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butternut squash risotto with sage and bacon on a white plate

Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon, Maple and Sage

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
This risotto recipe combines some of the best flavors of fall including butter nut squash, bacon, maple and sage to create a unique and flavorful meal.
5 from 2 votes


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced sage
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with one tablespoon olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, puree in a blender or food processor.
  • In a medium saucepan set over low heat, simmer the chicken broth.
  • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove bacon from pan and drain the bacon fat from pan.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add shallots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds then add the nutmeg and sage.
  • Add the rice and the wine and stir with a wooden spoon until the wine is mostly absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the rice mixture and stir until absorbed. Repeat with 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is al-dente, stirring well after each addition. You may or may not use all of the broth.
  • Mix in the squash puree, maple syrup and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.


  • Arborio Rice - This is widely available in US grocery stores. Other types of risotto rice include Carnaroli, Vialone, and Baldo, which are not easily available.
  • Bacon - You can omit the bacon to make this vegetarian.
  • Butternut Squash - You can use another type of winter squash, if desired. Sugar pumpkin and acorn squash taste great with this recipe too. Use up to one cup of pumpkin puree instead of the butternut squash, if desired. 
  • Shallot - You can use finely diced yellow onion instead.
  • White Wine - Use a quality drinkable wine for risotto. You can substitute the wine for broth.
  • Maple Syrup - You can omit the maple syrup, if desired.
  • Ground Nutmeg - This adds a very subtle flavor, but you can omit if needed.
  • Parmesan Cheese - Always use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best texture and flavor.
  • Sage - Use fresh sage for the best flavor. You can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of dried sage instead of fresh.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. When reheating, you can add a small amount of broth to make it creamier and smoother.
  • We do not recommend freezing risotto.


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 501kcal, Carbohydrates: 78g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 1522mg, Potassium: 593mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 13824IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 134mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.