Butternut Squash Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

Updated: Jan 27

Risotto is the absolute best thing ever. Ever. EVER. It is a one pot dish. It serves as a blank canvas for so many awesome veggies. AND, while most traditional risotto recipes require a lot of time standing over the stove, this recipe is done IN THE OVEN. Is your mind totally blown? If not, it should be. You get the same amazing creamy consistency, and you don’t have to spend hours standing over the stove!

Don’t get me wrong, the traditional method is that way for a reason, and it is amazing, and I love it. But with three littles, I have no time for that! So, this oven method allows me to create a fancy meal in a short amount of time, and help my big kid with her homework while it cooks. We’re all happy!

Some things to note on here...I use avocado or grapeseed oil. You can ABSOLUTELY use olive oil, but I’ve been switching out most of the oil in my recipes for one of these higher smoke point options, because you don’t lose the integrity of the oil, and it does the job. Now, in salad dressing or something that is going to be cooked quickly, please use good quality extra virgin olive oil. But in things that are cooked on the stove for a while or roasted at a high temp, I recommend an oil that has a higher smoke point.

What you’ll need to make this mind-blowing risotto:

  • Avocado or Grapeseed oil

  • Small onion

  • Fresh Garlic

  • Coarse Kosher salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • Reduced-sodium vegetable broth

  • Arborio rice (or other short grain rice)

  • Water

  • Butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces

  • Mushrooms (I prefer to purchase a gourmet blend, but button or baby bellas are fine too!)

  • Dry white wine, divided

  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese

  • Unsalted butter, divided

  • Lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)

  • Fresh chopped thyme

How to make this masterpiece:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat 2 TBSP oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-heat. Add 2 TBSP onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes, or until transparent.

Add the rice to the dutch oven. Cook, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes or until the rice begins to smell slightly toasty. Stir in vegetable broth, cover tightly and place in the oven. Bake until rice is tender and cooked through, about 65-70 minutes.

Roast the butternut squash. While the rice is cooking, place the butternut squash on a medium, foil-lined baking sheet and toss with 2TBSP of remaining oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Place in the oven, and roast for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly.

Prepare the onions and mushrooms. While rice and butternut squash are in the oven, prepare the caramelized onions and mushrooms. Heat remaining oil and 1 TBSP of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to caramelize slightly. Add ¼ cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes to continue caramelizing the onions. Increase heat back to medium-high and stir in the mushrooms and a dash of salt. Cook, stirring often, 5-8 minutes. Add another ¼ cup of wine to the pan to deglaze once again. Cook for another 4-5 minuts or until mushrooms are tender and onions are caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside until risotto is ready to eat.

Combine everything together. Remove the pot of rice from the oven. Add butternut squash, water, parmesan cheese, remaining wine, remaining butter, lemon zest, and thyme. Stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.

Plate it up for an easy, restaurant quality meal at home! Divide risotto among 4-6 wide and shallow bowls. Top with onion and mushroom mixture and more parmesan cheese and thyme, if desired.

As always let me know what you think in the comments and over on Instagram @sugarandsalt_co!