This Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage Risotto was originally only going to be made so I could make arancini - those crunchy yummy risotto balls with a hidden centre surprise that are perfect for serving at parties. The idea was to make something truly amazing for Halloween which is...
Actually - nope - NO SPOILERS!
You'll have to wait and read my next post to see what I did with them. They're cutey cute and yum yum yum....
This warming golden risotto has simple but incredible ingredients that give warming colours and Autumnal / Fall flavours. The main ingredients are:
Butternut Squash - this has a beautiful colour, and is a lovely grounding vegetable; essential when it starts getting colder. My least favourite job is cutting it up. I've found having a great Chef's knife is essential for doing this easily and safely.
Garlic - the butternut squash is roasted with a hint of chilli powder and whole cloves of garlic, which then get squished out of their papery skins and mixed into the risotto to further enrich the flavour.
Mild chilli powder - this is optional to enhance the flavour.
Arborio rice - this is risotto rice; a special kind of rice that's different to other varieties and gives risotto that special texture.
Tumeric and Saffron - this butternut squash risotto has both turmeric & saffron added to it, which might seem like overkill, but it was all part of the plan for the next recipe. The combination of the two is not only beautiful, it somehow makes the flavours even more joyful.
Vegan white wine - not all wine is vegan, believe it or not. Many wines have better labelling now, but do check. We love Proudly Vegan white wine. White wine just enhances the flavour but it's optional.
Nutritional yeast - this adds a yummy cheesy umami (or savoury) flavour that would normally be given by the addition of Parmesan. Nutritional yeast, or Nooch as it's sometimes called, is an essential vegan product and now widely available.
White miso - this also adds to that umami flavour and is also great for gut health! You can add to soups and stews, or just spread some miso on your toast.
Veggie stock - this adds a great flavour to the liquid for this butternut squash risotto. The Marigold stock is great. I also love stock made by Nine Meals from Anarchy; made with real vegetables and they even do an umami-flavoured stock (so it tastes super savoury).
Fresh sage - the final touch! Crispy fried sage leaves. Yum! Their savoury notes and crispy shards are the perfect counterpoint to this luxurious & comforting risotto.
You may be a risotto novice, but this is actually a really simple recipe. In summary, what you do is:
👩🏽🍳 Prepare the squash by cutting it into cubes and roasting with the whole garlic. I really advise getting a great Chef's knife for this. This is the one I use and swear by.
👩🏽🍳 Get your stock ready in a saucepan. Add the saffron to the stock which will release its lovely golden colour and fragrance.
👩🏽🍳 In a separate saucepan sautee the onions with some olive oil.
👩🏽🍳 Add in the rice and coat it in the oil, then add the wine, which the rice will absorb.
👩🏽🍳 Stir in a ladle of stock and stir until absorbs. Keep stirring and ladling stock until the rice is soft with a slight bight. This should take around 40 minutes. Then stir in the turmeric.
👩🏽🍳 Remove the butternut squash from the oven, it should now be soft with caramelised edges. Carefully pop all the now gloriously squishy garlic out of their papery case. Give the garlic a good smoosh and mix thoroughly into the risotto, and add the nutritional yeast and miso.
👩🏽🍳Carefully fry the sage leaves in a little oil until they're crisped up. These will sit on your plated up risotto, along with the roasted butternut squash.
Here's how to do it all in easy to follow images!
I'm so glad you asked! Absolutely - I even have a whole post and recipe dedicated to this using this very recipe. I like to make a double batch of risotto if I know I'm going to make arancini, which means we can eat something yummy the night before they're needed. If you chill the rice quickly by laying it out flat to cool & getting it into the fridge quickly, it stays safe to re-heat the next day.
Yes, it freezes really well. Just put it in an airtight container. I often make double and freeze some.
Yes, but it tastes best made fresh. I still store leftovers in the fridge and heat it up the next day. Make sure you let it cool down properly before storing away; best thing is to lay the risotto out and it will cool quickly.
Yes, it's gluten-free. Rice doesn't contain gluten and nor do the other ingredients. Always check your labels though!
Why not try some of our other warming and delicious recipes:
Love Louise x
Golden Butternut & Crispy Sage Risotto
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the Butternut Squash
For the Risotto
- 400 g (2 cups) Arborio rice
- 1 medium white onion (finely diced)
- 120 ml (½ cup) white wine (optional but nice! add a bit extra stock if not using)
- 500 ml (2⅕ cups) veggie stock (or use hot water with a good stock cube or boullion powder)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch saffron
- 2 teaspoon white miso
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Crispy Sage
- 12-16 leaves fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the Butternut Squash
- Preheat the oven whilst chopping the squash to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Tip the squash & garlic cloves into a large baking tin. Drizzle with the olive oil & sprinkle over the chilli powder and salt.
- Pop into the oven and get on with the risotto.
For the Risotto
- Put the stock into a saucepan and keep warm on a low flame/heat. Add the saffron to the stock which will release its lovely golden colour and fragrance.
- Add the chopped onions to a separate large saucepan with the olive oil and black pepper, and gently sautee on a low heat until translucent.
- Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil.
- Add the white wine to the pan and stir until it absorbs into the rice.
- Now, stir in a ladle of stock and stir until absorbs.
- Keep stirring and ladling stock until the rice is soft with a slight bight. This should take around 40 minutes. You don't want a chalky centre, but neither do you want a sloppy mess.
- Stir in the turmeric, which will create a gorgeous bright yellow colour.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven, it should now be soft with caramelised edges. Carefully pop all the now gloriously squishy garlic out of their papery case.
- Give the garlic a good smoosh and mix thoroughly into the risotto.
- Add the miso and nutritional yeast, and stir.
- Taste & add more miso or nutritional yeast. Add a little salt & pepper to taste.
For the Crispy Sage
- Carefully fry the sage leaves in a little oil until they're crisped up. Pop onto a plate until you need them.
- Pile the risotto onto a plate, scattering over the butternut squash cubes. Arrange the crispy sage leaves over and serve proudly!