saffron risotto with butternut squash

December 13, 2012

in Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes

Risotto – I love risotto.

I love watching chefs make it on Top Chef.

I can not say how grown up I felt after making and accomplishing risotto…felt like such a big girl chef. yes with this dish I am chef angela; chef mommy.

I am in love with this dish. and how easy it was to make that is always an added bonus!

the only thing you may not like is that saffron is expensive…it looks like you barely get any but it is such a delicate thread…I recommend buying it…you can save it for recipes to use in the future…as you don’t use much.

saffron risotto with butternut squash


  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick of butter)
  • 2 medium slices bacon (diced)
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash in a glass bowl and toss with olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

While the squash is baking heat the chicken broth in a small covered saucepan on low heat to simmer.
In a large pot - I used my Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the bacon and onions on medium-low heat until the onions are translucent but not browned appx. 10 minutes. Then add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of chicken broth to the rice plus the saffron. Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed for about 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.

During the course of this I put the cubed squash in my vitamix with a couple ladles of chicken broth and pureed. Add the pureed squash to the risotto. Then gently stir in the Parmesan cheese.

serve and enjoy!

recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa food network – I only made a few changes from hers. I didn’t have pancetta so I used bacon, I have a gazillion onions to use up so didn’t use scallions and I reduced salt to 1 tsp vs. 2 since I thought from the salt of the bacon I didn’t want it to be too much.

Hubby food rating 8.0

So I spent yesterday afternoon taking photos of the food I had cooked up so far during the week…actually trying to take a nice looking photo…not like how I typically do with the plate in front of me right before I am about to eat it for dinner 😉

I couldn’t help but share a picture of my helper…he was like get a pic of me too mommy…love him.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin | The Law Student's Wife December 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Ah, your little one is so cute! And this risotto looks fab. I have 1 lonely butternut squash remaining. I think he might have met his destiny here!
Erin | The Law Student’s Wife recently posted…Ginger Molasses Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies + Holiday Apron GiveawayMy Profile


anotherbiteplease December 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm

thanks Erin :-) this risotto is a wonderful destiny for that last butternut squash!


Haley December 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

Oh, your little helper is so cute! I just want to pinch his cheeks.
Haley recently posted…The Liebster Blog AwardMy Profile


anotherbiteplease December 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thanks Haley…I think he is super cute too :-)


jackie @ marin mama cooks December 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

I love risotto and I haven’t made it in years, can you believe it? I use to make this spinach risotto weekly and then I OD’d on it and haven’t made it since. I need to get back in the risotto making groove, but standing over the stove and stirring for 30 minutes is hard and I’m just lazy that way.

I love your little helper. He is just too cute for words. I also love seeing the snow in your backyard. I miss the snow this time of year living in Cali. I grew up back east and then lived in Mpls before moving out here, so I always had that white Christmas. I think some year we will rent a house in Tahoe during Christmas break, so the kids can have a white Christmas! It does feel a bit like winter today because it was 39 degrees when I took the kids to school, brrrr…
Have a great day!
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anotherbiteplease December 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

oooo…please pretty please share/post your spinach risotto…that sounds so good. and thanks I think he is pretty cute too…we finally got snow on Sunday it makes everything look so much prettier here in WI otherwise it looks so brown and dull…speaking of Mpls I am taking girls trip up there in March – I’ve never been. 39 in CA that is cold!!


Kara December 13, 2012 at 8:24 am

Love your little helper! and the recipe too:)


anotherbiteplease December 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thanks Kara :-)


amy @ fearless homemaker December 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

Awww, your little helper is adorable! And I love risotto, too. And agree – saffron is expensive but worth it – a little goes a looong way + it’ll last forever!
amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted…Soft Molasses Crinkle CookiesMy Profile


anotherbiteplease December 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

thanks :-) I agree it is so worth it!


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