Jan Buhrman's Squash Risotto - Rancho La Puerta
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Jan Buhrman’s Squash Risotto

Add a little flair to your family meals this fall with Jan Buhrman’s Squash Risotto. This recipe brings out the flavorful adventure that a great risotto should deliver to any meal with a dash of curry or raz el hanout.

Jan says, “Sunshine Kabocha Squash was roasted and used for the pureed squash. Skip the bread croutons when you make this and roast your own variation using sweet dumpling squash, sliced and roasted. Adding roasted Pepitas will give you a seasonal-nutty crunch.” You can join her Healthiest Thanksgiving Ever virtual class over on her website.


6 cups cooked squash, divided – 1 squash (2 pounds) 3 cups mashed + 3 cups cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

favorite spices (curry or raz el hanout for me)

½ cup water

6 cups rich vegetables stock, preferably homemade

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup minced shallots (4 large)

1 ½ cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)

½ cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) – see recipe below

fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste

Directions for the Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. To make 6 cups of squash: cut the squash in half on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Now add your favorite spice: try curry, or Jan’s version with raz el hanout.
  3. Pour a ½ cup of water on the sheet pan to steam the squash just a bit. Depending on the size of the squash, roasting will take 25 to 60 minutes. Cook until very tender.
  4. Scoop out seeds (and feed to the birds!) then scoop the remaining flesh. You can puree half the squash with a little of the butter in a food processor, or mash it by hand with a masher or the back of a fork.
  5. Cube the remaining three cups of squash.
  6. Heat the stock in a saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
  7. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.
  8. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.
  9. Add white wine and cook for 4 minutes.
  10. Add 2 full ladles of stock to rice plus the saffron, 2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  11. Stir, and continue cooking until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring often.
  12. Cook until the mixture seems a little dry and add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes.
  13. Just before serving and just as it is finished, fold in the 3 cups puree and mix well. Remove from the heat, add Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  14. Top with roasted squash croutons. Sprinkle on the roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme, and serve.


  1. Place the mass of pumpkin seeds in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds from everything else.
  2. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.
  3. Bring the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
  4.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or thick baking sheet with olive oil, about a tablespoon or so.
  5. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer, and toss them a bit of olive oil to coat them with the oil on the pan. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-15 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Watch carefully, most seeds take about 7 minutes to roast.

Learn more about Jan and The Kitchen Porch or join her virtual cooking class, The Healthiest Thanksgiving Ever. You can cook with her in person when she teaches at our cooking school the week of March 3, 2021.

Download a PDF of this recipe here: Jan Buhrman’s Squash Risotto