Nothing says comfort like a creamy risotto. The textures are just sensational to the mouth and the flavors (if done properly) perfect to the palate.
I also love playing with risottos. Mainly because they are SO easy and SO quick to make (the Instant Pot will be my forever go-to method making this forever). And with SO many Butternut Squash Soups already out there, I wanted to play with this funny-looking gourd and put it into a risotto!
And so, Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto was born! This dish infuses squash, onions, mushrooms and spinach in a wine-based sauce that will keep everyone coming back for seconds and thirds!
Oh, furthermore? You can easily make it vegetarian and vegan (see the ‘Jeffrey Sez’ section at the bottom!)
Here’s How I Made It!:
Begin with a butternut squash (funny-looking thing, ain’t it?)…
…and, with a good knife, CAREFULLY cut a good portion of it into large cubes with the outer skin removed (seriously, do this carefully as the squash is not easy to cut through and will be very firm. We don’t want any boo-boos on your fingers).
Then take an onion…
…and dice it up.
Now go to your Instant Pot and add in some vegetable oil…
…and heat allow it to heat up so it’s melted and bubbly.
Now add in the onion and cook for a few…
…and then add the squash and cook for a few…
…and then add some mushrooms and cook for a few…
…and then add some garlic and cook for a few. (Phew).
Once they’ve had a chance to cook together for a little, they’ll have slightly softened and cooked down (the squash will still likely be firm, but that’s fine because the pressure cooking will make it soft).
Now add in some dry white wine…
…and allow it to bubble for a few while the alcohol burns off.
Now take some Arborio rice (use this kind of rice as it’s the proper rice for a risotto)…
…add it to the pot and mix it up with all the other ingredients.
Now let’s season it up by adding some seasoned salt…
…and dried parsley flakes.
Stir everything together…
…and then top it off with some baby spinach (it may feel like a lot BUT this cooks down immensely! Also, DON’T stir the spinach in – just rest it on the top of the broth). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done quick releasing (pay no mind to the smell if it seems too “spinachy” during the release – it’s only because the spinach cooked on top and it won’t taste that way at all in the end result), remove the lid…
…and stir the spinach into the risotto.
Amazing how the risotto absorbs all that broth so quickly AND how the spinach dwindles down into nothing but little green ribbons!
Finish it off with some grated Parmesan (leave this out if going vegan)…
…mix it in…
…transfer to a serving bowl and ENJOY!
Not only is this the perfect side for any meal (especially Thanksgiving) but also a wonderful main dish in itself!
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp of salted butter, melted
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 4 cups of butternut squash, peeled and largely diced with any seeds and stringy-strands removed (you’ll get 4 cups of diced cubes from one decent-sized squash – and probably even have some left over to do with as you wish. Some markets also sell this already cubed up! Just get about 20 oz worth!)
- 2 cups of Arborio rice (make sure you use Arborio rice for a risotto)
- 4.5 cups of turkey (or chicken, or vegetable) broth (I used 4.5 tsp of Turkey Better Than Bouillon + 4.5 cups of water)
- 1/2 cup of a dry white wine (white cooking wine is fine too)
- 8 oz package of Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt (you can add another tsp if you want it a little more salty)
- 1/4 tsp of white pepper
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp of dried parsley
- 5 oz bag of baby spinach
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- Add the butter and oil to the Instant Pot
- Hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting and wait until the butter has melted and it bubbles
- Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes so it softens and just lightly browns. Then, add in the butternut squash and stir with the onions for another 1-2 minutes (the squash will be very hard, but don’t worry – it will completely soften up after pressure cooking). Next, add in the mushrooms, stir and cook for another minute. Finally, add the garlic, stir with everything else and cook for another 3 minutes
- Add in the white wine and once it bubbles, let it do so for another 2 minutes so some of the alcohol burns off
- Now you’ll add in the rice and mix it in with everything in the pot
- Then, add in the broth, seasoned salt, white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, Italian seasoning and dried parsley. Stir well, deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pot and then place the spinach on top (but do NOT mix in with everything else – just let it rest on top. Also, it may look like a LOT of spinach is in there but you’ll be shocked at how it cooks down!)
- Secure the lid, hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done and stir the spinach in with the risotto (when you do this, the spinach will have become nothing but little green strands!)
- Add in the grated Parmesan, stir and transfer to a serving bowl
Don’t feel like cutting the squash up? Some markets sell it pre-cut into cubes! Just get about 20 oz worth and that should do the trick!
Want it vegetarian or vegan? Use vegetable base instead of the turkey (or chicken) base. If keeping vegan, just don’t add the butter at the beginning or the cheese at the end and add in a little more seasoned salt to your taste!