Baked Butternut Squash Risotto
with chard / pecans
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.
- 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
- 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
- Garlic - 2 cloves, thinly sliced
- Chard, any type - 1 bunch, chopped, leaves and stems separate
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- 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)
- Cheese / Chard - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Egg whites - Beat with a fork until frothy.
- Heat oven to 300F / 149C.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
- Combine pecans with egg whites. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well. Spread pecans on prepared sheet pan.
- Bake, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until pecans are golden and crisp, ~20 minutes.
- 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.
- Season chard with some salt and pepper. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
- 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.
- Add wine and simmer until most of the wine is absorbed, ~2 minutes.
- Add stock and squash. Season with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
- Give risotto a stir and cover with the lid.
- 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.
- When risotto is nearly finished, reheat chard in the microwave or in an oven-safe dish in the oven. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
- Remove risotto from the oven and stir in butter (portion for risotto). Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
- Serve risotto with cheese and spiced pecans on top. Enjoy chard on the side.
Kids loved it, oh happy day! It was a little more work than I realized for something with "baked" in the title, but I didn't do any advanced prep (except the squash was already cubed). I also did not make the chard early to reheat later. That prep order seemed silly to me - I just used a second pan, and made the chard right before the risotto was done so it could all be served together.0 Helpful
This was really good. We hate butternut squash, so it's pretty miraculous we really liked this - the squash sort of melted into it so there was no squash-y texture. Subs: I didn't have wine - used all stock. No pecans b/c of nut allergies, didn't sub. Subbed kale for chard. I added a lot of fresh oregano from the garden, which made it very Thanksgiving-like. Very filling.0 Helpful
Delicious! Would be great for guests, especially with the hands-off time at the end. Pecans were tasty too! Next time I'll sprinkle the red pepper flakes on top of them since they mostly stuck in the leftover egg wash. We had a salad on the side instead of the chard since we had extra lettuce on hand.0 Helpful
I only made the chicken in this recipe. The chicken honestly didn't have much flavor, so I will try it again but next time use stone ground mustard (double the amount recipe calls for) and may eliminate the maple syrup. The crunch of the nut crust was great (turned the broiler on low the last few mintues). I did half pecan and the other half walnuts, both were equally good.0 Helpful
We love this one, and use it all the time as a base risotto recipe with whatever we have on hand. I do usually at least double, if not triple the amount of pecans to soak up the egg white, 1/2 cup of pecans just isn't enough and then they end up eggy. We frequently use spinach and just stir it in with the cheese/butter at the end.0 Helpful
Was not a fan of this unfortunately. The flavors didn’t seem to mesh well, and it was a bit bland. Not sure if we did something wrong or what.0 Helpful