Baked Risotto with Winter Squash Courtsey of: Courtesy of

This subtle, creamy side dish captures the flavors of autumn and pairs well with white, red, and Rosé wines.


  • 1 ½ lbs. winter squash
  • 1 lb. Arborio rice
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing dish
  • 1 medium onion, diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 medium leek, white and tender green part, diced, about 1 cup
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 C. squash broth (see note) or chicken broth, hot
  • 8 oz. Gruyère, grated, about 2 loosely packed cups
  • 1 C. fresh ricotta
  • 4 oz. Parmesan, grated, about 3/4 cup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 C. coarse dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Peel squash and cut into very thin slices, 1/16-inch thick. Then cut slices into flat 2-inch squares. (Reserve the scraps, including peels, to make squash stock if desired.)
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice and let simmer for 8 minutes so it is parcooked, with the grains still hard in the center.
  3. Drain rice in a colander, rinse with cold water, then spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. In a Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add leek and saffron, if using, and stir to coat. When leek is softened but still green, after 2 minutes, add squash, stir to coat and turn off heat. Season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Add parcooked rice, hot broth, Gruyère, ricotta, Parmesan and lemon zest, mixing gently with a wooden spoon.
  7. Pour rice mixture into a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs, pressing down to smooth surface.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Tent with foil if necessary. Garnish with parsley just before serving.

Pairs well with:

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