This healthy brown rice risotto is so good! It’s satisfying as either a main dish or side with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, spinach, and sage.
I have yet another confession to make. I am a die hard risotto lover and can’t get enough of this starchy rich comfort food. I could seriously eat risotto any day, any way and just love experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, knowing that it will always turn out decadent and flavorful. Unfortunately, traditional risottos are usually laden with cheese and other high calorie add-ins. Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem – brown rice risotto!
I always made risotto with Arborio rice and at least a cup or two of parmesan in the past so it was truly a splurge, but recently I’ve made the switch over to short grain brown rice and will never look back. It takes a little longer and will have a heartier texture in the end, but I think it gives it more flavor and love the earthiness that brown rice adds. Factoring in the extra nutrients and minimal guilt that come along with the switch, I’m sure you’ll be a convert too.
Can we all agree that butternut squash and sage were pretty much made to go together? The butternut squash, sage, pecans, and mushrooms all meld together harmoniously in this satisfying comfort food makeover. Something about the fresh, herbiness of the sage and the sweetness of the squash complement each other perfectly.
It really doesn’t take too many ingredients either. In the picture here, I have a frozen 10 oz. package of butternut squash because this is all I had this time around, but if you can buy fresh squash, please do! The last time I made this I used a package of pre-cubed fresh squash and roasted it in the oven before adding it to the risotto and this was so much better than the frozen stuff. I have a love hate relationship with butternut squash because it can be so hard to peel raw. Luckily most grocery stores sell peeled and cut cubed squash these days though which makes cooking with it a breeze. Just make sure not to let the pre-cut stuff hang out in the fridge more than a few days or it will get slimy and gross.
This healthy brown rice risotto is so good! It's satisfying as either a main dish or side with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, spinach, and sage.
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided (or whatever kid of oil you prefer)
- 3/4 lb. butternut squash, cubed into 1 cm cubes
- 8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup sprouted short grain brown rice*
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works great)
- 6 cups broth (either chicken or vegetable)
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped sage
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, crushed*
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C).
Rub butternut squash with 1/2 T oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for about 10 minutes.
After squash have baked for 10 minutes, add mushrooms to same pan as squash (or a separate pan if there isn't room), rub with 1/2 T oil and place pan back in oven for about 15 minutes until squash and mushrooms are fully cooked.
Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add rice to pan with onion and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine to rice and stir until mostly absorbed.
Ladle 1/2 cup broth into pan with rice and stir until mostly absorbed. Continue adding broth half a cup at a time, stirring continuously. Repeat adding more broth every few minutes when rice has absorbed most of liquid (takes 20-30 minutes total).
Add spinach and sage to rice and stir 1 minute until spinach is wilted.
Remove from heat and add mushrooms, butternut squash, toasted walnuts, nutmeg, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
* If using regular, non-sprouted brown rice, you'll need to par-boil first. To do this, bring a medium pot of water to a boil with approximately 1 tsp. salt and add rice. Boil rice for 15 minutes (do not cover). Remove rice from heat and drain water using strainer. Complete the rest of the recipe as directed but only use 4 cups of broth instead of 6.
* Toast nuts by placing on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 5-6 minutes or stovetop by toasting in a dry pan over low-medium heat.