Creamy risotto with winter squash and roasted onion salad

A risotto recipe that can warm you up on the coldest of winter nights

Simple risotto and winter squash recipe
photo courtesy of Jennifer Friesen.

Hot, thick and creamy risotto is especially comforting when it's cold out. The best part is, there are so many things you can add to the basic recipe. Here, I've added roasted squash that's dressed with a chili honey vinaigrette to give it a kick and some sweetness.

Creamy risotto

4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups 10% (half-and-half) cream
1 tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups arborio rice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Place broth and cream in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and keep hot on stove.

Heat oil in a large, deep pan on medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and cook until onions begin to turn golden, approximately 10 minutes. If onion starts browning too quickly, add a splash of water or stock to the pan.

Add butter to pan. Once melted, add rice, stir well, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 1 minute.

Ladle 1 cup of broth and cream mixture into pan. Stirring continuously, let cook until almost completely absorbed by rice. Ladle more hot liquid into the pan and continue to stir. Continue the process of ladling and stirring until the rice has become thick and creamy with a slight al dente bite, about 25 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm on stove until ready to serve.



1 acorn squash, halved, gutted and 1/2" sliced
1 red onion, cut into big chunks
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place squash and onion on a large baking tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 18 minutes or until squash is fork tender and onion has begun to caramelize.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then chop vegetables into approximately 1/2" pieces. Place in a medium bowl and reserve.

Chili honey vinaigrette

2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour vinaigrette overtop of roasted vegetables and toss gently by hand or with a large spoon until evenly coated.

To serve, divide risotto between 6 to 8 small bowls or ramekins and top each with 2 generous spoonfuls of the warm squash salad.

Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time:
10 minutes
Cook Time:
35 minutes