Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto
This vegan butternut squash risotto is for those of you who are too overwhelmed (by life in modern times?) to stand over a hot stove and stir for half an hour. This easy risotto isn’t made in the traditional way, but it still turned out delicious.
This dish is pure comfort food and makes for a filling and delicious dinner or lunch. You can make a big pot of this on the weekend and reheat the leftovers all week, or pack portions for work or school lunches.
This really is a complete one pot meal, in and of itself, especially if you garnish it with a generous handful of chopped nuts (I went for pecans, but walnuts or pine nuts would be delicious). Nuts are a healthy way to round out this vegan butternut squash risotto and add some healthy fats and protein to this meal.
Risotto is traditionally made on the stove by slowly incorporating liquids such as wine or broth into the rice, while stirring constantly. Maybe I’ll use that method when the kids are grown and I have some more time on my hands, but for now I need a quicker and easier way to make risotto.
My goal with this recipe was to create a version of risotto that doesn’t require constant stirring. Something easy where you give the onions, garlic, and rice a quick sauté for a couple of minutes and then plunk the rest of the ingredients in a pot, cover it, set a timer, and walk away until it’s ready. This no stir risotto method is so much more manageable for me compared to the traditional method and I love how the butternut squash sort of melts into the rice.
I opted to use coconut milk in this recipe because it give it a nice creaminess and also complements the flavours of the butternut squash and fresh basil nicely. You can easily substitute almond milk, soy milk or any other plant based milk you like. Or you can leave out the vegan milk altogether and replace it with a cup of vegan gluten free vegetable broth or just plain water.
Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups peeled and chopped raw butternut squash
1 cup coconut milk (or substitute any plant based milk you prefer)
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil leaves
Optional: garnish with more fresh basil and some chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts.
Add the olive oil, garlic, and onions to a large pot on the stove and sauté for 2 minutes on medium heat until the onions are softened.
Add the arborio rice and sauté for another 2 minutes to coat the rice grains and toast them slightly.
Add the butternut squash, coconut milk, water, salt, and pepper.
Cover the pot and cook on low-medium heat for 27 minutes or until the arborio rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil.
Optional: garnish with some more fresh basil and some chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts. Makes 8 servings of vegan butternut squash risotto.