Recipe: Vegetarian Butternut Squash Risotto With Roasted Kale

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and the kickoff to Vegetarian Awareness Month! What better way to celebrate than with a comforting and hearty vegetarian meal?

This risotto is extremely creamy, so it feels indulgent, without being so. The creaminess comes from the vegetable stock the rice is cooked in as well as from pureed butternut squash, which is stirred in to the dish. Butternut squash is high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. While the risotto can be eaten plain, a pile of roasted kale on top adds even more nutrients and a nice crunch.

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Risotto With Roasted Kale


  • 2 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4-6 cups warm vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the kale leaves on a baking sheet, in a single layer.
  3. Bake the kale for approximately 5 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place the cubed butternut squash on another baking sheet with one tablespoon of the olive oil.
  5. Bake the squash for approximately 20 minutes, turning once, until cooked all the way through, and the edges are lightly browned. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
  6. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
  7. Add the shallot to the pan, and cook, stirring for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the olive oil.
  9. If using the wine, pour it into the pan and stir. If not, add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice and stir. Allow the liquid to cook down for approximately 5 minutes, before adding another 2 full ladles of stock.
  10. Continue adding stock to the pan 2 ladles at a time, stirring intermittently, until the rice is cooked through.
  11. As the rice is cooking, add half of your cooked squash to a food processor with the Parmesan cheese, and puree until smooth.
  12. When the rice is cooked through, remove your saucepan from the heat. Stir in the squash and cheese mixture.
  13. Serve the risotto with a handful of crispy kale on top.

What are your favorite vegetarian recipes?