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A wonderful risotto recipe and other great healthy meal ideas that are heart healthy and easy to prepare


Delicious easy healthy recipes for anytime of the year

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Is losing weight your new year resolution? Look no further than here: our low calorie recipes are healthy and delicious!

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Risotto Recipe with Squash and Brown Rice

Risotto with Squash

From Italy

This risotto is a classic that can be served during any season. Risotto recipes usually use chicken stock and parmesan cheese, but this vegetarian risotto version with squash is a healthier and very tasty alternative.

On top of that, the brown rice we are using provides a more nutty and rounded flavor, while packing 6 times the B vitamins and many more nutrients than white rice has.

Also try this risotto with vegan Daiya cheese for even less calories and zero cholesterol!

Serves: 4-6 / Ready in: 1 hr

Great for: vegetarian (vegan)

Nutrients: complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium

Ingredients for risotto recipe:

  • 2 1/2 lbs winter squash (one medium butternut squash or 2-3 delicatas)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance margarine for vegan version)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup vegetarian hard cheese (soy parmesan or Daiya cheese for vegan version. For the vegetarian version we don't recommend Parmesan cheese, as that is mostly made with rennet from cows' stomachs)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and strings, and put them in a saucepan. Brush the squash flesh with butter, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Bake about 45 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool, then spoon the flesh into a bowl, discard the skins, and mash the squash until it is smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, add 3 cups of vegetable stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the seeds and strings, and heat over high heat until it boils. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Set a strainer over the bowl and pour the liquid through. Use a spoon to squish the strings and get all the liquid out. Measure the liquid back into the saucepan and add water until the total liquid equals 5 cups. Heat to a simmer, cover, and then turn off the heat.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter with olive oil until the butter melts and is no longer foamy. Add the onion and saute until it is soft, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  6. Stirring constantly, mix in the rice for the vegetarian risotto and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook about 2 minutes until absorbed. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and cook until absorbed, then add another cup and repeat until the rice is soft and creamy, with just a bit of bite. Add more hot water if needed to get the texture just right. This should take about 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed squash, cheese, sage, and the last tablespoon of butter. Mix until the butter is melted, then add nutmeg and additional salt to taste. Serve this risotto recipe immediately with parmesan or vegan cheese for sprinkling.

Go back to top of Vegan Risotto recipe page or take a look at our tasty Vegetarian Fried Rice