the butternut squash pretty much disintegrated into the rice.

recipe adapted from Savory Tooth

  • 1 cup risotto rice or arborio rice
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  •  Parmesan* or Asiago cheese, finely grated, for garnish (optional)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large 5-quart nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add butternut squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a pan sufficiently large so that the butternut squash chunks sit in a single layer on the pan.
  2. Add mushrooms and garlic to the pan, sautéing for a few minutes.
  3. Add rice and vegetable stock. Mix everything together. Bring to a boil and then decrease to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and check that the rice is tender and done. Simmer with the pan uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate any excess liquid.
  4. Add butter to the pan and stir as it melts. Serve immediately and optionally garnish with finely grated cheese.

* Parmesan cheese is made with animal rennet. However, there are some brands that do not use animal rennet in their cheese. If this is a concern for you, be sure to check the ingredients of the cheese to ensure that animal rennet is not listed.

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