Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto

While winter squash season is still in full swing, enjoy Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto – a comforting and easy alternative to traditional risotto.
Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Belonging to a CSA is an interesting adventure sometimes. During the summer months I always know what pops up in my box and figure out a way to use it.  The winter CSA share on the other hand can be a guessing game. For example sometimes you end up with what looks like black rocks (black radishes) or unidentifiable root vegetables.

My new motto is if I can’t identify it I’m going to roast it until tender and crisp and hope it tastes good.   Honestly though, I love roasting all sorts of winter vegetables from brussels sprouts to broccoli and cauliflower to winter squash.   It’s just so easy to cube, season, drizzle with olive oil and stick in the oven.  45 minutes to an hour later something wonderful is sitting on your plate.

Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Speaking of wonderful things, that’s how I feel about orzo risotto. I’m a sucker for a good risotto but sometimes I don’t have the energy after a long day to sit at the stove for 30 minutes and stir.  Orzo risotto gives you that great creamy texture but cooks up in less time and with less stirring.

I paired it with butternut squash which  you guessed was roasted, tender leeks and fresh thyme for a nice pop of color and flavor.

Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto
Save Recipe


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dried orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 leek, green parts removed and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and just begins to crisp and brown at the edges.
  3. Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.
  4. Place the orzo back in the pot and add the stock. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Stirring occasionally cook the orzo for 15-20 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed.
  5. In a small sauté pan over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the leeks. Sauté until tender about 5-7 minutes and remove from heat.
  6. Once all the liquid has been absorbed by the orzo mix in the sautéed leeks, the last tablespoon of butter, thyme and roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  7. Serve immediately.
Recipe Type: Side, Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

20 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto

  1. Toni | Boulder Locavore

    I simply love this dish. It’s gorgeous and the ingredients sound so flavorful. I too have a summer and winter CSA and agree on the mystery element of it however I have learned more about vegetables I have never heard of due to that too!

    1. Susan Palmer

      Thanks Toni. I agree about learning more about vegetables. We’ve been doing it for years and it completely expanded my horizon on veg I would never buy but was forced to eat because it was at home and I didn’t want to waste it.

  2. Courtney @ Neighborfood

    Roasting is always a good plan. I wish I would have done that more often when we had our CSA. I always struggled with eggplant. We would get it in droves and I don’t really like it, but I think roasting would have made it edible. This looks so delicious, and it’s just what I want to eat this time of year. Pinning!

    1. Susan Palmer

      I hear that on eggplant. I like it in small doses but not week after week. Making eggplant parm, and roasting it were always the best way to get through a lot.

  3. Joanne

    Everything is made better with roasting so it is definitely a worthwhile technique when dealing with new veggies! And yay for orzo risotto! Some days I think I like it better than arborio risotto. It’s just so much easier!

  4. Pingback: Healthy Winter Vegetables Recipe Round Up | Food Done Light

  5. Jo

    I just tried this recipe. It was delicious. We didn’t have any leeks though. But i think that adding pine nuts, bacon and feta cheese would give it more flavour and texture 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *