Butternut Squash & Chorizo Risotto is an excellent example of another quick and easy midweek dinner. I simply love risotto and how versatile it is. It allows you to play with different ingredients to create stunning yet uncomplicated meals. That's exactly what all of us need at the end of busy working day.
You might have figured out by now that I'm partial to a bit of butternut squash (Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Veggie Wellington) and chorizo (Easy Prawn & Chorizo Cheat's Paella) or both at the same time (Easy Butternut Squash & Chorizo Gnocchi). They are both staples in my kitchen and I always have them to hand. They are excellent additions to many different dishes as well as being stars in their own right. My secret ingredient in this risotto is smoked paprika which hand in hand with chorizo gives this traditionally Italian dish a Spanish feel.
In this recipe I specified 2 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika which I believe gives a little bit of smokiness without overpowering the risotto. However, I tend to sprinkle a tad more on my portion after plating up but that's down to your own personal preference.
Practical tips and serving suggestions
For this recipe we need butternut squash in a form of a rough mash (no perfectly smooth puree required here). I usually prepare it by roasting peeled & cubed squash in 180°C/350F for about 25min until tender. Another (and perhaps less laborious) way of doing it is to roast the entire squash (skin and all) in 180°C/350F oven for 1.5 hrs. All you need to do then is cut it open and scoop out all the lovely mushy flesh discarding the seeds. Whichever way you choose, try and plan ahead to make it work for you during the busy week.
If, however, planning ahead is not an option, you can still prepare this lovely meal in next to no time by multitasking! That's right! You can start on your risotto whilst butternut squash is roasting (peeled and cubed version not the entire squash) to save yourself good 20 minutes and making this risotto a true midweek meal option!
This risotto is a meal in itself but I tend to serve it with some seasonal veg on the side. Steamed Cavolo Nero (Black Kale) is particularly delicious here.
I love using homemade chicken stock in my risottos! Feel free to check out my guide on How To Make Chicken Stock in Instant Pot (with instructions for hob/stovetop users too). You will never look back!
Butternut Squash & Chorizo Risotto
- 1 butternut squash approx 1kg (2lbs) unpeeled weight
- 300 g short grain risotto rice arborio or other
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
- 30 g unsalted butter plus a little extra just before serving (optional)
- 30-40 g parmesan grated
- 2 tsp (heaped) smoked paprika
- 100-125 g chorizo sausage I use dried chorizo for this dish but you can use fresh chorizo if you prefer
- 1 ltr hot chicken or vegetable stock from cube is fine
- small bunch of parsley
- olive oil, salt & pepper
- Start by preparing butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4. Peel your butternut squash, deseed it and cut into chunks. Pop it on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil with a glug of oil (make sure all the pieces are evenly coated) and roast for approx 20-25 min until tender. Once roasted, you should be able to mash it into the rough puree with the fork. Set aside.
- In the meantime melt butter in the pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring and not letting garlic to burn as it will turn bitter.
- While onion is cooking, skin and slice the chorizo. Fry it gently in a dry frying pan until it releases all the beautiful oils. Set aside.
- Add rice to the onion mix and stir well for 1 minute. Slowly start adding your hot stock ladle at a time. Altogether it should take you approx 15-17 min to achieve perfect consistency of risotto. It should be nice and plump and still have tiny bit of "bite" to it (be slightly al dente). You should use up all your stock.
- Add your mashed up butternut squash, smoked paprika and chorizo with all the released oils and stir well, making sure they coat the rice nicely. Adjust seasoning as per your preferences.
- Add grated parmesan and some more butter (optional )and mix these in gently. Let your risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy with some extra parmesan and a side of seasonal veg.
- Nutritional information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
- Feel free to sprinkle some extra smoked paprika on your portion after plating up.
- To save yourself some time, consider roasting butternut squash ahead of time or (if roasting it peeled & cubed) start on your risotto at the same time as squash goes into the preheated oven. You will save yourself good 20 min from the total time it take to make this dish making it truly quick. (Total preparation time of this recipe is based on butternut squash being roasted ahead of time or simultaneously with risotto).
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***This recipe has its debut on the blog in March 2017 and has been given facelift with updated photographs in October 2018.***