Butternut squash orzo risotto with a healthy twist

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

This fall, students within the CHEF course invited Chef Stephanie from Ripe Cuisine to teach one of their classes. She shared with them a way to create a creamy, delicious risotto with fall flavors – without all the butter and extra calories. She swapped the usual white arborio rice for whole wheat orzo pasta to create a healthier dish.

She says that seasonal butternut squash is an excellent source of the antioxidant Vitamin C and fiber and provided her recipe for us to try at home.


  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil, such as grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast {optional}
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a small saucepan, heat vegetable broth, bringing it to a boil, and reducing to a simmer until ready to use.
  • Over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large deep sauté pan and sauté butternut squash, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, until tender and edges just caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat remaining tablespoon of oil, and sauté minced garlic and shallots until translucent, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add orzo and mix well, toasting pasta for a less than a minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add ½ cup warm vegetable broth to the pan and stir continuously until almost all the broth is absorbed.
  • Continue adding about ½ cup broth increments and stirring pasta until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes until the pasta is almost cooked through. Add back in the cooked butternut squash, and continue to cook 1-2 minutes more until the pasta is al dente. {Tip: You will still need to keeping adding the vegetable broth at this point while the and pasta finished cooking.} Season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, if using.

Looking for more healthy recipes and dietitian recommended dishes? Explore our recipe box.

0 thoughts on “Butternut squash orzo risotto with a healthy twist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *