Winter Squash Risotto

  • Active Time 1h
  • Total Time 1h
  • Rating ****

4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Sweet winter squash and earthy shiitake mushrooms are delicious in this creamy risotto.


  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups butternut, chopped, peeled, hubbard, red kuri or kabocha squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Note: Literally the dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. Over 75,000 flowers are required for each pound of saffron. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. It’s used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European-inspired foods. Wrapped in foil and placed in a container with a tight-fitting lid, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.


Place the broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the squash and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, salt, pepper and saffron (if using); cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice; stir until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the wine (or vermouth) and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed by the rice, about 1 minute.

Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy, 30-40 minutes total. (You may have some broth left). Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 11280

nutrition information per serving

372 calories; 11g total fat; 3g total saturated fat; 15mg cholesterol; 632mg sodium; 54g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 14g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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