Cozy up to a bowl of this super delish risotto. Not a fan of gorgonzola? Swap it out with goat cheese or other strong, flavorful cheese. Make it your own, because you’re going to want to dive into this one!
Winter squash risotto ingredients
Keep some arborio (risotto rice) in your cupboard at all times, and you’ll be set to make this any night of the week.
- Arborio rice
- Good chicken stock, preferrably homemade, it makes all the differnce
- Shallots and garlic
- Gorgonzola and Parmesan
- And of course, your favorite winter squash
Arborio rice is pretty essential for a good risotto. It’s a short-to medium-grain rice with some natural starch, so don’t rinse it before making this dish. The starch on the rice what makes risotto so creamy, even before adding in any cream or cheese. Carnaroli rice is a good substitute although harder to find and usually more expensive.
Risotto is not at all difficult to make. Yes, it takes some time, but you really don’t have to stand and stir for 30 minutes, every so often, but don’t sweat it.
- Use good stock, your risotto depends on it
- Grate your own cheese, always
- Roast extra squash and add it at the end
- Use a variety of squashes, butternut, kabocha, delicata, whichever you have on hand
- Change up the fresh herbs, it’s delish with fresh sage
It makes a great vegetarian meal (use vegetable stock vs. chicken), side dish or first course for a dinner party.
Winter Squash Risotto with Gorgonzola will bring on the hygge and make you feel all warm and cozy. And if you’ve ever been intimidated by risotto, read on. It really is quite simple to make!
- 4+ cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade*
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1–2 large shallots (about 1/2 cup), finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3–4 cups squash** (about 3+ lbs.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 8–9 oz. (1 heaping cup) arborio rice
- 4 oz. (1/2 cup) white wine (or chicken stock with about 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar)
- 2–3 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small pieces
- 2 oz. Parmesan, finely grated
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Add butter and oil in a preheated large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and a good pinch of salt, and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. You aren’t looking for any color on the shallots. Add the squash and cook for about 5-6 minutes until it starts to get tender. Then add the rosemary and arborio rice, and sauté about 3-4 minutes until the rice is translucent.
- To the Dutch oven, add the wine and stir until almost evaporated. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until all the stock has been absorbed before adding another. Continue adding stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring often for about 25-30 minutes. Make sure to use a flat-edged wooden spoon and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. The risotto is ready when it is creamy and tender but has a little bite. It should not be in a clump but rather a flowing consistency.
- Stir in the Gorgonzola and Parmesan. Taste and season with remaining kosher salt if needed. If it doesn’t have enough flavor, add a little vinegar (start with one teaspoon and taste). Spoon onto warm shallow bowls and serve scattered with the remaining parsley.
*The best risotto is dependent on the best stock. Homemade is fantastic, but if not, buy good quality store-bought stock, and ‘doctor it up’ by adding bay, carrots, onions, and some celery and simmer for 30 minutes, strain, and continue with the recipe
**Butternut, Hubbard, Kabocha, or Delicata, whatever winter squash you have and love will work. But maybe avoid acorn squash; it’s a bit stringy, and the flavor isn’t as sweet and intense.
Alternatively, you can roast the squash*** (see note below), first and add to the risotto with the last bits of stock. I like to roast some and use it cooked in with the risotto, combo style!
NOTE: To roast squash, place on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with about a tablespoon or two of olive oil, a teaspoon of kosher salt , and cracked black pepper (you can add some Italian seasoning to this, too, yum). Place in a 400° oven for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Roast until golden brown on at least two sides.
Could I please beg of you to grate/crumble your cheese. It’s so much fresher and tastier than pre-grated/crumbled. Did you know, they add a coating to that cheese to keep it from clumping, that just can’t taste good. Plus it’s a lot more expensive. Thanks for listening. 🙂
Keywords: winter squash risotto, butternut squash risotto, gorgonzola risotto, hegge risotto