Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

This creamy risotto is loaded with vitamins and whole grains.

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Warm, creamy risotto is a carb lover’s dream. While it may be an ideal cold weather comfort food, though, lots of salt and rich dairy may leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable when the meal is done.

This healthy butternut squash risotto recipe will still satisfy your cravings, sans dairy and plus whole grain farro. Butternut squash adds vitamin A and vitamin C for good measure.

To make the base of the risotto, you’ll need a blender or food processor.

Serves 3-4

1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 cups baby spinach, baby kale, or other leafy green
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups farro
1 1/2 cups water


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, a dash of salt and pepper, and the butternut squash. Cover and let cook until the butternut squash is soft, roughly 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the butternut squash mixture and one cup of water to a blender. You may have to blend in two batches, depending on how big your blender is. Blend until thin and soupy. You may have to gradually add more water if the mixture is still thick.

Rinse the farro and add it to a pot, along with 1/2 cup water and half of the blended squash mixture. Stir well. Bring the farro to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer.

As the farro absorbs the liquid, keep adding the remaining half of the squash mixture gradually. The farro should cook, absorbing all the liquid, in 10 to 15 minutes. If the grain absorbs the squash purée too quickly, add a little additional water. The farro will be soft and chewy when it’s done; you may have to taste some to be sure.

Remove the farro from the heat once it’s done cooking. Add baby spinach or kale and stir well, allowing the greens to wilt. Serve immediately.