Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

Butternut squash is one of my favourite fruits and in many respects an exceedingly suitable ingredient for a risotto. If applied correctly, squash can convey impressive flavour, smooth texture and vibrant colour. The best way to achieve this is to purée the fruit before stirring it in, thus conveying every one of its favourable traits. Believe me, this silky, luxurious risotto is destined to impress.

It is my belief that the resultant look of a dish should, where possible, complement the ingredients found within – one of the reasons it is best to purée the squash.  It turns out that this addition was a stroke comparable to that of genius – not only did the purée succeed in its objective, it also gave the entire risotto an underlying, yet subtle, butternut squash flavour. However, left alone the flavour of the squash would not satisfy – the addition of sage, a herb which works wonderfully well with pumpkin and squash alike, results in a risotto that is likely to blow you away.

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto {recipe}

Serves 4


• 300g Arborio rice

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 325g butternut squash

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed and chopped

• A large glass of dry white wine, roughly 200ml

• 700ml chicken or vegetable stock

• 60g parmesan cheese

• 50g knob of butter

• 7-8 sage leaves, roughly chopped

• Salt and pepper

• Olive oil


1. First you’ll need to make the fabulous purée. To do this, simply cut 250g of your squash into fairly small chunks and pop them in a pan, on a medium heat, with a little water, oil and seasoning. Cook them for 5-10 minutes, before puréeing them in a food processor. Set the purée aside.

2. Cook the onions and garlic with a good slug of olive oil, until slightly browned and soft. This should take 5-10 minutes. Add the rice and cook for an extra minute or so. Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Then begin to add the stock little by little until around half of it has been used. At this point, stir in the purée and add the rest of your squash in the form of little cubes. Cook for a few minutes, before continuing to add the stock. Continue this process until the rice is cooked. When cooked it will be soft, but should be left with a little bite.

3. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the butter, parmesan and sage. Pop the lid on the pan and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Eat immediately.

Cost: Risotto is an extremely simple dish and this is reflected in the cost of the meal. The entire pan of risotto, which yields more than enough food for four people, should cost around £4. This, for those of you who find themselves extremely lacking in the maths compartment, works out at a simply stunning £1 per portion.

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132 comments on “Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

  1. onceuponarecipe
    January 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious. I love risotto, but have tried my hand at only a few recipes. This is definitely on my list to try next!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks! I love it too. If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it went!

  2. bombedpop
    January 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Oh yum! I was just thinking of making a squash risotto the other day!

  3. epicureanbliss
    January 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    YUM this looks so delicious. Not to mention, few ingredients go together better than butternut squash and sage…. will be needing to give this a try!

  4. cookinginsens
    January 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    The colors are super! What kind of camera do you use?

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      I just use a fairly cheap point and shoot. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30. I also use Google Picassa to edit them a little.

  5. promenadeplantings
    January 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Squash and Sage are like a perfect marriage. I make this (and blogged it too 🙂 ) where I cube the squash and cook it in with the risotto or separately roasted with the sage and added later. Both ways are great, but I hadn’t thought of making a squash puree, so I will have to give this a go sometime this winter. Thanks.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      They really are. One of the best flavour combinations. That’s a nice idea too :D.

  6. The PaperCup Kitchen
    January 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    WOW…this looks seriously delicious!!

  7. Kimby
    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Great thoughts on your progress in the kitchen and great photos, too! I linked to your original recipe a few days ago — will have to upgrade the link to this one (or both), if you don’t mind. This is truly a flavorful risotto! Happy New Year!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Oh yes, you should try this version! I’m sorry it didn’t come earlier :D. Oh well, you have an excuse to make another 🙂

  8. Edyth Miles
    January 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    This looks absolutely scrumptious. I do love a nice risotto! And your photographs are great – brava!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks, I think the colour is beautiful. Risotto must be one of my favourite types of dish.

  9. Joanne Ozug
    January 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    This risotto is so beautiful, I love the color!!

  10. Jeff Parker
    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Looks delicious! I’m going to gire it a try, thanks!

  11. whiskydrinkinchimneysweep
    January 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I like preserving humility too. And I have been trying to find good excuses to purchase a beautiful butternut squash. Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      It’s particularly important in my case :). I hope you enjoy it, if you make it.

  12. ceciliag
    January 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    wow, i just made risotto with squash last night, but no sage, i must get some growing in my inside pots.. this was great!! c

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      You should, sage makes a butternut squash risotto that little bit better 😀

  13. countrywoodsmoke
    January 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I love a good risotto, and this looks one of the best.
    I might try with sage “crisps” as a garnish as well.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      That’s a nice chefy idea :D. Glad you like the post so much 🙂

  14. Chef Pamela
    January 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I was trying to decide what to do with my squash, now I know!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      Yes, you simply cannot do anything else 😀

    • Beth Moore
      January 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve only ever steamed butternut squash in the microwave, with a bit of butter, salt & pepper. I really have to try this with the squash sitting on my countertop! I will cube & steam the rest of the squash, and stir into your lovely dahl recipe I spied today. YUM!

      • frugalfeeding
        January 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

        Oh that’s a really great idea, I hope it all goes well 😀

  15. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    January 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Love the colors!

  16. Smedette
    January 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Beautiful dish and one of my favorite flavor (er…favourite flavour) combinations!

  17. Can't live without....
    January 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Yum….the creaminess is very comforting. Want to curl up on the couch by the fire eating this.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      The perfect spot for eating :D. The creaminess is what makes it a risotto 😀

  18. Dalai Lina
    January 6, 2012 at 3:18 am

    This look exceptional! The photos are particularly inviting…

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks, I think they’re some of my best – I was extremely happy.

  19. Michelle
    January 6, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Beautiful photos! Recipe sounds delicious, too.

  20. veghotpot
    January 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Your photography is inspiring! I love the idea of updating recipes from the beginning now you’ve grown as a cook 🙂 This risotto looks absolutely delicious! xx

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks! It’s lovely to return to and improve these dishes!

  21. Veronika
    January 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    This is gorgeous, butternut squash is one of my favorite risotto flavors – I love pairing mine with gorgonzola cheese as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks! Mine as well, it’s a classic. Gorgonzola must go so well!

  22. leduesorelle
    January 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations on your one year mark! The first thing they taught us in cooking school was that we eat with our eyes…

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Ah, but it has not yet arrived. Perhaps it never will, but let’s not be quite so morbid! I don’t eat with my eyes, that would hurt.

  23. EveryBookandCranny
    January 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    A really elegant looking dish!

  24. spree
    January 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Quite gorgeous that is – seductive even! Very nice camera work too, Frugal!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Ah yes, it did end up seducing me. Things got a little messy! That’s a compliment indeed, coming from you.

  25. latetedelegumes
    January 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    As always, this looks incredibly delicious! Your pictures look lovely.
    -La Tête de Légumes

  26. wee eats
    January 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    my word this looks DE LIC IOUS

  27. jo-lyn
    January 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    This looks amazing! 🙂 I love squash, but am not a fan of sage…but I am willing to give this a chance, I suppose.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks! You could leave the sage out, but I think it makes the dish special.

  28. Rebecca LeFever
    January 7, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I have yet to make risotto. I get nervous about buying the right rice and cooking it correctly. But I’d like to try it soon. This looks delicious.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Arborio rice is the right rice, you can’t go wrong. Give it a go and follow this recipe, you won’t go wrong – I promise!

  29. Cara
    January 7, 2012 at 5:23 am

    How DARE you criticize my title post 🙂 What?? You don’t appreciate a good pun when you see one? You have broken my heart! HA. In all seriousness, this recipe sounds fabulous and a must try for me! I especially love that bowl you have pictured in the first and last photo…

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Hah, I do apologise! I love the bowl too, it was a jolly good buy. So glad you enjoyed the post.

  30. Vered at EatNowTalkLater
    January 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I love this recipe, anything with butternut squash makes me happy!

  31. Lesley
    January 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I am definitely going to make this!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      I’m so glad, please let me know how it turns out!

  32. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    January 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    That looks delicious, and serendipitously I have both a butternut pumpkin in the kitchen and sage growing in the backyard! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks! Ah, then there’s simply no excuse.

  33. Amy
    January 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I keep seeing butternut squash risotto but for some reason I have yet to try it even thought it looks so darn tasty…yours is no exception!

  34. Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair
    January 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    This sounds delicious! Blogging has exponentially enhanced my photo/recipe creating skills. It’s wonderful!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      And mine! It really has been one of the better ideas of my life 😀

  35. Savory Simple
    January 8, 2012 at 12:27 am

    This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy risotto!

  36. musingmar
    January 8, 2012 at 2:13 am

    An intriguing combination … I love butternut squash ravioli, so why not risotto! And sage is one of my favourite herbs. I don’t think I’ll be able to go wrong with this recipe!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Really? I’m fairly sure it’s a classic combination :D. Sage is brilliant. Why not give it a go? 😀

  37. baconbiscuit212
    January 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I am a big fan of vegetable purées in risotto too. Yours looks like it turned out beautifully!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      It just occurred to me! It worked wonderfully. So glad you approve 😀

  38. Maya Oryan
    January 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

    LOVE IT!! Looks beautiful and delicious:)

  39. cityhippyfarmgirl
    January 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    You can’t beat a wonderful risotto

  40. Granny
    January 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    “Over the past few months, I have nurtured the belief that the resultant look of a dish should complement the ingredients found within.” So true.

    I’ve just nominated you for the Food Bloggers Unplugged Award. Surprised? I was too. I hope you don’t mind my passing this on. Simply return to Granny’s Parlour to retrieve 10 questions. I had a lot of fun doing this light-hearted soul searching this morning. I hope you enjoy it as well. ~ Granny

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I’m so glad you agree :D. Thanks for the award. I intend to get round to passing on some awards at some point, we shall have to wait and see!

  41. Mama's Gotta Bake
    January 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Well, always liked your recipes, but the new photos are lovely!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks! I personally think they are some of my best 😀

  42. katyarich
    January 9, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Risotto is one of my favourite meals, thanks for the delicious recipe…

  43. onceinalifetimetravel
    January 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I have some fresh sage I now know exactly what I am going to do with!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Sage must be paired with squash, it works too well if anything.

  44. Jillian (Birds and Baking)
    January 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I made delicious butternut squash soup the other day, and I want to try making risotto for the first time this year, so seeing this it looks perfect! I love sage.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Great stuff. Sage works incredibly well. I look forward to your risotto 😀

  45. mamafritz
    January 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    mmmm, this looks heavenly! i want to go home and make it right now!

  46. TTV
    January 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Oh wow, this looks fantastic and I am on a butternut squash kick. I think I’ll try to veganify your recipe. Hopefully it comes out as good as this one looks. Thanks for sharing.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Thanks! I hope it works out. You could just leave out the butter and cheese – perhaps vegan spread would work?

  47. Elle of Chellbellz
    January 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I have yet to cook with Butternut squash, this looks really good too! With everything i saw on cooking blogs I was kinda turned off by it, because i wondered how it would taste, I saw everything from sweet to savory and I was confused, but this looks really good. I’m definitely going to try this.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Oh you simply must, it’s delicious. Please try this and let me know how it goes!

  48. Julie @ happygoodtime
    January 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    What a lovely colorful risotto – something that’s quite hard to do. I can almost smell it through my monitor.

    I agree on the squash and sage combination. They’re just meant to be together.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

      My main aim was to give it a great look – I think this risotto is my proudest moment on frugalfeeding.

  49. amyeatsandotheradventures
    January 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

    this is perfect – i love butternut squash ! i got a risotto pan and lots of arborio rice and spices for christmas and this is definitely what i shall be using it for 🙂 thank you ! x

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Thanks, Amy! Please do and let me know how it goes 😀

  50. fromthefamilytable
    January 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Excellent recipe but gorgeous images. Thanks for sharing!