Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto - delicious side dish or an indulgent meal on its own. [Strawberries For Supper]

Butternut Squash Risotto – Just try an eat a side portion of this! It is so delicious, I made it for lunch.

Whenever I photograph recipes for the blog, I spend half my time yelling at George to get away from the food. I really love both of my dogs but they drive me crazy throughout the day. Buffy barks her fool head off whenever she thinks she hears something or the neighbour across the street gets into her car. George is getting into something about five times a day, which is showing that he is slowing down in his old age; it used to be about a dozen incidents of thievery or vandalism per day.

George is 12 now and every now and then he will show is age. Simon thinks that he is going deaf, but I hope that he is just so old that he doesn’t care that he’s getting yelled at which is why he will just keep on going through someone’s bag even though he’s been caught red-handed. I know that isn’t really true though. It is very likely that his hearing is going. He also hurts his back jumping up sometimes and if he acts like a young dog and runs hard at the dog park, he is a sore looking dog the next day.

There was an incident with George last week that had me in tears because his age and the reality of what that means really hit me. He was sleeping in his dog bed and wet himself a little bit. I was worried sick that he had a tumor on his bladder again and this time it wouldn’t turn out to be benign like it was three years ago. He hasn’t had any troubles since, so it was likely that he had an overly full bladder, hadn’t been out to do his business due to the frigid temperature outside, and he was comfortable sleeping in his soft bed. I still worry though.

I believe that the best dogs are also some of the naughtiest. They are too smart for their own good, full of energy, and have a big personality. George has all of that in spades but as I’ve said a thousand times, he really is the best cuddler on the planet. Every bad thing he does, he makes me forget my anger over it when he paws at the bed at night and waits for me to move over so he can jump up for his cuddles. He nestles in beside me and I wrap arm around him while nuzzling his neck. This is how I fall alseep every night.

I took this photo while pushing George away with my foot, which must have been funny to see since I was heavily pregnant at the time. I will gladly take many years of staying on my toes when food is around so that George doesn’t dive in when he sees his chance if it means that my beloved, naughty dog will be with me to cuddle every night.

Do you have a naughty dog? Feel free to share their best heist or feat of destruction.

Yields 4-6

Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy butternut squash risotto with crispy pancetta and sage.

35 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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  • 4 slices pancetta
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into 2 cm cubes (1/2")
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese (optional - for serving)


  1. Peel and cut butternut squash into 2 cm (1/2" cubes). Cut the pancetta into small pieces as well, approximately 1-2 cm as well.
  2. Heat the broth and water in a pot over a gentle heat.
  3. In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, over a medium heat, fry the pancetta until crispy in the olive oil. Remove the pancetta and set it aside. Add the the butternut squash along with a good pinch of salt and a dash of pepper and sautee until it starts to soften slightly, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the butter, sage, a pinch of salt and pepper and arborio rice. Stir the rice to coat it in the butter and olive oil and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the white wine and when that is absorbed, begin adding the broth, one ladle-full at a time. Add approximately 1/4 cup broth at a time and don't add more broth until the previous amount has been absorbed. It should take about 25 minutes to add all the liquid. If it taking much longer then increase the heat, and if it is absorbing really quickly then turn the heat down.
  6. When all the broth has been added, stir in the Parmesan cheese and the crispy pancetta that was set aside earlier. Check to see if it needs any salt or pepper and add some according to your taste.
  7. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone cheese as a side dish or as a decadent lunch.
Recipe Type: Side Dish


Most tetra packs of chicken broth come in volumes of 4 cups. If you have more then feel free to use all chicken broth. I add water because I don't like to open another package of chicken broth if I'm not sure when I will use it all.



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  1. says

    Aw, I love this. The only naughty dog story I can think of is my parent's dog who on occasion will get into the kitchen garbage when he's feeling lonely and he likes to leave a piece by the front door so my mom sees it when she comes home from work. My dad works from home, so luckily it doesn't happen often. That risotto looks awesome. Need to pick up arborio rice!
  2. says

    Well, you know my bad dog stories. They're the same as yours. Just yesterday I was telling the story about how George loves to steal things from people's purses and that one time he took money from your friends purse. The look of him slowly sneaking off with bill sticking out of the side of his mouth is priceless.


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