Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup risotto, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon nuts)

This seasonal fall rice dish featuring roasted butternut squash makes a satisfying side dish for roasted turkey, roast beef or ham, but it’s hearty enough to be a main dish, too. You can make it a meatless dish by leaving out the pancetta and using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 2

Arrange nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat.

Step 3

Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.

Step 4

Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Step 5

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.

Ratings & Reviews

aczavoico's Review

September 01, 2011
absolutely amazing!! a bit time consuming but totally worth it. I used regular white wine because i didn't have chardonnay and it turned out great anyway. the walnuts really add a nice touch.. perfect for fall or winter, but made it in the summer and it was perfect anyway.

MissChefy's Review

October 11, 2010
I would give this recipe 4.5 stars. It was really yummy and a great fall recipe. I reviewed it in detail here:

jdedzany's Review

March 25, 2011
This was my first risotto and it was spectacular! I roasted the butternut squash until it was browned as well but made no other changes, cooking times or ingredients. I will be making this again soon as it is well worth the work.

shakespeare6710's Review

October 16, 2012
Really good--I used bacon instead of panchetta and also served grilled chicken with it. Added some salt and more sugar to the nuts also. Used brown rice instead of araborio and it did take a lot longer to cook but worth it,

Katmanduu's Review

November 30, 2011
I made this last night and it was very good! The walnuts added a nice crunch to the soft texture of the risotto and squash. they werent as sweet as I thought they would be but the toasted flavor really popped out. Though it takes a little more time than the usual mushroom risotto I make it will definitely be put into the rotation! Thumbs up from me!

SFFoodie's Review

November 07, 2010
This would be a 5 star recipe with some small tweaks. I made it as written, using thyme + lemon zest as suggested. Next time I would definitely leave out the lemon, which was too overwhelming. In addition, I would double the pancetta and use half the thyme. All I tasted was lemon and thyme, instead of pamcetta and squash. Definitely has potential though!

tab1014's Review

October 11, 2010
Not the kind of recipe you can throw together in 30 minutes but WELL WORTH your time. The tastes will get you excited about Fall!!! Remember: Don't overcook the squash; it needs to maintain it's shape when served.

mkwescott's Review

September 30, 2011
This recipe is absolutely outstanding! This is my all-time favorite risotto recipe and has such an awesome complex mix of flavors. Mmm...I don't eat meat, so leave out the prosciutto and it is still outstanding. Make it, you won't be disappointed!

ereeka80's Review

October 30, 2012
Really delicious. Worth the time it took. The butternut squash with the garlic would be great just as a plain side dish. Next time I will use less thyme.

priyankase's Review

September 05, 2013
it came out really nice, thanks for the recipe, uploaded my dish image too along with recipe images