Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto
is a terrific recipe for dinner with a tossed salad OR as a side dish for the holidays.
I can hear you saying ‘are you kidding? risotto needs too much attention’ to make it for a holiday dinner.
During one of my T.V. binge watching days while recuperating from my kitchen mishap I saw Giada making this recipe. I knew it would be one of those recipes you need on certain occasions.
I love risotto and when I heard Giada explaining her baked risotto I jumped at this recipe. It bakes in the oven, no continually stirring and adding liquid. I’ve made this a couple of times and I have a few tips on how easy it is to make for a special dinner.
Originally I made this baked risotto with bacon and spinach. It was so good I made it again adding butternut squash with the bacon, a delicious fall side dish.
TIPS FOR EARLY PREP: You can cook up the bacon, butternut squash and saute the onions in advance then set the pan aside until you are ready to bake/make the risotto.
You will only need to bake the risotto for 20-25 minutes, then set aside 10 minutes to finish the prep before you serve your risotto. You can judge when your dinner is to be served and start your risotto accordingly.
Preparing your other side dishes and getting them plated can be done while the risotto is baking. When the risotto is cooked all you need to do is stir in the bacon and vegetables, plate and serve.
Everyone is ready to be seated and you will then be ready to plate the risotto. Dinner is served.
- 4 slices bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup Arborio Rice
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth - Plus ¼-1/2 cup set aside
- juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- In a 4½ quart cast iron saucepan cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain on paper towel and then add in the butternut squash. Cook for 4-6 minutes just until tender. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
- Add in the chopped onions into the bacon fat and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the arborio rice and cook just a minute or two and then add in the 3 cups of broth and lemon juice. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cover the pan and place in a preheated 425 degree and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the pan from oven and place on the stove, add in the bacon and butternut squash and stir until blended.
- Taste for seasoning and if necessary you can add in the additional ¼ cup broth.
- Place in large bowl and serve. Add cheese ad desired.
Here are a couple of risotto recipes made in the traditional stove top way: