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3 Ways to Cook Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Risotto

This filling risotto is the perfect side dish for a weekend meal. For the creamiest results, use hot chicken stock and patience. Stir the stock in gradually so the rice can absorb it.

Makes 8 servings


            1 large butternut squash (totaling 1½ to 2 pounds)

            1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

            4-5 cups low-sodium chicken stock

            3 Tbsp unsalted butter

            1 ounce minced ham, bacon, or pancetta

            1 large onion, minced

            2 cloves garlic, minced

            1 cup arborio rice

            1/2 cup white wine

            1/2 tsp saffron threads

            1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and seed squash, and cut it into cubes. Place squash in a large bowl, and toss with olive oil.
  3. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet or sheet pan.
  4. Roast until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  6. Meanwhile, in a 4-quart heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, melt butter and sauté ham, onion, and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add rice, and stir to coat each grain.
  7. To the rice mixture, add wine, saffron, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup to 1 cup of hot stock. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock a half-cup to a cup at a time, and stir until most of it is absorbed. The risotto is ready when the rice is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  8. When rice is cooked, add squash, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly, and serve.

Per serving: 244 calories, 8 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 233 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%

Walnut Herb-Glazed Butternut Squash

Starring some of the best flavors of fall, this glazed butternut squash makes a savory Thanksgiving or holiday feast side dish.

Makes 6 servings


            2 large butternut squashes (totaling 3-4 pounds)

            2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

            1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

            1/4 cup dark brown sugar

            2 shallots, chopped

            1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

            1/2 cup fresh, whole sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried)

            1/4 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Skin, seed, and cube squash, and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Toss squash with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and shallots.
  4. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet or sheet pan.
  5. Roast squash until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes, stirring once to ensure even cooking.
  6. Remove squash from oven. Toss gently in a serving dish with walnuts, sage leaves, salt, and pepper, and serve.

Per serving: 175 calories, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 104 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 54%

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