Butternut Squash Sage Risotto is bursting with fresh sage flavor, has a creamy and silky-smooth texture, and a little bite from Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Learn how easy it is to make this risotto recipe at home by following a few step-by-step instructions. Your loved ones will be requesting this homemade butternut squash risotto from you again and again!

Butternut squash risotto is enjoyed with a spoon for dinner.

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe with Sage

Nothing says fancy-schmancy dinner-at-home like a luxurious bowl full of Butternut Squash Sage Risotto!

When I first attempted to make this restaurant-quality dish, I was pretty intimidated.

After all, you hear how difficult and challenging this Italian classic rice dish can be to prepare.

Contrary to popular belief, cooking risotto is actually quite simple to do.

A little time-consuming, yes. A few pots and pans to clean, well, yes. Slightly time-sensitive on serving, definitely.

But too advanced for a beginner home cook? Not at all!

Your family and friends will THINK you’ve attained some advanced culinary skills when you serve this up for dinner.

Because not only does the risotto have this incredibly silky smooth texture, with a slight chewiness…

But the combination of roasted butternut squash with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese is out-of-this-world delicious.

So keep this recipe in your back pocket the next time you want to impress dinner guests, are planning a date night, or need a simple meal to serve for the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday season!

(Looking for more fancy butternut squash recipes? You have to give these Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese and Stuffed Butternut Squash recipes a try.)

Butternut squash, arborio rice, vegetable broth, herbs, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice are the ingredients in this butternut squash risotto recipe.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe are rather simple to find at your local grocery store.  Here are the main ones you’ll need:

  • Rice. The kind of rice is an essential ingredient here. Arborio rice is a traditional Italian short grain rice that is used to make risotto. It is high in starch and is not rinsed before cooking. The starchy outer coating forms a wonderful creamy texture, but can easily stick together if you do not make a risotto dish properly. You can find arborio rice in most grocery stores on the rice or grain aisle. Do not substitute with brown rice or regular white rice.
  • Butternut Squash. Similar to sweet potatoes, this orange-colored squash roasts up beautifully in the oven and complements other flavors in the risotto nicely.
  • Broth. Full-sodium broth was used in this recipe. If you use a lower sodium kind, make sure you adjust the amount of salt you use accordingly. Vegetable or chicken broth also work, but beef broth is not recommended.
  • Herbs. A combination of fresh sage leaves and dried rosemary and thyme are used. If you’d like to sub fresh herbs for dried or vice versa, you’ll need 3 times the fresh herbs for 1 portion of dried herbs. If going with all fresh herbs, make sure you do not add them until the very end of cooking.
  • Parmesan cheese. Finely grated Parmesan cheese will mix in the easiest, but you can also use shredded instead. The better the quality (look for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese), the more flavorful the risotto will be. If you’re vegan, feel free to substitute with a vegan Parmesan cheese.
  • Lemon Juice. Since most of the ingredients are really rich and creamy, a touch of lemon juice at the end will help to balance out those savory notes.

Cook’s Tip: Traditionally risottos call for the addition of a splash of white wine. If you’d like, you can substitute the first ½ cup of chicken broth to be added to the risotto with an equal amount of a dry white wine.

How to Make Butternut Squash Sage Risotto

Below you’ll find the easy steps to make butternut squash sage risotto at home:

Prep the Butternut Squash

While this large gourd may initially seem a little intimidating, it is actually rather simple to prepare.

First, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Trim the ends of the whole butternut squash. Cut the squash in the middle where the slim part meets the larger part. Peel the squash by using a sharp knife around the edges and removing the outer skinYou can also use a vegetable peeler.

Cut a circle in the middle of the larger part to reveal the seeds. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into ¼- to ½-inch cubes.

Once you have it peeled and cut, it’s time to roast butternut squash in the oven! (You can also shortcut it with Air Fryer Butternut Squash.)

Add pre-cut butternut squash, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to a large bowl. Toss until well combined. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread out squash pieces in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. 

Learn more information, and an alternative method, about how to cut and peel butternut squash.

Warm the Broth

While the butternut squash is roasting, you’ll get started on making that creamy risotto.

The key to making the perfect risotto is making sure the broth is heated up BEFORE adding it to the rice.

If it is not warmed up, you’ll end up making the rice stick together.

You can do this by either adding the broth to a pot and warming it up or even heating it up in the microwave. Totally up to you!

Sauté the Veggies

Once the broth is heated up, you’ll follow these simple steps for this squash risotto recipe.

Sauté the oil and onions in a large pot, big skillet, or Dutch oven over medium heat. You’ll want something nonstick so the starchy rice doesn’t stick.

Add garlic and continue sautéing for another minute.

Add the Rice and Broth

Reduce to medium-low heat and add rice. Stir for 1-2 minutes. 

Add ½- to 1-cup at a time of warmed chicken broth. Stir continuously and add the next amount once the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat this process over the course of 25 minutes. 

Stir in the Seasonings and Squash

Mix in the dried rosemary, thyme, salt, and black pepper during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add fresh sage, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and roasted cubes of butternut squash once the risotto is to your desired, creamy consistency. 

Serve the Risotto

Serve the homemade risotto immediately with additional fresh sage and Parmesan cheese. 

It’s crucial that you serve risotto as soon as it is done cooking for the best texture.

A bowl of butternut squash risotto is topped with sage and parmesan cheese.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can roast the butternut squash and cut up the onions the day before.
  • How to store: If you know you’re going to have leftover risotto, try to pull some of it out while it is still not quite done. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: Freezing this recipe is not recommended.
  • How to reheat: When ready to reheat leftover risotto, add it back to the skillet and pour in additional broth until it is cooked all of the way through.

Can you freeze butternut squash risotto?

It is best not to freeze risotto. When thawing, the grains become grainy and the dish loses its creaminess.

What to serve with butternut squash risotto?

Serve with butternut squash risotto with roasted chicken, pork chops, or even a green salad. This versatile dish can be the centerpiece or function as an elegant side.

Do you peel butternut squash before using it?

For the best texture, be sure to peel the butternut squash before using it in any dish. The peel is quite tough, even when cooked and is difficult to chew and digest.

Roasted butternut squash risotto is served in a bowl for an Italian dish.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Pay attention. Arborio rice is a must for any risotto dish.
  • Warm it up. You absolutely need to heat up the broth before adding it into the risotto.
  • Go slow. The key to a good risotto is not to rush the process.
  • Serve ASAP. Risotto is best served immediately after making.
  • Enjoy it now. Unfortunately, risotto doesn’t save well, so don’t freeze it.

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Risotto?

Butternut squash sage risotto is a delicious meal on its own if you prefer no meat. But, you can also serve it up with a hearty main dish to round out the meal.

Chicken is the perfect pair, so try Spatchcock Chicken for a really impressive meal. Or, stick with Glazed Balsamic ChickenAir Fryer Boneless Thighs, or Apricot Chicken.

You can also go with a salad, like a Fall Harvest Salad or a Lemon Arugula Salad.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Butternut squash is such an underutilized side dish. Try any of these recipes to plus up your next meal.

Keep it simple with Roasted Butternut Squash and Air Fryer Butternut Squash.

Or, try a Butternut Squash SoupSausage and Sage Stuffed Butternut Squash, or Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese.

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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Butternut Squash Sage Risotto is bursting with fresh sage flavor, has a creamy and silky-smooth texture, and a little bite from Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Learn how easy it is to make this risotto recipe at home by following a few step-by-step instructions. Your loved ones will be requesting this homemade butternut squash risotto from you again and again!
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour
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Ingredients 

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 3-4 cups butternut squash cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Risotto

  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 Tbsp. oil or butter
  • 1 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 ½ – 5 cups broth chicken or vegetable, regular sodium
  • ¼ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½-¾ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions 

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Roast the squash. Add butternut squash, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to a large bowl. Toss until well combined. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out cubes in a single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    3-4 cups butternut squash, 2 Tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper

For the Risotto:

  • Warm the broth. Place chicken broth in a pot and heat to almost a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low to keep warm.
    4 ½ – 5 cups broth
  • Heat the veggies and rice. Sauté oil and onions in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another minute. Reduce heat to medium low and add rice. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
    1 Tbsp. oil, 1 small sweet onion, 2 cloves garlic
  • Stir in the broth. Add ½-1 cup at a time of warmed chicken broth. Stir continuously and add next amount once liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat this process over the course of 25 minutes.
    ¼ tsp. dried rosemary, ¼ tsp. dried thyme, ½-¾ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Add the herbs. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, mix in the dried rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Serve the risotto. Once all broth is added and the risotto is to your desired consistency, add fresh sage, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and roasted butternut squash. Stir until well mixed and serve with additional fresh sage and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
    1 Tbsp. fresh sage, ½ lemon, ½ cup Parmesan cheese
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 5 votes

Notes

  • Traditionally risottos call for the addition of a little white wine. If you’d like, you can substitute the first ½ cup of chicken broth to be added to the risotto with an equal amount of a dry white wine.
  • If you’re vegan, feel free to substitute with a vegan Parmesan cheese.

Meal Prep and Storage

    • How to prep ahead of time: You can roast the butternut squash and cut up the onions the day before.
    • How to store: If you know you’re going to have leftover risotto, try to pull some of it out while it is still not quite done. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
    • How to freeze: Freezing this recipe is not recommended.
    • How to reheat: When ready to reheat leftover risotto, add it back to the skillet and pour in additional broth until it is cooked all of the way through.

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 2104mg, Potassium: 358mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 8444IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 188mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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