Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto

35 minutes


4 servings

Rich, creamy risotto that’s better for you and easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner? Yes, please! My lightened up version uses quick cooking orzo plus sweet roasted butternut squash for a wonderful flavor boost. This dish is satisfying on its own or makes an excellent side, too.

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2 cups butternut squash cubed into 1/2-3/4" pieces
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup chicken broth low sodium, fat free
1 1/2 cup water
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons half and half
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated


Preheat oven to 425. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Toss squash with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and spread in a single layer on sheet.
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Roast for 20-25 minutes (stirring halfway through), until tender and lightly browned.
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Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and stir constantly until it begins to smell toasty (approximately 3 minutes).
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Add chicken broth, water, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for approximately 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed.
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Remove thyme sprigs, stir in half and half, cheese, and roasted squash. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve.
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