Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto

This vegan butternut squash risotto is creamy, savory, and flavorful. This easy recipe requires only minimal stirring, so it’s perfect for entertaining. It makes a great gluten-free, vegan, main course or side dish for the holidays or whenever you’re in the mood for a special dinner or lunch.

Main ingredients and substitutions 

Arborio rice is the traditional variety of rice used in risotto recipes. It’s an Italian short grain rice that gets creamy, starchy, and slightly chewy when cooked to al dente. If you don’t have Arborio rice you can substitute whatever variety of rice you prefer, but the results probably won’t be quite as creamy, and it might be missing some of that satisfying chew that Arborio rice has. Also, the cooking time will vary slightly if you substitute another variety of rice.

Butternut squash gives this risotto a sweet flavor and beautiful golden color. You can peel and chop the butternut squash yourself, or if you’re looking for a time saving shortcut, many grocery stores carry packaged butternut squash that is peeled and chopped.

Risotto recipes traditionally call for white wine. Dry white wine works best, or you can substitute low sodium vegetable stock instead if you prefer (or regular vegetable stock and reduce the salt in the recipe to taste).

Fresh sage adds a woodsy, savory flavor to this dish that complements the butternut squash and onions perfectly. If you don’t have fresh sage you can substitute one teaspoon of dried sage. Alternatively you can substitute fresh basil, parsley, or chives.

How to make it 

Risotto is traditionally made on the stove by slowly incorporating liquids such as wine or broth into Arborio rice, while stirring constantly. This version of risotto uses an easy method with minimal stirring, which makes it perfect for entertaining (or busy weeknight dinners).

Start by adding the extra virgin olive oil to a large pot on the stove set to low-medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and sage.

Ingredients in a steel pot.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the onions have softened and look translucent.

Onions and herbs cooking in a pot.

Next you’ll stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 1 minute, just to toast the grains a little.

Rice toasting in a pot.

Add the chopped butternut squash, water, white wine, salt, and pepper.

Risotto cooking in a pot.

Cook, uncovered, for 26-28 minutes or until the rice is cooked to al dente and the butternut squash is tender.

Risotto with chunks of squash in a metal pot.

Optional toppings 

Dress this risotto up with a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts, chopped pecans, nutritional yeast, finely chopped fresh sage, and/or parsley just before serving, if desired.

Risotto in a white bowl.

Storage 

Store this vegan butternut squash risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

More vegan recipes to try 

Risotto in a bowl with fresh sage sprinkled on top.
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Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto

This vegan butternut squash risotto is easy to make, filling, and delicious. It's perfect as a gluten-free, vegan main course or side dish for the holidays or whenever you're in the mood for a special meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 278kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped raw butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup vegan dry white wine (or substitute low sodium, gluten-free vegetable stock)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Optional toppings:

  • A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, chopped pecans, nutritional yeast, finely chopped fresh sage, and/or parsley.

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to a large pot on the stove set to low-medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions, garlic, and sage, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the onions have softened and look translucent.
  • Stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 1 minute to toast the grains slightly.
  • Add the chopped butternut squash, water, white wine, salt, and pepper, then cook, uncovered, for 26-28 minutes or until the rice is cooked to al dente and the butternut squash is fork tender.
  • Stir, then sprinkle on any optional toppings if desired.

Notes

  • Store this vegan butternut squash risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7442IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg