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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

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.

By: Adam
Posted: Dec 12, 2019
Diet: Original

The pecans didn’t turn out for me. They were eggy. Husband liked the chard. I liked the risotto.

By: Jaime
Posted: Dec 11, 2019
Diet: Original

Remember enjoying this last time! Made it in the instant pot this time and it was so fast and easy.

By: Caitlin
Posted: Dec 04, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

I thought this was really good except I didn't care for the spiced pecans in the dish and I thought it could have used way more chard because we finished off the chard (which paired very nicely with the risotto) but then still had half a pan of risotto left that I didn't really want to eat without the chard. Would at least double the chard next time! Maybe more than double!

By: Victoria
Posted: Dec 03, 2019
Diet: Original

We liked it! Subbed kale for chard and just toasted the pecans in a pan to save time. Buying pre-cooked squash really saved time too.

By: Lindsey
Posted: Dec 03, 2019
Diet: Original

I bought cubed butternut squash but the cubes were very large so I cut them smaller. I'm glad I did. They almost melted into the risotto. I didn't find anything weird about using an egg white and the nuts came out tasty. I only wish I'd have saved the yolk for the meal next week that uses one egg yolk. I enjoyed this meal. I'm not used to eating chard but it's very healthy so I was glad to serve and eat it.

By: Sandy
Posted: Dec 02, 2019
Diet: Original