Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash

This was the first time I ever made risotto (the instructions on the arborio rice package really came through!) While I was stirring for 25 minutes, I thought “this is the last time I’ll ever make risotto.” But when we finished eating all of it, I quickly started thinking “man, I need to make risotto again asap.” Gahhh! But honestly, you need to just set up whatever show you’re binge watching on your computer or TV or ipad, get a stool and commit to stirring on and off for 25 minutes, because this Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is that worth it! And guess what? That’s the “hardest” part of the recipe, and there’s something so oddly satisfying about lazily pouring and stirring, pouring and stirring as the arborio rice slowly gets creamier and thicker, and you make rice magic in your kitchen.

Before starting the stir process, I cut the acorn squash in half, removed the seeds, drizzled on some olive oil and a little brown sugar, then seasoned them with salt and pepper.  I popped them in the oven to get nice and toasty. At that point, you can literally just grab a spoon and dig in as is. And hey, that’s totally acceptable!

This Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash is a creamy and hearty vegetarian fall side dish that pairs very well with baked chicken or fish.


But once you stuff the roasted and slightly caramelized acorn squash with the parmesan risotto, you’ll instantly change the course of your dinner outlook! Now you just have to think of the perfect protein to go along with it so you resist eating all the risotto straight from the pot >> serving sizes my friends…that’s what makes creamy carbs totally acceptable!


This Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash is a creamy and hearty vegetarian fall side dish that pairs very well with baked chicken or fish.

I cut each half in half to demonstrate my excellent progress in portion control. But I didn’t skimp out on the protein. I sauteed some chicken breast to go along with this. It pairs so wonderfully with so many proteins or even just a big salad.

This Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash is a creamy and hearty vegetarian fall side dish that pairs very well with baked chicken or fish.

However you enjoy it, enjoy it! You earned this one!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved through the stem and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Basil (for garnish), if desired
  • Crushed red pepper (for garnish), if desired

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper . Set the acorn squash halves cut-side up in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until they are fork-tender and the edges look roasted and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onions, and saute for about 2 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat with butter for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until all the liquid is absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup. I found it best to add 1/2 cup of broth every 4 minutes until all the broth is done and the rice becomes creamy. Then, add the Parmesan cheese, stir to incorporate, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. You may add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth if you feel that the mixture is too dry at this point.
  3. Once you reach the desired consistency, stuff the roasted squash halves with the Parmesan risotto. Then, garnish with the basil and crushed red pepper, if you desire. Serve as a side course with protein of choice.
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