This butternut squash risotto recipe is a savory, good-for-you dinner that’s loaded with veggies and bits of sausage, all cooked together in the slow cooker. This dinner practically prepares itself and everyone will clamor for seconds.
This butternut squash and risotto recipe is one of my favorite crockpot meals. It’s so simple to throw together but it doesn’t taste like it! A few of my other go-to dinners in the slow cooker include enchilada soup, chicken taco bowls and honey chicken.
Have you ever made risotto? If you haven’t, you are in for a real treat. Risotto refers to an Italian method of cooking rice in broth until it’s super creamy and flavorful.
The only issue with risotto is that it typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours of methodical, watchful cooking. I’m not in the season of life for that right now, so I was thrilled to find out you could easily make slow cooker risotto.
It’s just as flavorful as its stove top counterpart, but way less stressful. And, of course, it’s basically hands-off since it cooks in the crockpot.
Benefits of butternut squash
Because I (sadly) can’t just live off creamy rice, this version has a healthy dose of sweet butternut squash added to it. Butternut squash risotto is one of the best flavor combinations I’ve tried.
Butternut squash also happens to be very low in calories but has a ton of health benefits with high levels of crucial nutrients such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Tips for making this slow cooker risotto
This dish is simple enough to make, but it’s always nice to have a few tips on hand in my opinion. I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and definitely have some insider’s tricks to share:
- Chop your butternut squash – you want them to be about 1-inch pieces so that they cook evenly.
- Use mild Italian sausage – to give this dish the best combination of flavors that aren’t too overpowering, I recommend mild Italian sausage. You’ll need to brown it in a pan before adding to the crockpot, otherwise, it will not cook properly.
- Add salt when using regular white wine. This slow cooker risotto recipe can be prepared with white cooking wine or regular white table wine. If you opt for regular wine, you’ll need to add salt to taste to the recipe at the end.
- Serve with parmesan. It tastes best to me with a couple of teaspoons of cheese added after plating.
More sausage recipes:
- Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Easy Lasagna Soup
- Creamy Rigatoni
- Baked Spaghetti
- Kielbasa Puffs
Slow Cooker Risotto
- 3 cups butternut squash , chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine , I used cooking wine*
- 2 cups arborio rice (14 ounces)
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 cups baby spinach
- salt and pepper
For serving: More parmesan if desired
- Place chopped butternut squash into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Cover and turn to high.
- In a large skillet, crumble and brown the sausage with 3 Tablespoons of water over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion. Remove the sausage to the slow cooker and cover.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan over medium heat (keep any drippings). When the butter is hot, add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and continue to cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the risotto and cook for another 2 minutes, until most of the wine has absorbed.
- Add the chicken broth 2 teaspoons of salt, and stir until it is warm.
- Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and stir it all together. Cover and let cook on high for 30 minutes. Stir the pot, then cover for another 30 minutes. Stir again and check to see if the risotto is tender. If not, cook for another 15-20 minutes.
- When the risotto is tender, turn off the slow cooker and add 2 Tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup Parmesan, and 3-4 cups spinach. Stir together and let sit until the spinach wilts. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, and serve with fresh parmesan.
Originally written by Karen from The Food Charlatan for I Heart Naptime.