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.
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.
Table of Contents
- Why you will Love this recipe!
- Butternut squash Risotto Ingredients
- Ingredient Notes
- Butternut Squash Risotto Instructions (see video for stovetop)
- How to serve Butternut Squash Risotto
- Butternut Squash Risotto Serving Suggestions
- Butternut Squash Risotto FAQS
- More Favorite Risotto recipes
- Butternut Squash Risotto Video (Stovetop)
- Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Why you will Love this recipe!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 FAQS
Yes, you can make this Butternut Risotto on the stovetop as well. The recipe includes instructions for both methods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy cozy fall weekend! Let us know what you think of this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe in the comments below!
Butternut Squash Risotto Video (Stovetop)
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!
- 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!
- 2–3 handfuls baby spinach or chopped kale
- OPTIONAL: 1/4 – 1/2 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
- Slice and rinse leeks, separating rings (rinsing will help them to soften faster).
- Set Instant Pot to the “Saute” function.
- Heat oil in the instant pot, add the rinsed leeks and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic, sage and rice, stir for 2 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Seal the instant pot and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Naturally, release for 5 minutes, then manually release.
- While the Instant pot is going you could make the leek oil and/or the maple glazed pecans.
- 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.
- Adjust salt to taste. If you like a “looser” risotto add a bit more broth.
- Garnish with optional leek oil or maple glazed pecans.
Butternut: buying pre-cut butternut squash make this recipe extra fast!
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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with the leek oil and maple glazed pecans.
- 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
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