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Butternut squash, sage and hazelnut risotto

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Adjust Servings:
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks (about 500g of flesh)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
200g arborio risotto rice
150ml apple juice
650ml hot stock, made with 1 vegetable or yeast-free stock cube
1 tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese (30% lighter)
15g parmesan cheese, grated
Knob of butter
6 sage leaves
25g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

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Butternut squash, sage and hazelnut risotto

Butternut squash is such an incredibly versatile vegetable and a little goes a long way. It's nutrient dense, budget-friendly and the sweet, nutty flavour pairs perfectly with crispy sage, toasted hazelnuts and my cheesy risotto. For a double hit of flavour, my tip is to mash half the roasted squash and stir the purée through the risotto at the end.

    • 40 Mins
    • Serves 2
    • Medium


    • TO SERVE


    1. Add the butternut squash chunks to a large roasting tray and coat in half the olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Spread out evenly and roast in a preheated oven at 200C for 30-35 minutes until tender but still holding their shape.

    2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes until soft and translucent but not coloured.

    3. Toss in the rosemary and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 1 minute. Turn the heat up slightly and add the arborio rice. Toast the grains for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the edges of the rice look slightly translucent.

    4. Pour in the apple juice and leave to bubble away until it has reduced. Add a ladleful of the stock and cook over a low-to-medium heat, stirring often, until nearly all the stock has been absorbed.

    5. Gradually add the remainder of the stock a little at a time and continue to simmer and stir. By the time the final 100ml of stock has been added, the rice should be tender with a slightly chalky bite – this should take about 15 to 20 minutes so keep tasting.

    6. The overall consistency should be loose and creamy but not sloppy. If the grains are still undercooked, add a splash of hot water and continue to cook, stirring often.

    7. Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste. Once the butternut squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave the rest whole.

    8. Stir the butternut squash purée into the risotto and beat in the Philadelphia cheese and parmesan until the cheese has melted and the risotto is oozy. Leave the risotto to sit for 2 minutes.

    9. Meanwhile, heat a little butter in a small frying pan. Add the whole sage leaves and fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

    10. Serve the risotto in bowls, garnished with the roasted butternut squash chunks, crispy sage and toasted hazelnuts. Top with a good grind of black pepper to finish.

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