Butternut Squash Risotto Is the Perfect Side Dish for Fall

This mushroom and butternut squash risotto is a one-pan side dish bursting with fall flavors that are ideal for Thanksgiving.

Risotto is a top pick when it comes to side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner parties in Delaware. It’s luxurious, rich, creamy and often just a one-pan recipe. This mushroom and butternut squash risotto is no exception. If you’re entertaining this season, it’s sure to wow your dinner guests. This is also a perfect weeknight dish to satisfy your cravings for warming fall flavors.

This is a perfectly balanced dish with earthy notes from sliced mushrooms and sweetness from the butternut squash. The creamy richness of parmesan risotto rounds out the dish for a full range of flavors in each bite.

You can serve butternut squash risotto as a Thanksgiving side or make it as a weeknight dinner. By adding grilled chicken (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey), you can make it a full meal!

Despite what you may think, risotto doesn’t have to be an overly complicated dish. Once you have the basic process down, your risotto will turn out perfect every time with just a few key ingredients and techniques. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

4 Tips to Get Perfect Risotto

Use the right rice: Make sure you’re using an Italian short-grain rice variety. We’re using Arborio rice for this recipe. Carnaroli or Vialone Nano also work.

Never rinse the rice: The starch in the rice is what gives risotto the perfect luxurious and creamy consistency. You can harm the texture of your risotto by rinsing off the extra starch.

Find or make a good stock: It’s always better to make your own stock if you have the time. For this recipe, though, store-bought stock is acceptable. Just try to find a high-quality stock. We’re using mushroom stock for this recipe to keep it vegetarian, but chicken or vegetable stock are also great options.

Taste, taste, taste: Just like any good chef, ensure you’re tasting your risotto throughout the process. You can ensure it’s cooked to your desired firmness by tasting it until you’re satisfied.

Mushroom & Butternut Squash Risotto

Course: Sides, DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


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This mushroom and butternut squash risotto delights as a side but is also hearty enough for a main course. Pair it with chicken or turkey for extra protein.


  • 2 cups Arborio rice

  • 7-8 cups mushroom stock

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed (about 30 oz)

  • 8 oz sliced white mushrooms

  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, diced

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Fresh thyme, to taste


  • In a separate small saucepan or kettle, heat your stock.
  • In a large pot on medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add onions, mushroom and butternut squash. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme to taste, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add garlic and rice to toast. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. The rice will start to look translucent and slightly golden.
  • Pour in your white wine and turn the heat up to deglaze the pan. Stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 2 minutes.
  • Add about 3/4 cup of stock to the rice, and stir until absorbed. Repeat the process 3/4 cup at a time, waiting for the rice to absorb the stock. This process will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
  • Once the rice is al dente—cooked but still firm—add 2 tbsp of butter, freshly grated parmesan and fresh thyme leaves and stir.
  • Garnish with more freshly grated parmesan and serve.

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