Baked Risotto with Winter Squash

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This is not a classic stirred risotto, in which broth is added little by little, requiring the cook to stir and stir. Instead, the rice is tossed with squash and cheese then baked under a layer of bread crumbs until fragrant and browned on top. Welcome as a hearty meatless main course, it may also be served alongside a roasted chicken. Use any kind of hard winter squash, such as butternut, kabocha or Hubbard.

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  • ½

    pound winter squash

  • 1

    pound Carnaroli or Arborio rice

  • 4

    tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing dish

  • 1

    medium onion, diced, about 1 cup

  • 1

    medium leek, white and tender green part, diced, about 1 cup

  • Pinch of saffron (optional)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3

    cups squash broth (see note) or chicken broth, hot

  • 8

    ounces Gruyère or Fontina, grated, about 2 loosely packed cups

  • 1

    cup fresh ricotta

  • 4

    ounces Parmesan, grated, about 3/4 cup

  • 2

    teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1

    cup coarse dry bread crumbs

  • 3

    tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      778 calories; 35 grams fat; 21 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 10 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 82 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 31 grams protein; 105 milligrams cholesterol; 1110 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
      Powered by Edamam


  1. Peel squash and cut into very thin slices, 1/16-inch thick. Then cut slices into flat 2-inch squares. (Reserve the scraps, including peels, to make squash stock if desired.)
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice and let simmer for 8 minutes so it is parcooked, with the grains still hard in the center. Drain rice in a colander, rinse with cold water, then spread on a baking sheet to cool. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add leek and saffron, if using, and stir to coat. When leek is softened but still green, after 2 minutes, add squash, stir to coat and turn off heat. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Add parcooked rice, hot broth, Gruyère, ricotta, Parmesan and lemon zest, mixing gently with a wooden spoon. Pour rice mixture into a buttered 3-quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs, pressing down to smooth surface. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Tent with foil if necessary. Garnish with parsley just before serving.


  • To make squash broth, combine 2 cups chopped winter squash or squash scraps, 1/2 sliced small onion, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 bay leaf and a thyme sprig. Cover with 6 cups water, simmer for 20 minutes and strain.
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