All of your Fall dinner dreams are about to come true with this vegan butternut squash risotto! This is a gluten and dairy free dish that is easy to make and perfect for meal prep. Serve it at a family gathering or party to impress your friends!
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This vegan butternut squash risotto is a dairy free take on the classic dish, and given a Fall twist with roasted butternut squash. Not including salt and pepper, this recipe only calls for 10 ingredients yet somehow tastes like a decadent vegan meal.
It has a slightly cheesy flavor thanks to some homemade cashew parmesan and fresh sage for deep savory flavors.
How to make this recipe
The first step is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the top end of the squash off (the part with the stem) and then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes into quarters by cutting in half and then half again.
Place the tomatoes and squash on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of the squash) or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
While the squash and tomatoes are roasting, we’ll start preparing the rest of the risotto. To do so, chop the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic. Add both to a large pan with the olive oil. Saute for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Add in the salt, whole sage leaves and the rice. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat, allowing the rice to brown slightly. Next, add in the white wine and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom.
So, after you add in the wine and that absorbs/cooks off, add in 1/2 cup of WARM vegetable broth. Stir occasionally and let that absorb. Once it is all absorbed, add in the next 1/2 cup. Repeat this process until the rice is completely cooked through.
You will need a total of about 4-5 cups of broth, depending on the type of rice you are using. Careful not to rush through it since this can make the rice cook prematurely and get mushy.
When the squash and tomatoes are done in the oven, remove the seeds from the squash and peel the skins off the tomatoes. They should all come off very easily, just be careful since they will be hot!
Add 2 cups worth of squash to a blender with the peeled tomatoes and process until smooth. Add to the risotto and stir well. Remove the sage leaves and stir in the cashew parmesan (nut free options listened below) and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Rice vs. Risotto
The key difference between risotto and rice is that you only add in 1/2 cup of liquid at a time to risotto and never add more until all of the current liquid is absorbed.
It usually includes a vegetable of some sort, in this case we’re using squash, and cheese. This allows the risotto to get incredibly creamy and flavorful.
Tips, tricks and notes
- Once prepared, this vegan butternut squash risotto will store in the fridge for 5 days. To reheat, add the risotto to a pan with a splash of vegetable broth and heat until warm and creamy.
- This recipe can be made nut free by using regular nutritional yeast in place of the cashew parmesan OR by using sunflower seeds or hemp hearts instead of cashews in the cashew parm recipe.
- Make sure the vegetable broth is warm before adding it into the pot with the rice. Warm it on the stove before adding it to the recipe. Keep it covered so it stays warm as the risotto cooks.
- Arborio rice is the best rice for risotto, but you can also use short grain brown rice. If using brown rice, you will need to use extra vegetable broth and it will take slightly longer to cook, but both are delicious!
- I like this recipe as the main dish, but risotto can be served with fish, chicken, a side arugula salad or steamed asparagus.
Try these Fall recipes next!
Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto
- 2 cups arborio rice or short grain brown rice
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth (warm (see notes))
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion (2 cups chopped)
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine*
- 1 medium butternut squash (2 cups pureed/mashed)
- 2 sage leaves
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Cut the butternut squash in half and place face down on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add to the baking tray.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
- While that is cooking, add the chopped onion and minced garlic to a large pot with the olive oil.
- Saute until translucent.
- Add in the whole sage, salt and pepper.
- Add the rice and let brown for about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook until all liquid has evaporated.
- Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and cook until the liquid is absorbed/evaporated. Continue with this process until the rice is cooked through. Be sure to only add in 1/2 cup broth at a time, and stir occasionally until it is absorbed before adding in the next 1/2 cup.
- When the squash and tomatoes are done, let cool or use an oven mitt to peel off the skins of the tomatoes and remove the seeds of the squash.
- Add the peeled tomatoes to a blender.
- Measure out 2 cups worth of the squash flesh and add to the blender. Process until smooth.
- Add to the risotto and mix well.
- Remove the sage leaves, stir in the vegan parmesan and black pepper. Serve warm.