Autumn Squash Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano

A platter of squash risotto.

This post is sponsored by Parmigiano Reggiano and I have been compensated.  As always, all opinions are my own. #ad #theonlyparmesan

Have you nabbed those Honeynut squash at the grocery store yet?  They’re adorable! Smaller than their butternut cousins and sweeter too.  I like them because we are a two person household and one of these squash is the perfect serving size for us.  They’re also delicious in this Autumn Squash Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano.

A small butternut squash, shallots and apples.

One honeynut  squash has just the right yield for this risotto, but if you can’t find honeynut,  use about half of a butternut.  For more sweetness, I also like diced apple and a bit of shallot.

The rind of a block of Parmigiano Reggiano.

A good risotto should always have cheese and my pick is Parmigiano Reggiano.  The deep umami flavor that real Parmesan imparts is second to none.  How do you know you’re getting the real deal?  Check the rind.  The pinpoints actually spell “Parmigiano Reggiano”.  If you don’t see them, don’t buy it.

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The white crystals in the Parmesan cheese.

Another thing to look for are little whitish blooms within the cheese – those are amino acid crystals that form with the aging process.  It’s completely natural and actually adds a snappy little crunch to the cheese.

Diced shallots, apples and squash.

Before starting the risotto, It’s important to have all the components prepped.  You’ll also want to have a your hot broth at the ready.  Cook the squash in butter and oil until it just starts to get tender.  It shouldn’t take too long because they’re cut to such a small dice.

Arborio rice.

The apples and shallots come next, followed by the rice.  Arborio rice is a shorter, more oval shaped grain than regular rice and its what you need for authentic risotto.  Add the rice and about a cup of the hot broth, stirring constantly until most of the broth has been absorbed.

Stirring the squash risotto.

Continue adding broth in small increments, stirring constantly and only adding more broth as the previous addition has been nearly completely absorbed.  Crumbled sage added about halfway through cooking adds an earthiness to this dish.

grating the parmigiano reggiano cheese.

When the risotto is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese and a skosh of vermouth (optional).

Adding extra parmesan cheese to the squash risotto platter.

A little extra cheese for garnish and the risotto is ready.  We enjoy this with chicken or pork and a glass of vino.

Serving squash apple risotto with a sprinkle of parsley.

More rice side dishes you’ll love:

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Serving squash risotto with extra parmesan cheese.
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3.85 from 20 votes

Autumn Squash Apple Parmesan Risotto

A creamy fall-inspired side dish that’s great with pork chops or chicken.  Ready in about 30 minutes.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword risotto
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups fall squash such as butternut, honeynut or acorn 1/2″ dice
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 medium apple peeled, seeded, diced
  • ¾ cup arborio rice
  • 3-4 cups homemade vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano divided, finely grated
  • ¾ teaspoon dried sage crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons vermouth optional
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped (optional)


  • In a heavy pot over medium heat, add the butter and oil and heat until bubbly.  Stir in the diced squash and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Measure the vegetable broth in a microwaveable glass measuring cup and heat for 3-4 minutes until very hot.  Set aside.
  • Add the shallots and apples and stir for one minute.  Add the arborio rice, stirring to combine.  Add about 1 cup of the vegetable broth, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the liquid is nearly evaporated.  Add more broth about half a cup at a time, stirring constantly between each addition.
  • About 10 minutes into the simmering add the crumbled sage, salt and pepper.  Continue to simmer and stir, adding more broth when the previous addition has been nearly absorbed. 
  • It should take about 20-25 minutes of adding broth, stirring and simmering before the rice is cooked through.  When it’s done, stir in ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese and the vermouth (if using).  Taste for seasonings and adjust, adding additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Transfer risotto to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.  Serve.


YouTube video


Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1426mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 8210IU | Vitamin C: 19.1mg | Calcium: 337mg | Iron: 2.6mg

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Need an easy and impressive fall side dish? Autumn Squash Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano recipe goes great with pork and chicken. #ad #theonlyparmesan

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  1. 2 stars
    I tried doubling the recipe and ended up with fondue. My kids loved it because all we tasted was cheese. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t taste the apple either. Maybe I will try it again and just do the original serving size recipe and add more risotto/less cheese.

  2. This looks delicious and I have everything except sage. What other herbs can be substituted?

    1. You could try thyme or a small amount of rosemary(1/4-1/2 teaspoon), finely chopped.

  3. 5 stars
    This looks fantastic! Could this dish be made ahead of time? Does it do well in a buffet style dinner?

    1. Hi Cathy. Glad you like this. It’s risotto, so the longer it sits the thicker and gluey-er it will get. Best to serve this at the last minute.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh wow – now this is a fall risotto! I’m loving that honeynut squash, the colors and how deliciously creamy it looks. Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    Mmmm. Lisa, this squash Risotto looks so delicious! I love that cheese, don’t you? It certainly makes a difference having a superior cheese for these types of dishes. Wonderful recipe!!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m glad I’m not the only one smitten with honeynut squash. I can’t get over how cute they are, and they’re so convenient when you don’t need a mountain of squash!

  7. 4 stars
    I’ve never seen that type of squash around here—I feel very cheated right now. 😉 Squash risotto is my ultimate fall comfort dish and I definitely need to try your recipe.

    1. Rae, I definitely don’t want you to feel cheated. You can substitute butternut or acorn squash — just be sure to cube it into 1/2″ squares — that’s the key to getting the squash tender without falling apart.

  8. I love that you found honeynut squash. It is one of my favorites.

  9. 5 stars
    What a beautiful recipe. Acorn squash is my favorite and I can just imagine how delicious this is. Thanks!

    1. Acorn squash is great — but you need to find the honeynut squash — really nice.

  10. This sounds fabulous. What a great way to get in some good veggies and everything is always better with a little cheese 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    I love how creamy this dish is. We don’t make a lot of risotto at home but we make a lotf of rice so I bet this will be a favorite, too!

    1. There’s no cream in this dish — so it’s actually healthier than you might think. Enjoy!