Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto- naturally gluten-free and full of flavor, this creamy risotto is the perfect meal for a date night in! (vegan)
Risotto is one of those meals that I love to eat but rarely make because it can be somewhat time consuming. If you haven’t noticed by now, time consuming isn’t really my thing. I aim to keep my recipes as quick and easy as possible.
Now you might be thinking I’m going to follow that up by telling you that I have some magical method that I’ve discovered to shorten the time for cooking risotto. Unfortunately no, that’s not the case. There are no shortcuts here. This recipe requires taking your time and enjoying the process. A rare occurrence that’s worthy of a romantic date night at home.
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto Ingredients
- Arborio Rice– I’ve made this with farro (which is not gluten-free!) and brown rice but arborio rice always takes the cake, in my opinion. It makes for the most luxurious and creamy texture. But if you want to sneak in some whole grains you can sub either of those in equal portions.
- Onion and Garlic- Finely chopped yellow onion and minced garlic make up the base of the risotto, adding plenty of savory flavor.
- Butternut Squash- I love the nuttiness of butternut squash in this recipe! I recommend using fresh squash (not frozen) and trying to cut it all the same size so that it cooks consistently. We’ll sauté it in the same pot as the risotto to keep dishes to a minimum.
- Kale- Lacinato (or dinosaur) kale is a must as it’s much milder than curly kale. Finely chopping it is key to having it meld with the other ingredients.
- White Wine- Can we all agree that wine is the best part of risotto? I recommend using a full-bodied, dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. You don’t want it to be sweet!
- Vegetable Broth- Using a flavorful broth is key to making this risotto taste delicious. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon.
- Sage- Dried sage pairs perfectly with butternut squash. Feel free to top it with fresh sage if you’re feeling extra fancy.
- Vegan Butter and Parmesan- To keep this recipe dairy-free I make it with vegan butter and shredded parmesan. Follow Your Heart is my favorite brand of vegan parmesan.
How to Make Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
Although this does take some time to prepare, it’s fairy simple to make and can be cooked in one pot. Cutting the squash and the kale in advance helps it come together much faster!
- First we’ll sauté the onion and garlic in melted vegan butter.
- Then we add the rice with the sage, squash and white wine. Stir and cook until it’s absorbed.
- From there we add the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring as we cook until each cup has absorbed before adding the next.
- Add the kale with the last cup and broth, continue to stir, and cook until the kale has wilted.
- Lastly, stir in the vegan butter and parmesan so that it’s extra creamy and delicious then serve warm and enjoy!
Paired with a glass of wine and some crusty bread, it makes for an incredible meal to share with someone you love. I hope you enjoy it!
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, or olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cups butternut squash , cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped lacinato kale
- ½ cup vegan parmesan, plus more for topping
- In a large pot, warm two tablespoons vegan butter (or oil) over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the squash and garlic then continue to cook for 7 minutes.
- To the pot, add the arborio rice and dried sage. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is almost completely absorbed. Add 1 cup of the broth, stir and cook until it has absorbed by the grain. Continue adding 1 cup of the broth at a time and cooking down until it’s been almost entirely absorbed between additional. Stir often to maintain a creamy texture. Add the kale with the last cup of broth and cook until wilted.
- When the rice is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter. Continue to stir until creamy. Taste test to see if you prefer more salt. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan, serve and enjoy!