Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto

Bacon makes everything better, including this risotto. As I've said in some of my previous posts, I've been trying to be less wasteful with food and have had to get creative in the kitchen in order to use up some ingredients that end up in my fridge at the end of the week. 

I actually just finished putting together a lasagna using leftover homemade tomato sauce, kale and ricotta cheese. I'll be posting that recipe soon!

The great thing about risotto is that you can really add any ingredients that you want to it. The arborio rice is a great base to handle many different flavors and ingredients. I had leftover bacon, butternut squash and mushrooms that I threw into this risotto recipe.

I urge you to try to start using up those random ingredients that end up in your fridge at the end of the week. You can make this risotto or use the basic risotto base recipe and add your own leftover ingredients to it. Carrots, mushrooms, squashes, red peppers, or really any vegetable all work and taste great in risotto.

This risotto is so rich in flavor and is absolutely delicious. This is a recipe that definitely helps me get through these endless snowstorms here in Rhode Island. It is cozy and warm and very filling. I can't wait until I leftover bacon and butternut so that I can make this again. I hope you enjoy!

Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto:

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 container mushrooms, sliced
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the butternut squash with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp and transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  3. Add the vegetable broth to a medium saucepan and keep warm on low heat.
  4. In a large pan or pot heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add in the rice and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add in the white wine and cook until it has almost completely evaporated. Continually add 1/4 cup of the warm vegetable broth to the rice and stir until the liquid evaporates. Continue this process until all of the broth is used.
  6. Once the broth is used up add the bacon and butternut squash to the risotto and stir to combine. Stir in the parmesan cheese, transfer to serving bowls and serve.


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