Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto


Creamy, gluten-free Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto is made with a time-saving short-cut!

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Happy Monday to you! Got a yummy seasonal recipe today to celebrate the beginning of fall but first, how was your weekend? My Instagram feed was full of friends’ trips to the apple orchard, photos of the farmers’ market, and long walks in the crisp autumn air.

My weekend? Not quite the same. We bought a car on Saturday and spent nearly the entire day at the dealership. There was a car show going on and as a result the whole process took about 3 times longer than it should have. Blarg!

Nevertheless, I managed to usher in the first official fall weekend in a few fun ways. Starting with stocking up on mini pumpkins at the grocery store – ahh! Nothing makes me happier this time of year than decorating the house with a few of these babies. So adorable.


Sunday morning I indulged in thick-cut bacon for breakfast while sipping coffee and playing with Lincoln in our long-sleeved PJs with the windows and doors open. I love that we can finally open the house up now that the weather is cooling down. The upstairs of our house gets really hot in the summer so we’ve had to keep the air cranked to keep L’s bedroom comfortable. Let the breeze roll in – hallelujah!


The highlight of the weekend though? I got my first post-baby run in!!!! Sunday afternoon, sun shining, cool breeze blowing – life changing. 2 miles never felt so good. No pain and I definitely wasn’t the bumbling newborn deer I thought I would be. Cannot WAIT to get back out there and slowly increase my mileage. I forgot what a high a good sweat-inducing workout can provide. It’s been way too long!


We wound the weekend down with family time at my parent’s place. This is Lincoln’s SOS face. I’m smiling because she’s making me – but seriously, send help! ; )


MWAH! Can’t get enough of my little dude!! (I feel the need to mention that my hair is wet in this photo, and not greasy. Saturday, it was grease. Sunday it was wet. #momlife)


Ok, back to this recipe! I’ve been waiting weeks to bust this dish out and figured yesterday, the first official day of fall, was the perfect day to stir up a big, bubbling pot of gluten-free Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto – with a time-saving shortcut!

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

This risotto was inspired by the forest of sage Ben and I have growing in our backyard. The previous owners scattered herbs like sage, oregano, and thyme in with the rest of the landscaping which is nice because not only does it look beautiful, but it’s functional, too. Look at all this sage!


I scattered the sage in with sweet butternut squash cubes cooked right in the same pot as the thick and creamy risotto. You’ve got to give this combo a try – it’s divine. Comforting and so fall. I can’t wait to show you a way to shave a few minutes off the cooking time for this risotto, too!

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Start with a butternut squash. Butternut squash is sweet and creamy when cooked, and is my favorite fall squash by far. For this recipe you’ll need a small one, about 2lbs to yield 3 cups cubed squash. 

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Prep the squash by cutting off the top and bottom then cutting it in half (1). Peel the squash then slice the bulbous end in half and scoop out the seeds (2). Finally slice the squash in 1/2″ slices, then into 1/2″ cubes (3,4). Whew!

Tip: Butternut squash is pretty hard so make sure you’re using a very sharp knife. Tip 2: Trader Joe’s, and I’m sure other grocery stores, sell pre-cubed butternut squash that you could also use. Just make sure the squash is cut into 1/2″ cubes so it gets tender enough in the risotto.

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Aaaand, a keepin’ it real shot. ;)

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Next bring 5 cups chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then reduce the heat to low and keep it at a simmer.


Meanwhile, in a very large saucepan saute 1 large shallot with 2 minced garlic cloves in 1 Tablespoon butter, then stir in 1 cup arborio rice. Arborio rice is short and starchy, which makes it perfect for producing a thick and creamy risotto.


Stir the rice to coat in the butter then add 1/3 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc) and stir until it’s nearly absorbed.


Be sure to snag the wine before your sous chef drinks it all! ; )


Next add the cubed butternut squash and ALL 5 cups of hot chicken broth. I know – so non-traditional! Stir constantly until the rice and butternut squash are tender, about 25 minutes.

Normally for risotto you’d add 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring until it’s nearly absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup, but thanks to a tweet from celebrity chef Tyler Florence this weekend who declared an attempt at adding all the broth in at once a success, I decided to give it a try – and it totally worked!! The risotto turned out fabulously creamy and the cooking time was slashed by at least 15 minutes. PLUS I was able to let the squash cook right in the same pot as the rice. Win, win!


Finish up the risotto by stirring in 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 10-12 chopped fresh sage leaves.


Scoop onto plates, then devour!

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as side dish


Creamy, gluten-free Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto is made with a time-saving short-cut!


  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then turn heat to low and keep at a simmer.
  2. In a large saucepan heat butter then add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until tender, 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Add rice then stir to coat and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add wine then stir until nearly absorbed. Add butternut squash and heated chicken broth. Turn heat up just slightly then stir constantly until rice and squash are tender, and nearly all the broth is absorbed, about 25 minutes. If broth gets to a hard boil, turn heat back down. Remove pan from heat then stir in sage and parmesan cheese then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

This risotto was everything I’ve been dreaming of. A little sweet from the butternut squash, a hint of freshness from the sage, and I just loved the creamy, chewy rice. Enjoy!

Shorcut Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage |

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  1. Andrea 09.23.2013

    Looks yummy! Wanted to let you know, though, that sage can decease milk supply. If you are nursing, you may want to avoid your forest of sage. :) You can find more info on herbs and nursing on

  2. Gahhh – Love the picture of you and your little man, adorable! And a shortcut recipe for risotto? Count me in! This looks like the perfect recipe to get into the fall mood :)

  3. Oh my goodness! That smile! He’s really starting to come into his little personality, isn’t he?

  4. Mmmm, I too am a big fan of butternut squash. I have just a bit of arborio rice leftover from another recipe, so I’ll have to give this a try!

  5. Tieghan 09.23.2013

    Awe, he is so cute! His smile just light up my rainy morning over here!

    Love the risotto!

  6. Glad to see a recipe with butternut squash that is not soup. That risotto looks perfect, I always have issues getting it right.

  7. Rainey 09.23.2013

    Congrats on your first post-baby run! Lincoln is so adorable.

  8. you have no idea how excited i am to see an easy risotto recipe. i’ve only tried a baked version, and burned the crap out of my hand in the process, so this is a way better alternative. and it looks so satisfying for a cool night.

  9. Cori 09.23.2013

    I just have to finally say, woman to woman, that I think you are one of the cutest moms and people I have ever seen (read?)! You look like you just love life with every post and I appreciate it. Plus, your food is always so easy to make and SO good. I’ve made so many of your recipes. Love it! Thanks so much!

  10. My backyard needs some serious attention but I love the idea of scattering herbs around the landscaping.

    Squash and sage just scream Fall to me. What a delicious looking risotto.

  11. OMG! The photos of Lincoln and you are just heart melting. I’m dying right now. And those pumpkins look amazing!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I love risotto but hate the whole stirring thing because I feel like it’s never done! This is going on my must try list!

  12. Kelli 09.23.2013

    I love that you posted that pic of prepping the butternut squash, I just made some on Saturday and I definitely thought I was going a little crazy from all the scraps. I need sharper knives until then I’m going to be all about buying it precut! Yummy recipe and cute pictures!

  13. Julie 09.23.2013

    Way to go on the run! Those pics of you & Lincoln are absolutely precious!

  14. Danielle 09.23.2013

    Would love to see a post on freezing baby food if you’re planning on doing that for your little one! My son is almost 4 months, so I wanted to freeze some of the fresh fruits and veggies that will soon be gone.

  15. Tracy 09.23.2013

    Just an FYI, if you buy butternuts that dont seem to have a bulb at the end they have WAY less seeds and sometimes none at all! Makes cutting them up like this way easier so you dont have to deal with the end!

  16. JennP 09.23.2013

    That squash is so vibrant – it almost looks like mango. Yum!

  17. Theresa 09.23.2013

    As I started reading this I was thinking, I wonder if she saw Tyler Florence’s Instagram last week! I am always drooling over the stuff he posts! And wanted to try quick risotto after he did that last week. This looks great! I’ll be trying it this fall for sure :)

  18. Sally 09.23.2013

    Oh my GOSH those pictures of you and Lincoln are SO PRECIOUS! They belong in a frame.

    Love this recipe – risotto is one of my favorite dishes but rarely do I have the patience to stand and stir, so am appreciating the shortcut :)

    Happy Monday to you!

  19. BeccaV 09.23.2013

    I saw that risotto trick in his instagram feed!! I was wondering if it was as easy as he made it sound. :)

  20. C. 09.23.2013

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of quick risotto. Will definitely try this out. Also I made your apple crisp muffins yesterday and OMG. They were so good- thanks for posting the recipe!

  21. Sally 09.23.2013

    Bahaha, that photo of Ben! My husband does the same thing.

  22. Anne [A Squared] 09.23.2013

    This is my absolute favorite way to eat risotto– yum! Also, you should add some of that bacon to it… that would be fabulous!

  23. Thanks for posting! I love fall and all things butternut squash :) Can’t wait to try!!

  24. Apparently, I’m getting in the pattern of having a weekly Iowa Girl Eats recipe. This week its the Autumn Salad, next week the Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto. Yum!

  25. Sheena 09.23.2013

    Just curious….but how far into your pregnancy did you keep running? And I cant wait to get my hands on some mini pumpkins (mumpkins!)

  26. nancy 09.23.2013

    Holey, schmoley! Your little guy is growing up! Seriously, am I getting old, or what? Time flies! He is so cute – I think he looks like Daddy. So adorable. I want a grandbaby! Now! And by the way, the recipe sounds fabulous, and tomorrow I’m going to make it. Enjoy your life with Lincoln – it’s a really fun ride to be on.

  27. Caitlin 09.23.2013

    Those pictures of you and Lincoln are so precious. He is one cute baby!! :-)

    I’m intrigued by the risotto shortcut. I frequently make your shrimp and asparagus risotto (one of my fav meals!) and I’m wondering if I should give the shortcut a shot with that recipe and just add the asparagus and shrimp as it cooks?

  28. Brittney 09.23.2013

    Crazy because I just had Americana’s sage pork tonight (new on the menu, I think?) Crazy moist pork medallions served over a butternut squash puree with asparagus & white cheddar mashed potatoes– all with lots of sage! As my dinner companion said, “It tastes like fall!”

  29. Candy 09.23.2013

    Lincoln is soooo cute. Risotto looks great. I, too, made your apple crisp muffins AND your chocolate chip oatmeal cookies this last weekend. Took them to my small group bible study and everyone loved them!! Luckily, I saved some out for the hubby. :)

  30. Trisha 09.23.2013

    BAH! Lincoln’s little face is just too precious! I bake with beer from time to time. I often lose my ingredients to my “sous chef” as well.

  31. Karla 09.23.2013

    FIrst of all, congrats on the run, Krisitin!!

    Second, I think the only things more beautiful than this risotto are your amazing garden and those beyond-cute photos of you and Lincoln. I’m in love!

  32. First of all – awesome job on your run!!

    Secondly – the pics of you and your son are so precious!! He is just the sweetest!

    And finally, I could eat this risotto … now, later, forever! Loving the shortcut method! Can’t wait to try with the butternut squash – genius!!!

  33. Awww, all the shots of Lincoln just make my heart melt! And congrats on getting that run in! Running after a break is always so rejuvenating!

    Now this risotto – I know you have your hands full with Lincoln and all but can I come over for dinner to clean up the leftovers? I’ll do the dishes!

  34. I love risotto! This looks absolutely amazing. And your sun is such a cutie!

    Sofie x

  35. jones 09.24.2013

    Lincoln is so cute and congrats for getting back to running. I ran my second half-marathon over the weekend and it was just as tough as the first, but so worth it!

  36. Wow, that looks perfect for fall! Your little man is adorable – when was he born?

  37. While you are talking about the weather cooling down, I’m wishing the weather would warm up here. . . it snowed here yesterday. Yes, I live in Alaska but seriously?

    Yeah for being able to run again.

  38. Lisa Matarazzo 09.24.2013

    Hi there – what a beautiful picture of you and Lincoln! Thanks for the recipe – my kids have really been loving the Kale fried rice so much (me too). I love risotto though, so I’ll have to give this a try soon too! Have a great day. Lisa

  39. Mmmm, butternut squash! For some reason I’ve never tried seasoning it with sage, but this recipe has me intrigued, looks delicious!

  40. Sarah 09.25.2013

    I made this tonight and it was amazing!! Mine didn’t look as good as yours but it tasted great and it was pretty easy to make!

    Thank you for the great recipe!

  41. […] other food news, I hopped on the Meatless Monday train and made this butternut squash sage risotto Monday night – only I used quinoa instead of rice (subtracted 3/4 c of the broth and used 1 […]

  42. Sarah 09.25.2013

    I happen to have a squash sitting in my pantry, and i was wondering what i was going to do with it, haha!
    Does it matter what kind of white wine? I’ve never made risotto before (or cooked with wine before for that matter).

  43. Katherine D 09.25.2013

    Oh my gosh, he looks at the camera! So Cute!

  44. […] Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto […]

  45. Ivy 09.27.2013

    Such cute baby love, tiny baby kisses are the sweetest.

  46. Joanna Gehrke 09.30.2013

    LOVE love love the pics of you and Lincoln- so sweet! Also about died laughing with the pic of Ben and the bottle of vino! Hilarious. I have tried to cook with squash once and it made my hands really burn-ey and dry? Haven’t wanted to touch it since. Side note, I find it funny and rude that ppl feel the need to tell you things like sage can decrease your supply. Seriously, I was just shaking my head! And I am a BF advocate, just really can’t stand that ppl try to make it harder than it is.

  47. […] 1. Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage via Iowa Girl Eats […]

  48. […] squash soup from How Sweet It Is. This butternut squash and spinach lasagna from Skinnytaste. This butternut squash sage risotto from Iowa Girl Eats. This mustardy kale and butternut squash from Cookie Monster Cooking. This […]

  49. lmcqueen 10.12.2013

    made pretty much as directed, just added a chopped onion, it ended up soooo soupy… Kept hoping it would come together, but it didn’t. Since regular risotto requires constant stirring as well, I think i’ll just stick to that and not take the short cut. I will say the flavors were great!

  50. Lainey 10.12.2013

    First time ever making!! Best ever!! Great recipe!! It was soooo perfect we ate the whole thing between 3 of us!!!

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