This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is wonderfully creamy and comforting. Savory leeks, paired with fresh sage, and maple pecans infuse it with delicious fall flavor. Includes a Video.

This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe couldn't be any easier. Made with leeks, and spinach with very little fuss, on your stovetop or in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Abraham Lincoln 

This Butternut Risotto is the perfect meal for cozy fall nights. You can make it in an Instant Pot when time is short – it only requires 15-20 minutes of hands-on time before letting the Instant Pot take over and in the end, you’ll have a comforting, nourishing meal on the table with very little fuss. You can also make this on the stovetop in about 40 minutes.

Why you will Love this recipe!

  1. Creamy and Flavorful: The butternut squash adds a creamy and rich texture to the risotto, giving it a delicious flavor without the need for cheese or butter. It almost turns into a butternut sauce, adding a unique twist to the traditional risotto.
  2. Easy and Quick: This recipe is perfect for busy weeknight dinners. With the Instant Pot method, it only requires 15-20 minutes of hands-on time before letting the Instant Pot do the rest of the work. On the stovetop, it can be ready in about 40 minutes.
  3. Versatile and Adaptable: The recipe is vegan-adaptable and gluten-free, making it suitable for various dietary preferences. You can customize it by adding your favorite toppings such as vegan cheese, cashew cheese, butter, or drizzling with olive oil.
  4. Nourishing and Satisfying: Butternut squash is packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. Combined with the creamy risotto, leeks, and spinach, this dish provides a nourishing and satisfying meal that will keep you full and happy.
  5. Fall Comfort Food: The cozy combination of butternut squash, sage, and warming spices like nutmeg makes this risotto a perfect comfort food for chilly fall nights. It’s a great way to enjoy the seasonal flavors and ingredients. This could be a delicious Thanksgiving side dish.

Butternut squash Risotto Ingredients

A quick and easy weeknight recipe for Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Ingredient Notes

  • Butternut squash – purchasing pre-cut butternut squash makes this recipe fast and easy!
  •  Leeks-  for the best flavor or substitute onion.
  • Garlic- fresh and rough chopped.
  • Fresh Sage leaves, or substitute thyme or rosemary, but sage is tasty!
  • Arborio rice or short-grain Spanish rice (Bomba) for the creamiest texture!
  • Dry White wine (or just skip it).
  • Vegetable Broth or chicken broth (or water and one teaspoon or cube veggie bouillon).
  •  salt and pepper ( I love white pepper here). 
  •  Nutmeg the nutmeg makes this- don’t leave it out!
  •  Baby spinach or chopped kale.
  • OPTIONAL: parmesan, pecorino, manchego, vegan cheese or cashew cheese – or the leave cheese out and use LEEK OIL for garnish. Or stir in butter or ghee, or a drizzle of olive oil. Top with optional Maple Glazed Pecans.

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements. 

Butternut Squash Risotto Instructions (see video for stovetop)

Step One- The recipe starts with prepping the leeks. Cut and rinse them well. If they are very muddy, soak in a big bowl of water and separate the rings.

Save the green leek tops for Leek Oil – which is optional but will change your life! I’m not joking here friends. It’s amazing.

Step Two- Set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.  Heat the oil and add the leeks, stirring until they soften.

Step Three- Add the garlic, sage and the Arborio Rice, sauteing the rice until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Step Four- Then add the raw butternut squash that has been cut into cubes, salt, and spices.

Step Five- Give a few stirs then, add a splash of white wine. Add the rice and stir.

Step Six- Scrape up all those browned bits, let the wine evaporate then add the broth. Be doubly sure to get all the browned bits. Using a wooden spoon helps. I have been using this veggie boullion – it has great flavor.

Step Seven- Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. Naturally, release for 5 minutes, then manually release. Give a little stir and toss in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach to bump up the nutrition.

How to serve Butternut Squash Risotto

  • Leave it vegan and drizzle with a little olive oil- or the flavorful Leek Oil OR stir in some butter, ghee, goat cheese, or grated parmesan cheese to taste.
  • If you like a looser risotto, add a little more broth or water to get the consistency how you like it. As you keep stirring the butternut will break down a bit. It will add a nice creaminess. Don’t over stir though, just a little. 🙂
  • We love it topped with the Leek oil and the Maple Pecans that you’ve seen before if you’ve been here a while. So handy! The pecans give such good texture.

Butternut Squash Risotto Serving Suggestions

Serve the butternut squash risotto with flavorful leek oil, maple pecans, and a hearty green salad.

This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe couldn't be any easier. Made with leeks, and spinach with very little fuss, on your stovetop or in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free.

Butternut Squash Risotto FAQS

Can I make this recipe without an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make this Butternut Risotto on the stovetop as well. The recipe includes instructions for both methods.

Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

Yes, you can use vegetable broth in this recipe to keep it vegan-friendly. If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use water and add a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon for extra flavor.

Can I add cheese to the risotto?

The recipe is vegan-adaptable, so you can add vegan cheese or cashew cheese if you’d like. If you prefer non-vegan options, you can stir in butter, ghee, or grated parmesan cheese to taste.

What makes this risotto creamy and flavorful?

 The butternut squash in this risotto adds a creamy and rich texture, providing a delicious flavor without the need for cheese or butter. The risotto almost turns into a butternut sauce, adding a unique twist to the traditional recipe.

How long does this risotto take to cook on the stovetop?

On the stovetop, this risotto takes about 40 minutes to cook. The Instant Pot method is quicker, requiring only 15-20 minutes of hands-on time.

Can butternut squash risotto be made ahead?

Risotto is best served soon after it is made- although leftovers do taste great for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

More Favorite Risotto recipes

Butternut squash risotto in a bowl with a fork.

Happy cozy fall weekend! Let us know what you think of this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe in the comments below!

Be well,

Sylvia

Butternut Squash Risotto Video (Stovetop)

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This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe couldn't be any easier. Made with leeks, and spinach with very little fuss, on your stovetop or in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free.

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Category: vegan, dinner recipe,dinner idea
  • Method: Instant Pot, stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. The stovetop version in the notes below!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 2 cups sliced leeks (one extra large leek) or sub one onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 8 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or short-grain Spanish rice (Bomba)
  • 2 heaping cups of butternut squash, cubed (please see notes if making on stove top!) Buying pre-cut squash saves a lot of time here!
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or skip it)
  • 2 cups veggie stock or chicken stock or broth (or water and one teaspoon or cube veggie bouillon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (or sub black pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg the nutmeg makes this- don’t leave it out!
  • ——
  • 23 handfuls baby spinach or chopped kale
  • OPTIONAL: 1/41/2 cup parmesan, pecorino, manchego, vegan cheese or cashew cheese – or the leave cheese out and use LEEK OIL for garnish. Or stir in 1-2 tablespoons of butter or ghee, or a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Optional: Maple Glazed Pecans

Instructions

  1. Slice and rinse leeks, separating rings (rinsing will help them to soften faster).
  2. Set Instant Pot to the “Saute” function.
  3. Heat oil in the instant pot, add the rinsed leeks and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic, sage and rice, stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add butternut squash, and keep stirring for a couple of minutes, until there is a bit of browning on the bottom of the instant pot.
  5. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bits-  a wooden spoon is good for this. Let all the wine cook off, about 2-3 minutes. Add the stock or broth. Scrape up more browned bits. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, and give a good stir.
  6. Seal the instant pot and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Naturally, release for 5 minutes, then manually release. 
  7. While the Instant pot is going you could make the leek oil and/or the maple glazed pecans.
  8. Stir the risotto, adding the spinach and cheese or butter if you like, or leave them out. As the butternut breaks down a bit, it will add a nice natural creaminess to the risotto.
  9. Adjust salt to taste. If you like a “looser” risotto add a bit more broth.
  10. Garnish with optional leek oil or maple glazed pecans.

Notes

Butternut: buying pre-cut butternut squash make this recipe extra fast!

To elevate this, make the leek oil and maple glazed pecans, and perhaps top it with some additional roasted or pan-seared butternut that has been nicely caramelized.

The butternut in the instant pot will break down and almost becomes the sauce here.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: ( you will need 4-5 cups warm stock) 

  1. ROAST BUTTERNUT: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and ROAST  in a 400 F oven on a parchment-lined sheet pan until caramelized and tender 25-30 minutes. At the same time make risotto.
  2. RISOTTO: In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the washed leeks. Saute until fragrant and tender, covering with the lid for a few minutes to let them steam a bit. Add garlic and sage, saute 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the rice and saute 1 minute, stirring. Add a splash of white wine, and cook this off. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add 1-2 cups warm stock (enough to cover the rice), stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb it slowly, stirring often over med-low heat, until the rice is plumped, slightly al dente, yet creamy, about 20-25 minutes. If adding kale, add it with the last cup of broth. If adding spinach, you can stir it in at the end. Keep the risotto thick and hearty or add more stock to loosen it up a bit.
  4. Stir in the roasted butternut and spinach and optional cheese or butter. Taste, season and adjust salt and pepper.  If bland, it probably needs more salt.
  5. Garnish with the leek oil and maple glazed pecans.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups. Calculated with ½ cup parmesan.
  • Calories: 321
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 471.6 mg
  • Fat: 10.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg

Keywords: Butternut squash Risotto Recipe, butternut Squash Risotto, Vegan butternut risotto, Instant Pot risotto, Butternut Risotto, instant pot butternut risotto, vegan risotto, vegan butternut recipes, vegan instant pot recipes.

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Comments

  1. Sadly, will not be trying this recipe again after following directions to a T butternut squash was not cooked had to put in a pressure cooker while longer and now everything is mush. On the positive side I don’t need to worry about freezing this meal or leftovers since we will be tossing it out. Not sure what went wrong.

    1. Hi Sabrina- sorry this didn’t work for you. I hear your frustration. My guess is the size of the cut butternut was perhaps different than the recipe? Just guessing here…I know it doesn’t really help you now, but for others making this, it might. Size can affect cooking times.

  2. This was sublime. Made exactly as written with a koginut squash that was in my community basket this week and the maple pecans. Just super yum!

  3. This is an amazing recipe! I have made it several times. Delicious and easy to prepare. Be sure to add the Maple Pecans.

  4. Wow. And a big WOW again! I absolutely LOVE the flavors in this, the roasted butternut squash, and then 2 of my absolute favorites, white pepper and leeks!! I must say I was hesitant with the nutmeg and was grateful for your encouraging words; “do not leave it out” and boy was I glad I did not! Thank you, thank you for your continual flow and inspiration of tasty recipes, (even for a rookie like me!)

  5. I didn’t have risotto rice, so used pearl couscous and microwaved my butternut. Threw in mushrooms and chopped up kale and cooked it with the veggie broth & nutmeg, absolutely delicious.

  6. I cubed these before peeling because I read you can eat the skin of the squash but I see in your picture they appear unpeeled. Will that be an issue do you think?

    1. Hi Ty, I’m not sure how the skin will be? Butternut skin seems pretty thick? I have always peeled. Let me know…

      1. I kept the valve sealed for about 20 minutes after it finished. The blocks of squash pretty much disintegrated but the peel was very edible. I think the peel may have still been soft enough at that 6 minute mark.

  7. I cut up and browned some chicken and added that in, and used red wine (didn’t have white; what the heck, it’s still wine). The squash was still pretty hard so I repressurized and gave it about 10 more minutes. That did the trick. Wife liked it, it’s now in my Instant Pot recipe list. The nutmeg is a nice touch.

      1. Absolutely delicious. I do mine on the stove top and it works perfectly. This is a family staple now.

  8. This was so good. I chose to make it on the range, because I love making risotto. As another stove top maker noted, this required more broth, perhaps because much cooks off. I was a little short of broth so I used water and a little more wine at the end of cooking. The tartness of the wine was a nice finish. The candied pecans were a perfect touch! Not too sweet. Just right. Will totally make this again.

  9. I love this risotto so much! It doesn’t even need cheese to taste good. I have made this several times on the stovetop now. Always so warm and comforting. Well done and thank you!

  10. Delicious! Don’t have an instapot so used the stovetop method. Wasn’t sure when to put the 1/4 C of wine in (besides the splash?), used 4 C of broth and took 40-45 min. Flavor was wonderful and liked a bit of Romano cheese as a finish.

  11. Exceptional! I doubled the recipe and it was our vegan entree for Christmas dinner and side dish for the meat eaters. Gorgeous and special in appearance, and the best risotto I’ve ever had. Rave reviews from all! Wish I could give it 10 stars.

  12. This recipe is so delicious. I made it once and cannot stop. I have also shared it with so many friends and family who also love it. Manchego cheese is so yummy in this!!

  13. Here to say I love this easy quick way to make risotto, and it is adaptable. This time used onion and shallotas didn’t have a leek, and one large sweet potato which was two cups worth instead of butternut squash. I only use a teaspoon of oil to saute too. We find it is fine without any added butter or cheese to keep calories a bit lower. A great recipe

      1. Hope much longer do I need to cook for, please, if I double up the recipe to feed 8 as a main course using an Instant Pot?

  14. Yummy. True comfort food on a cold, rainy November day! Had to use up some kidney beans so they went into the stovetop pot. No pecans on hand so substituted toasted maple walnuts. Loved the addition of the nuts. So good. Another recipe that’ll go into the rotation. Thank you, Sylvia.

  15. This was wonderful….I couldn’t believe the creamy mouth-feel achieved by the squash. I made this on the stovetop with spinach, the leek oil, and the pecans and it was as good as any cheesy risotto I’ve had in a restaurant. My 9-year-old son loved it, too!…(sans the pecans). Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. I’ve made this recipe several times in an Instant Pot. As usual Sylvia get the cooking times perfectly and the flavor balance is interesting and delicious.

  17. Made for dinner tonight for my extended family, full of picky eaters. Everyone loved it! Made stovetop.

  18. This sounds fantastic! Could I add nutritional yeast instead of cheese? If so, how much would you recommend?

    I’m allergic to gluten, eggs, and dairy, and my vegetarian sister in law is coming to visit. This sounds like the perfect thing for all of us. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Laura, perhaps a little, go lightly. It actually isn’t too bad without the cheese. 😉 Definalty make the leek oil.

  19. I love ALL your recipes! And I like the new website. Unfortunately, the videos do not play for me. I use Chrome as my browser, but it doesn’t play with Safari either. Of course, your directions are clear enough for me to cook them all- just would love to be able to see the videos. Suggestions?

  20. This looks amazing! Could you make ahead and freeze? How long would you suggest this lasts in freezer? Excited to try this new recipe!

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