Fall Favourites/ Mains/ Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto With Thyme

August 3, 2019 (Last Updated: August 27, 2019)

An easy and incredibly comforting Butternut 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 butternut squash risotto in a rustic bowl

I mean, is there anything better than a warming, comforting bowl of risotto made from scratch?

Nope, whether it’s a classic saffron risotto, creamy mushroom risotto or this butternut squash risotto I just LOVE it and it makes a great weeknight meal or cosy weekend treat.

The thing is, it’s not the kind of meal you that you can just shove in the oven and pay no attention to.

It needs a little bit of love and care and slow stirring to make it extra creamy and luxurious but it’s SO worth it and it comes together in just over 30 minutes!

This butternut 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.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Arborio or Carnaroli Rice – I don’t recommend using any other rice to make risotto
  • Butternut Squash or Pumpkin – Either will do
  • 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 but sage would also work really well
  • Garlic & Shallot – Adds a base flavour
  • Salt & Pepper – Season to taste, always add a little at a time

How To Make Butternut 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 butternut 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).

Tips To Remember When Making Butternut Squash 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.
  • Don’t cover it – make sure to keep the lid off and don’t cover it whilst it’s cooking.
  • 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!

A side shot of butternut squash risotto in a rustic bowl topped with fresh thyme

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.
  • Cutting the Squash – if you cut the squash larger than 1cm then it’ll take longer to cook so saute it for a few extra minutes.
  • Can you Freeze it? – It’s not recommended, the risotto will change texture when frozen and you’ll lose the delicious creaminess. If you have leftovers then use it to make Arancini (Italian fried rice balls).

More Risotto Recipes You Might Like;

If you’ve tried this Butternut 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 FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

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5 from 5 votes

Butternut 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
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

  • 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 747mg | Potassium: 865mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 17255IU | Vitamin C: 34.7mg | Calcium: 562mg | Iron: 4.5mg
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
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking 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!

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12 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.5 stars

  • 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!5 stars

    • 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!5 stars

  • 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 !5 stars

  • 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.5 stars

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