Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Risotto with Balsamic Glaze Recipe

butternut squash risotto
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Calories: 265

This recipe was originally published in 2015.

Gluten-Free Risotto, a dish featuring gluten-free rice cooked in broth, is a great gift that Italy gave to the world. In this recipe, simple gluten-free medium-grain rice is dressed up with seasonal ingredients and a rich broth to bring out extraordinary flavor.

Recipe by contributing chef Mary Capone, creator of Bella Gluten Free allergy-friendly baking mixes and author of The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook (The Wheat Free Gourmet Press).

Yields 6 servings


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1pound)
  • 4–5 cups gluten-free vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ cup Arborio rice, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, optional
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter or dairy-free butter alternative


1Trim stem, peel and cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and fibrous center. Quarter each half and then cut each piece into 1/8-inch-thin slices.

2Heat broth in a small saucepan over low heat. Depending on the broth used, you may want to add 1 teaspoon salt. (Commercial broth may have enough salt, whereas homemade broth might need more.) Keep it warm but not boiling.

3In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash, thyme and parsley and cover with 1 scant cup water. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until squash is soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Add peas and mushrooms and simmer about 3 minutes.

4Add rice and 1 cup hot broth mixture to vegetable pot. Simmer and stir frequently until rice has absorbed broth, about 4 minutes. Add another cup of broth and repeat, stirring until broth is absorbed. If your rice is done before you use up the broth, do not add the rest. If your rice is too firm and you need more broth, add a little at a time. Add Parmesan cheese, if desired, before you add the last of the broth. If you run out of broth, use hot water. This process should take 20 to 25 minutes.

5In small saucepan, add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a light boil and whisk frequently, about 5 minutes. Sauce will begin to thicken and resemble a syrup, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from stove and keep warm.

6When rice is ready, remove risotto pan from heat and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.

7Stir in butter. Drizzle with warm balsamic vinegar glaze. Serve immediately.

6 servings contains 265 calories, 9g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 492mg sodium, 45g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 4g protein.