This Butternut Squash Risotto with Candied Bacon is flavorful and pretty simple to make. The added flavor from the squash and bacon makes this the perfect fall recipe.
Risotto is one of those dishes that many people are scared to cook, but love ordering at a restaurant. I am here to tell you that making risotto at home is not as scary as you’d think. It’s actually quite simple and just as delicious as coming from a fancy restaurant. I love Risotto, I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. But sometimes I do hate cooking it because it takes a little while to make but it’s totally worth it.
When I first started making risotto I would literally stand in the kitchen and watch the pan and stir like a crazy person haha. I was convinced that I was going to screw it up and it’d turn out all clumpy, stick to the bottom and burn. But once you get the hang of making it you don’t really have to watch it like a hawk. You do want to make sure you are stirring often to activate the scratch for that extra creaminess.
WHAT IS ARBORIO RICE?
Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice that is oval in shape. The grains are approximately a quarter of an inch long and typically pearly white in color. Much starchier than other types of rice, arborio rice has the ability to absorb more water when compared to other types of rice without becoming mushy. This is what makes risotto so creamy and yummy!
TIPS FOR MAKING RISOTTO
- Never rinse Arborio rice before cooking! The starch from the rice is important when making risotto and rinsing with water would be very counterproductive.
- The rice needs to be stirred frequently to draw the starch from the rice which will make it creamy without adding any milk or cream.
- Keep the stock warm while cooking the risotto! Using the warm stock and adding it a little at a time helps keep the risotto creamy.
- Adding cold chicken stock to the hot pan will cool everything down and slow down the cooking process.
- Don’t add the stock all at once! Follow the recipe and wait until the rice absorbs all the stock then add some more.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Candied Bacon
- 2½-3 Cups Butternut squash
- 6-8 Slices Bacon
- Brown Sugar, as needed
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Canola oil, add more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper, as needed
- Chili powder, as needed
- Garlic powder, as needed
- ½ Cup Yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Cup Arborio rice
- 4-6 Cups Warm chicken stock, low sodium
- ¼ Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ Cup White wine
- Spray a sheet pan with non stick cooking spray.
- Assemble bacon on a sheet tray and sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake until bacon is cooked through. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter and canola oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add squash and season with kosher salt, black pepper, and chili powder.
- Continue to cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula, until squash is tender but still has its shape. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add more butter to the pan to melt and add the onion, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and tender.
- Stir in the Arborio rice, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
- Then add wine and cook until the alcohol has reduced down.
- Add ¼ cup of the warm chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir constantly until all stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all of the stock has been used and rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Once the risotto has reached your desired consistency remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, garlic powder candied bacon and squash. Set aside and keep warm. Enjoy!