Risotto is one of my all time favorite dishes to make simply because of its versatility and comforting nature. There’s nothing better than digging into a bowl of creamy risotto after a long day. It’s just one of those dishes I find impossible to get sick of. There’s endless flavor possibilities when it comes to risotto. It truly is one of the best bases to build off from.
This rendition of risotto is an homage to fall, full of sweet butternut squash, smoky bacon and sweet, creamy Gouda. This recipe is a beautiful balance of textures and flavors that truly complement one another. I chose to roast the butternut squash before adding it to the risotto to give it some texture and body so that it didn’t disintegrate into the risotto. The bacon adds just the right amount of chew and crispness to offset the creamy risotto.
The whole dish comes together in amount 40 minutes, with only 30 minutes of cooking time. The risotto base is cooked while the butternut squash roasts so that when both are done they can be combined together. It’s super easy and comes together quickly.
As always, I am a huge proponent of adding or omitting ingredients based on your own creativity and tastes. If you like Parmesan more than Gouda substitute it! If you want to add different seasonings, do it! If you don’t want bacon in it, leave it out! You are the boss of your own kitchen and each recipe can be tailored to your likings (even though this version is crazy delicious).
I’m super confident that this butternut squash, bacon and Gouda risotto is going to be your new go-to comfort food meal this fall!
Butternut Squash, Bacon and Gouda Risotto
- 3 Cups Butternut Squash diced
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Cup Arborio Rice
- 32 Oz Vegetable Stock
- 3/4 Cup Dry White Wine (I used chardonnay)
- 2 Strips Bacon diced
- 2 Tbsp Shallots minced
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Cup Gouda shredded
- 2 Tsp Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°
- Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds using a spoon. Dice the peeled squash until you have 3 cups diced. Place the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast the squash for 25 minutes.
- While the squash cooks, heat the vegetable stock on low heat in a small saucepan on the stove.
- In a dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat add the bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon has crisped. Add the shallots and 1 tbsp of butter. Cook until the shallots are translucent and add 1 cup arborio rice and 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook for 1 minute until the rice has toasted. Next add the white wine and stir. Once the wine has reduced and been absorbed add a few ladles of the warm vegetable stock stirring continuously. Repeat this process until all of the stock has been added and the rice is tender and creamy. Turn off the heat and add the remaining tbsp of butter, 1 cup of freshly shredded gouda, 2 tsp fresh thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Finish by adding the roasted squash and mixing thoroughly. Enjoy!