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Easy Squash Risotto With Thyme

An easy and incredibly comforting squash risotto made with fresh thyme, garlic and parmesan. This risotto uses easy, seasonal produce that’s perfect for Autumn/Winter. It’s the perfect way to warm up on chilly nights and can be on the table in just over half an hour!

An overhead shot of a blue bowl filled with squash risotto and fresh thyme leaves

Here it comes, this is my absolute favourite risotto to date! Bold statement but it’s so true. It’s creamy but not heavy, ultra comforting, easy to make and is just bursting with fall flavours, I mean what’s not to like?

This squash risotto is made with simple ingredients that you are guaranteed to find in any supermarket. You should always use arborio or carnaroli rice when making risotto. Most supermarkets should sell arborio rice but if not you can easily find it online. Here’s a list of the other ingredients you need.

Simple Ingredients To Make A Squash Risotto

  • Arborio or Carnaroli Rice – I don’t recommend using any other rice to make risotto
  • Butternut Squash or Pumpkin – These are my favourite for flavour
  • Chicken Stock – Use homemade if possible or a good quality store bought
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated. Never buy pre-grated it has a horrible taste (It’s the cheese snob in me after living in Italy)
  • Mascarpone – Adds extra creaminess
  • Fresh Thyme – Goes perfectly with squash and adds a lot of flavour
  • Garlic & Shallot – Adds a base flavour
  • Salt & Pepper – Season to taste, always add a little at a time

Tips To Remember When Making Risotto

  • Don’t Rush It – I’ve heard many people say they are intimidated by the thought of making risotto but it’s really so simple to make. The biggest tip to remember is to simmer it slowly adding the stock as needed. Risotto only takes around 30 minutes when making enough for 4-6 people. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up to cook it quickly because a lot of the flavours won’t have time to develop and it won’t taste great.
  • Use The Highest Quality Stock – I always have chicken stock in my freezer but if I don’t have enough I’ll use high quality storebought. I like the jelly stock cubes and find that only one is enough to make this risotto. I don’t tend to follow the recommended stock cubes to water ratio as it can be overly salty.
  • Use The Best Ingredients Possible – This goes for EVERY recipe of mine. Use the highest quality ingredients possible because it makes such a difference in flavour and the end result. More is less in my opinion, I’d rather have one beautiful bowl of tasty food than two bowls of something average tasting. Luckily this squash risotto is a super cost effective way to feed a family and have seconds!

How To Make Squash Risotto – Step By Step

Finely chop the shallot, garlic and cut the squash into 1cm sized pieces (roughly).

Heat a little olive oil in a large high sided pan, once hot add the shallot and saute until translucent. Add the squash, butter and thyme and saute on a medium heat stirring often until softened (around 10 minutes) (photos 1 & 2).

Step by step photos for making a squash risotto

Add the garlic and thyme and saute for another minute until fragrant and softened (photo 3).

Add the rice and stir to coat in the other ingredients. Add a few ladles of stock until the rice is just covered, stir until the rice absorbs the liquid and add another ladle or two. Continue adding the stock, stirring and letting the rice absorb it until all the stock is used up. The rice should be cooked through, thick and creamy (photos 4 & 5).

Turn off the heat and add the mascarpone, parmesan and added seasoning if needed. Stir until combined and serve (photo 6).

A close up of a squash risotto in a blue bowl with a small squash in the background

Extra Tips

  • Making Homemade Stock – Throughout the week I add vegetables peelings, off cuts and any chicken bones I might have in freezer bags and freeze them. Then one day when I have time (usually at the weekend) I put them all in a large pot with water and let it simmer away with any added herbs. When the stock is ready I store it in freezer bags in the freezer until needed. It’s a great way to have delicious homemade stock on hand and reduce food waste.
  • Using Store Bought Stock – Store bought can be heavily salted so try to be aware of that before adding extra salt. I find that the recommended ratio of stock cubes to water is overpowering. I often use this brand of jelly stock and use only one for this whole risotto then season to taste with salt and pepper.

How To Use Up Leftovers

I don’t know about you but I always find myself eating spoonful after spoonful of any leftover risotto BUT there’s a really great way to use up the leftovers if you have a little more self control than me.

Make Arancini

Arancini are small deep fried balls of risotto and they are so easy to make. Simply roll the leftover rice into balls with your hands, I tend to make them golf ball sized.

Get three separate bowls of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and one by one dip the rice balls in each bowl in that order. Fry them in hot sunflower oil until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper.

More Risotto Recipes You Might Like;

If you’ve tried this Squash Risotto or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

A square image of a squash risotto in a bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Easy Squash Risotto With Thyme

An easy and incredibly comforting squash risotto made with fresh thyme, garlic and parmesan. This risotto uses easy, seasonal produce that's perfect for Autumn/Winter. It's the perfect way to warm up on chilly nights and can be on the table in just over half an hour!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Butternut Squash Risotto, Easy Risotto, Squash Risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 520kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (500g) Butternut Squash
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 tbsp (50g) Butter
  • 12 oz (350g) Arborio Rice
  • 6 cups (1.5 litres) Chicken Stock
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Mascarpone
  • 1 cup (40g) Parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Instructions

  • Finely chop the shallot, garlic and cut the squash into 1cm sized pieces (roughly).
  • Heat a little olive oil in a large high sided pan, once hot add the shallot and saute until translucent. Add the squash, butter and thyme and saute on a medium heat stirring often until softened (around 10 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and saute for another minute until fragrant and softened.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat in the other ingredients. Add a few ladles of stock until the rice is just covered, stir until the rice absorbs the liquid and add another ladle or two. Continue adding the stock, stirring and letting the rice absorb it until all the stock is used up. The rice should be cooked through, thick and creamy.
  • Turn off the heat and add the mascarpone, parmesan and added seasoning if needed. Stir until combined and serve.

Notes

Tips To Remember When Making Risotto

  • Don't Rush It - I've heard many people say they are intimidated by the thought of making risotto but it's really so simple to make. The biggest tip to remember is to simmer it slowly adding the stock as needed. Risotto only takes around 30 minutes when making enough for 4-6 people. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up to cook it quickly because a lot of the flavours won't have time to develop and it won't taste great.
  • Use The Highest Quality Stock - I always have chicken stock in my freezer but if I don't have enough I'll use high quality storebought. I like the jelly stock cubes and find that only one is enough to make this risotto. I don't tend to follow the recommended stock cubes to water ratio as it can be overly salty.
  • Use The Best Ingredients Possible - This goes for EVERY recipe of mine. Use the highest quality ingredients possible because it makes such a difference in flavour and the end result. More is less in my opinion, I'd rather have one beautiful bowl of tasty food than two bowls of something average tasting. Luckily this squash risotto is a super cost effective way to feed a family and have seconds!

How To Use Leftovers

  • Arancini are small deep fried balls of risotto and they are so easy to make. Simply roll the leftover rice into balls with your hands, I tend to make them golf ball sized.
  • Get three separate bowls of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and one by one dip the rice balls in the mixture in that order. Fry them in hot sunflower oil until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper.
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Squash Risotto With Thyme
Amount Per Serving
Calories 520 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 747mg 31%
Potassium 865mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 69g 23%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 4g
Protein 24g 48%
Vitamin A 345.1%
Vitamin C 42.1%
Calcium 56.2%
Iron 25.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Helpful Info For All Recipes 
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!
Easy Squash Risotto. This butternut squash risotto is ultra comforting, cosy, delicious and really easy to make. Complete with step by step photos this recipe is perfect for Autumn/Winter. | Winter Recipes | Italian Recipes | Italian Risotto | #Insidetherustickitchen #risotto

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Sonal
    October 24, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Such a pretty looking dish perfect for fall season. I am going to try it soon.

  • Reply
    fiona saluk
    October 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I love that you included the difference between homemade and store bought stock. It’s so handy to buy the store bought stuff but NOTHING beats homemade veg stock! I also agree with your cheese snob sentiments about always freshly grating 🙂 Thanks for the recipe can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      October 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Totally agree, if you get in a routine of making it and storing it in the freezer especially in ice cube trays it can be so handy and easy to whip out when you need it. The flavour is SO much better! Haha thank you, hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala | DeliciousLittleBites
    October 24, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I love, love, love all risotto but am particularly fond of butternut squash risotto! Thyme is just icing on the cake – great recipe!

  • Reply
    PRAJAKTA SUKHATME
    October 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Love all the unique and flavorful combination. Risotto is something I often only in restaurants. But this recipe is very detailed and step by step so will try my hands on at home. Great share. Thank you !

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    October 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    This is a gorgeous risotto — I love the colors and the cheeses you’ve added to it. I make a similar risotto with bits of apple as well as squash. Can’t wait to try your version.

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