Healthy Cheesy Chicken Butternut Squash Risotto
This recipe for chicken butternut squash risotto is a creamy, cheesy and delicious way to cook rice! Imagine a healthy version of risotto, that’s cheesy and high in protein!
I learned how to make risotto when I first started food blogging back in 2007. I was attending a food bloggers conference, where we had a test kitchen and learned risotto. Before then, I had no idea the patience it takes to make delicious risotto.
Risotto vs Traditional Rice
There are some key differences between a regular dish of rice and risotto. Here’s a quick Youtube video that explains cooking classic risotto! Knowing these differences will help you prep your butternut squash risotto.
- Risotto usually starts with a sautéing or toasting of the rice in some oil.
- Instead of adding the liquid all at once to the rice and letting it slowly cook to absorb, you slowly add the liquid, while stirring constantly. It takes patience, but the result is AMAZING!!
- Risotto is usually made with chicken broth, chicken stock, or wine, rather than plain water. This gives it so much flavor!
- Risotto is cheesy! I add the cheese at the end of cooking, usually parmesan cheese.
- Risotto is usually made using Arborio rice. (see it on Amazon here)
How to make Risotto healthier
The changes I made to make this Chicken butternut squash risotto healthier was:
- I added chicken! Bringing up the protein content in any dish can help you stay fuller longer.
- Adding Butternut squash. Adding the butternut squash, like adding vegetables to a rice dish, allows more food for fewer calories. Plus, it increases the nutritional content of the dish.
- I used mostly chicken broth. Chicken broth has fewer calories than wine, so using mostly the broth brings down the calories.
- Added mushrooms- because I add mushrooms to everything! Mushrooms have very few calories, and give the risotto more volume.
Calculating Calories and Macros for Butternut Squash Risotto:
Using myfitnesspal, the calories and macros for one serving of this meal is
- Calories: 339kcal
- Carbohydrates: 54g
- Protein: 21g
- Fat: 5g
That’s it! With the protein and carbs, this butternut squash risotto is a complete meal. Give this dish a try, or add it to your meal plans, and let me know what you think.
Healthy Chicken Butternut Squash Risotto
- 200 grams butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white cooking wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 ounces cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 100 grams mushrooms
- Peel, deseed, and cube butternut squash. Spread onto cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray and cook at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or as long as it takes you to make the risotto.
- Start risotto by adding 1/2 cup Arborio rice to a pot. Add cooking wine and cook over medium high heat until absorbed.
- Begin adding chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time. Do not add more broth until the last broth has been absorbed. Continue adding small amounts while stirring, allowing broth to absorb with each addition. This should take 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese and cooked chicken.
- (optional, sauté mushrooms and add to risotto at the end.
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