This vegetarian risotto recipe was created with the holidays (and your health) in mind. We lightened up the traditionally heavy Italian dish without compromising that rich creaminess everyone loves. The inclusion of butternut squash, quinoa and kale adds a nutritional boost we all can use this time of year.
Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto with Garlicky Greens
- 1 large butternut squash split lengthwise and seeded, or two smaller ones
- Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- ½ cup + 3 tbsp Chosen Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 8 sprigs thyme stemmed and finely chopped
- ¾ cup white quinoa
- ½ cup whole farro
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 bunch green or red kale ribs removed and coarsely chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray two small sheet pans with Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray. Slice the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Leave one half whole and then peel and dice the other half into small ¼ inch cubes. (If using two small butternut squash, roast 1 halved squash whole and unpeeled, and the other peeled and diced small into ¼ inch cubes).
Place the whole squash and cubed squash onto the sheet pans. Roast the halved squash, cut side down for 1 hour and the diced squash for 30 minutes. Remove each from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop the cooked squash from the roasted halve and place into a blender along with a ¼ cup of the avocado oil, blend on high until completely smooth and creamy. Remove the diced squash from the sheet pan and set aside.
To make the risotto
Add the vegetable stock to a medium sauce pot over medium heat, cover and keep hot. Heat 6 tablespoons of the avocado oil in a large, heavy bottomed sauté pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and season with salt and chili flakes.
Cook until translucent and glossy, adding the chopped thyme and stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the quinoa and farro to the onions and stir until the grains are evenly coated, about 2 minutes.
Add enough of the hot vegetable stock just to cover the grains and cook while stirring, until the stock is almost absorbed. Repeat with about 5 more additions of stock until the quinoa and farro are bound in a creamy consistency, about 15 minutes.
Fold in the cooked butternut squash puree and roasted diced squash to the risotto and heat until simmering. The mixture should be super creamy and thick, but still have a slightly loose consistency, if it’s too thick add remaining warm vegetable stock and stir to combine.
To cook the greens
Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon avocado oil and sauté the garlic until lightly golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped kale, season with salt and cook covered, stirring a few times, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Add the lemon juice to the risotto and give it a quick stir, fold in the grated Parmesan, and taste to adjust for seasonings with some salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Spoon onto plates and top with the garlicky kale. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
The risotto will keep well in an airtight container up to 5 days. Reheat to enjoy at a later time!