Creamy Kabocha Squash Risotto

To get into the autumn mood, Natalya and I decided we should try to cook something involving a pumpkin!  I found a recipe from the The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook Volume II called “Carol Field’s Creamy Pumpkin-Flavored Risotto” and decided to give it a go.

When I went to the grocery store, I decided to buy butternut squash instead of a pumpkin.  However, I actually had no idea what butternut squash looked like and ended up grabbing the first item off the squash table… which I later discovered to be Kabocha squash, which is a Japanese varietal of buttercup squash.  Confused?  I was!  There are tons of varieties of squash (pumpkins included) but essentially the squash we associate with the autumn season are winter squash.  Winter squash differ from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind.  Kabocha squash is commonly called Japanese pumpkin and has a sweet, moist flavor reminiscent of chestnuts.

This recipe was created by Carol Field, an expert on Italian cuisine, and it doesn’t require constant stirring and undivided attention like traditional risottos, such as the Mushroom Risotto I made last month.  I made a few tweaks to the original recipes as noted below.  I feel the amount of butter the recipe calls for (5T) is excessive; I think it’s best to almost cut it in half!  It’s still very flavorful without all that butter.

Don’t throw away the seeds — save them to make a quick and yummy snack: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Carol Field’s Creamy Pumpkin-Flavored Risotto

Yields: 4-6 servings


  • 14 oz pumpkin, or butternut squash, seeded (I used Kabocha squash)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (the recipe calls for 5 T but I think was wayyy too much)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped (I used leeks and shallots instead)
  • 3/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon carnaroli, vialone nano or Arboria rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or grana cheese


Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Cut the unpeeled squash into thick slices.

Add the squash slices to the boiling water.  Cook until a knife pierces the flesh easily.

Drain, peel and cut into small dice.  There should be about 3 cups.  If you have leftover cooked squash/pumpkin, mash it and use it in any recipe pumpkin puree is needed — such as these Easy Pumpkin Muffins!

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, or until it is limp and translucent.

Add the rice, the diced squash and the broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice absorbed the broth.

Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the parsley, the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the cheese.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

3 Responses to “Creamy Kabocha Squash Risotto”
  1. Louwana says:

    Made this today, but veganized it. It was wonderful! Had enough squash leftover to make bread and a whipped squash.

  2. Vasare says:

    oh that looks really tasty!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] In order to complement the flavors, I would serve Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto,  Creamy Kabocha Squash Risotto or simply Roasted Vegetables on the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: