The traditional way of cooking risotto is over low heat, adding stock to the rice about a half cup at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. Then repeat adding the stock ½ cup at a time until it’s all used up. The process takes up to 30 minutes and that does not include prepping and cooking anything else you’d like to go alongside it.
If you don’t have time or patience to stand over a stove and stir, here’s a risotto recipe that’s practically effortless and still absolutely mouthwatering. All you need is about 10 minutes of prep time. The oven does all the work. The result? A a soft, cheesy risotto that works as a main meal with a salad or as an excellent side dish to our perfect roast chicken.
The best part? There’s only one pot to wash!
Why We Love These Ingredients
Butternut squash is packed with gut-friendly fiber, which along with supporting digestive health also helps control your weight. Fiber makes meals more satisfying by filling you up for longer so you aren’t reaching for a snack just an hour or two later. Butternut squash has a similar flavor to sweet potato, with half the amount of carbs.
Butternut squash is a standout source of Vitamins A and C, as well as such vision-protecting carotenoids as beta carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Research found that this nutritional trio can counteract damage caused by UV and Blue Light, which reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Onion contains allicin and diallyl disulfide, medicinal compounds that fight inflammation and infection. It’s also a source of protein, fiber, Vitamins B6 and C, and iron.,
In addition to adding a delightful flavor to food, Thyme can help fight acne, lower blood pressure, boost immune function and even improve your mood. It’s rich in a compound called thymol, which can protect you against some bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
Pro Tips To Get You Started
Save time and effort by purchasing butternut squash pre-cut from the supermarket. If you like your squash and onion to remain al-dente, skip the sauté [step 2] and just place the pot directly into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Risotto is best served immediately but you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Easy Oven Butternut Squash Risotto
No standing over a hot stove with this risotto. Let the oven do all the work while you get on with something else – the result is still wonderfully creamy. It’s the perfect side dish to our perfect roast chicken or add a salad for a healthy main meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 package (12-15 oz) chopped butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 quart [32 oz) chicken broth
- 1/3 cup white wine [such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio] [optional]
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Position rack in the middle and preheat oven to 350F.
- In an ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the onion. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Place pan in oven and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Add rice, cream cheese, garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary sprigs, wine, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to blend completely. Be sure rice is covered in liquid; if not, add more water or chicken broth.
- Cover and bake for 45 min.
- Discard Rosemary sprigs. Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula while mashing the butternut squash for a couple of minutes
- Add milk, grated parmesan, and salt/pepper to taste. Mix well and serve.