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Baked Butternut Squash Risotto
with chard / pecans

Active: 40 minTotal: 50 min

We wanted to feature this no-stir risotto during Thanksgiving week since it cooks on its own. If you've got prep to do for the big meal, work on it while the risotto is in the oven. This meal was last featured in 2018.
Smarts: Risotto can be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.



Spiced Pecans:
  • Egg whites - 1, beaten
  • Foil - for cooking
  • Pecan halves - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, light brown - 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
Baked Butternut Squash Risotto:
  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Butternut squash - 3 cups, cubes (look for pre-cubed to save time)
  • Cheese, Parmesan - 3 oz, grated
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
  • Rice, Arborio - 1 cup
  • Wine, white - 1/2 cup (sub stock)
  • Stock, any type - 4 cups
  • Butter - 2 Tbsp
Sauteed Garlic Chard:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, thinly sliced
  • Chard, any type - 1 bunch, chopped, leaves and stems separate
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Onions / Squash (if not using pre-cubed) / Garlic - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing prep.) Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Cheese / Chard - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  3. Egg whites - Beat with a fork until frothy.


  1. Heat oven to 300F / 149C.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
  3. Combine pecans with egg whites. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well. Spread pecans on prepared sheet pan.
  4. Bake, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until pecans are golden and crisp, ~20 minutes.
  5. While pecans roast, heat a Dutch oven with a lid over medium heat. Add butter (portion for chard) and then chard stems to melted butter. Saute until stems soften slightly. Stir in chard leaves and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes more.
  6. Season chard with some salt and pepper. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  7. Return Dutch oven to heat. Add oil and then onions. Saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Italian seasoning and rice and saute until rice is shiny, 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Add wine and simmer until most of the wine is absorbed, ~2 minutes.
  9. Add stock and squash. Season with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
  10. Give risotto a stir and cover with the lid.
  11. Transfer covered risotto to the oven and increase the heat to 425F / 218C degrees (make sure the pecans are out of the oven before you increase the heat). Bake risotto until all of the liquid is absorbed, ~25 minutes.
  12. When risotto is nearly finished, reheat chard in the microwave or in an oven-safe dish in the oven. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
  13. Remove risotto from the oven and stir in butter (portion for risotto). Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  14. Serve risotto with cheese and spiced pecans on top. Enjoy chard on the side.

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This meal has 11 reviews

Subbed spinach for the chard and added it to the risotto as per the older recipe for a one-pot meal. Skipped spicing the pecans and doubled the Italian seasoning.

By: Alyson
Posted: Nov 29, 2019
Diet: Original

Ok I remembered liking this last time but I think I used the prep from an ATK recipe. I did remember the egg whites being weird so I switched that to oil and it didn't stick as well but still tasted good. I tried the oven technique this time though and it both didn't work and I burnt the crap out of my hand. I used an oven proof pot and maybe that doesn't have the heat conduction of a true dutch oven but I boiled it for a bit on the stovetop then drained it (saving the liquid) and cooked it adding the liquid back in in small amounts. It was very good but I'm glad I had extra wine for all the added trouble! EDITED TO ADD: definitely add parm on top!!

By: Kristen
Posted: Nov 26, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

The spiced pecans were something special! This had a great balance of flavor when everything was eaten together!

By: Jeanine
Posted: Nov 26, 2019
Diet: Original

Much better than last time! Previously we said it lacked flavor, and it was much better this time. We did still add more italian seasoning than it asked for. We enjoyed it!

By: Chris
Posted: Nov 25, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

I made the paleo version because I like a protein centered meal. Just the chicken because I was short on time. It was pretty bland as written. I sprinkled a bit of sugar and cinnamon on top and it was much improved.

By: Alana
Posted: Nov 25, 2019
Diet: Paleo