Creamy, decadent butternut squash risotto finished with fine sweet Italian gorgonzola cheese (aka: ‘Gorgonzola Dolce’). The secret to this perfect risotto is to ‘sfumato’ the toasted rice with white wine to infuse it with flavor. This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe can also be finished with butter and/or Parmigiano Reggiano!
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About this Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Make it lactose free!
If you don’t like gorgonzola cheese or have a lactose intolerance, there are other delicious ways to finish this butternut squash risotto recipe.
Try using vegetable spread, vegetable spread and Parmigiano Reggiano or just Parmigiano Reggiano (sometimes called ‘parmesan’ abroad). Believe or or not, Parmigiano Reggiano is considered naturally lactose-free!
You can use either pumpkin or butternut squash for this risotto recipe. Here, we use a butternut squash because the flavor tends to be sweeter and more intense than the kind of pumpkin commonly found in the supermarket for carving.
Once you learn how to make risotto with this recipe, you’ll be ready to tackle any risotto as the steps are the same:
- Prepare Flavors and Aromatics
- Toast the Rice
- Slowly Cook the Rice
- The Mantecatura
By following this tutorial, you’ll be able to make perfect risotto every time! With seasonal ingredients, this risotto recipe is the perfect comfort food for a chilly autumn or winter day. Also a great option for a Halloween, Thanksgiving or even Christmas menu.
What’s the ‘mantecatura’?
A ‘mantecatura’ is the process of adding room temperature fat and flavor at the end of cooking, when the dish is still hot but not over direct heat. The mantecatura makes whatever you are cooking creamy and delicious!
How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto: Tips
Choose a well-insulated pot or pan.
Use a well-insulated skillet to make the risotto—for instance a 3-ply stainless steel skillet or dutch oven.
Season at the end.
Don’t add salt or pepper until the end. If you ‘salt to taste’ at the beginning then the broth reduces, the dish will be too salty.
Choose the right rice.
Use arborio or even better yet carnaroli rice. In Italy, carnaroli is considered the go-to choice for professionals making risotto.
Want a more general guide to making risotto? Check out How to Make Risotto at Home!
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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
- Well-insulated pan or dutch oven
- 1 ¼ lb butternut squash one medium, diced
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth or, chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice or carnaroli rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil or as needed; extra virgin
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ⅓ lb gorgonzola cheese dolce or sweet
- Peel and dice the butternut squash. Finely chop the onion.1 ¼ lb butternut squash, ½ medium onion
Cook Squash and Onions
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the onions and sauté them over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until translucent.3 tbsp olive oil
- While the onions are cooking, bring all of the broth to a simmer in a large pot.6 cups vegetable broth
- When the onions are translucent, add all of the butternut squash and 2-3 ladles of hot broth.
- Cover and cook the squash for about 20 minutes. Add 1-2 more ladles of broth and keep cooking if the squash is not tender enough to mash after the 20 minutes. In the meantime…
Toast the Rice
- Toast the arborio rice in another dry skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir rice frequently until it begins to turn golden and smells like toasted rice.1 ½ cups arborio rice
- When the rice is toasted, add the dry white wine. This is called the ‘sfumato.’ Stir until the rice has absorbed the wine.½ cup dry white wine
Make the Risotto
- When the squash is tender, add another ladle of broth and mash it coarsely with a fork.
- Add the butternut squash to the toasted rice. Stir and add 2 more ladles of broth.
- Cook the rice for 20 minutes over medium heat. Check the risotto frequently during the 20 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. When the broth is almost absorbed, add another ladle of broth and continue to do so for the entire 20 minutes.
- The finished risotto should be done but a tiny bit ‘al dente’ (chewy). Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Turn off the heat. Add the butter and the gorgonzola to the risotto. Stir until the cheese and butter are melted. This is called the ‘mantecatura.’2 tbsp unsalted butter, ⅓ lb gorgonzola cheese