Butternut squash & sage risotto

Butternut squash & sage risotto

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(179 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
A satisfying veggie supper that uses a basic risotto recipe and gives it an autumnal twist

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal609
  • fat24g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs87g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre8g
  • protein15g
  • salt0.95g
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  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • bunch sage, leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole



    Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…

  • 1½ l vegetable stock
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 300g risotto rice (we used arborio)

    Risotto rice

    To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…

  • 1 small glass white wine
  • 50g Parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.

  2. While the squash is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.

  3. Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.

  4. At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir though the purée, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few mins. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the crisp sage leaves.

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Comments (170)

dkgoldstein's picture

Thought this was a really easy to make recipe, perfect for when you're knackered. It is a little bland however, so I added chopped up bits of bacon like another reader suggested, as well as pepper. I took the leftovers to work the next day too and it reheated really well with the addition of a little more water, just a few splashes.

Griz's picture

Made this tonight, I finished it with a little mascarpone, and drizzled the browned butter from crisping the sage leaves over the top. Silence, then YUUUUUM all around. Winner!

chris043's picture

Really easy and turns out just how I expected it. Easy to follow recipe. Hardest part of it was finding the sage!

ChemicalNRG's picture

A fantastic recipe, although I cheated by only dicing the squash used for decoration while roasting the remainder whole. Once cooled, the skin comes off easily so you can simply mash it and add to the risotto.

mohinis27's picture

A top recipe for a delicious risotto. A family favourite.

chrisjack's picture

Unbelievable! Only difference I made to the recipe was roasting garlic with the butternut squash. Highly recommend this recipe.

merel's picture

Love this recipe in our house. Made it a few times now. Last time I forgot to put sage in with the squash whilst it was roasting, so I just put it in the stock as it was simmering instead and it was fine. Usually add a handful of peas at the end for extra colour/sweetness.

I have never tried frying sage as a garnish at the end, so can't comment on that.

The best results we had with this was when using homemade stock that had a very mild chili heat to it.

Also makes great arancini (cheese filled risotto balls) with the left overs.

luptonian's picture

This is fab, big hit at home and have made it several times now, easy to half the recipe for two. I have tried it with the harlequin squash that has recently been available too and that as you would imagine came out great too. I added mushrooms and garlic to the onions the last time I made this which came out better than ever, which I will do again.

izzbubz's picture

This dish was absolutely divine. Added some garlic and used chopped sage. It's so delicious that I would recommend making extra if you do intend to serve this to four, I got three large portions out of it

ten-a-penny's picture

This was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and my only comments are that it needs a bit of seasoning or maybe a touch of garlic which I will try next time. Also I didn't need all the stock, probably about a litre was enough. My very fussy two year old loved it tho, first time in months we have had an empty bowl!

freyaarnold's picture

This recipe is delicious and is now one of my favourite risotto options! I added crumbled feta on top which I 100% recommend because it contrasts the sweet squash flavour.

koolk_2009's picture

Amazing recipe, the tastiest risotto I've ever made. I was going to add some bacon, but it just didn't need it!

shivtc's picture

Lovely dish, full of flavour. My only negative is that the chopped fresh sage cooked much quicker in the oven than the butternut, so it burnt and I got a hint of charcoal in the end result. Next time i'll add the sage when the butternut is almost cooked. Will def make this again and again...

wendiwalmsley's picture

Made this tonight it was absolutely scrumptious. Lots and lots of stirring so be prepared to devote your time undisturbed to stirring! I prepped my butternut with garlic olive oil and sprinkled dried sage. It was delish. Loafs of parses an and sprinkled rocket on top, served immediately with a glass of crisp white wine. Heavenly.

lemonmelts's picture

Easy and thoroughly delicious. Loved the detailed steps and descriptions in this recipe of what the dish should look like at each stage and how you know when it's done - you can't go wrong!

Melanudrigal's picture

Excellent recipe, timings and volumes all precise. Crispy sage leaves gently in butter a must. However reading the comments has been as much fun for sure.

Judrop23's picture

Made this tonight. Lovely recipe and came out wonderful. It is a little painstaking with all the peeling and chopping of the squash and then the stirring which does take a good 30 minutes but it's well worth it. I used fresh home made chicken stock too which really makes a difference. Next time I would add some fresh garlic with the onion and maybe some pancetta or streaky bacon to really jus it up. Very filling with a lovely taste from the roasted squash. A must try x's picture

Did not change a thing it was amazzballs!!
The squash did take a bit more time cooking then recommended I gave it about 40min.
Other then that perfection!!

snozberries's picture

Made a few changes and still delish - left out the wine and sage but added bay leaves and garlic in the roasting tin and fresh spinach at the end. Serves four really generously and I would recommend a bit more time to prep the squash!

katielp161's picture

Excellent recipe -- careful rice doesn't stick to pan. Also, added a bit of fried bacon and chicken in as I like meat with my meal! But still very good without


Questions (5)

Andromeda9's picture

I would love some suggestions as to the best wine match for this recipe.

goodfoodteam's picture

A risotto is all about enjoying the texture and creaminess, so don't go for anything too heavy or overpowering, although that said squash and sage have very distinctive flavours so you need something relatively flavoursome to accompany it. For a white wine a Chardonnay or Viognier should fit the bill, or a Pinot Noir for a red wine that isn't too heavy. If you want a special wine for entertaining you could take the recipe into an off-licence and ask them to suggest wines within your price range. It is often tempting to stick with wines we know, but it is good to experiment with other grape varieties too.

RDJ's picture

I would be very interested to know what software was used to find the nutritional values for this recipe. I used Food in Focus2, an excellent piece of software used in Secondary schools (Food Technology) which uses the latest version of the McCance and Widdowson integrated dataset (2009) and I get quite different values for some key nutrients. My analysis shows 750kcals per portion rather than 609 kcals. The protein and carbs values were very similar, but fat was 38.7g rather than 24g! Fibre only 4.6 rather than 8g, and salt 2.6g rather than 0.95! Any ideas?
You can download a free three day trial of the software here:

Davy's picture

Maybe a dumb question, but do you weigh your veg before it after you peel it? My squash was 1kg but 800g after peeling and de-seeding. What's the rule of thumb??

kathryndonna's picture

I don't think it really matters for a recipe like this which can take variations to suit your taste.

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