Mushroom and Butternut Squash Risotto (VG, GF, oil-free)

Happy Sunday folks! Here we are on the final day of February. In Romania, spring officially starts on 1st March, so I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate us all for making it through the longest winter in the (twenty-first) century. It has not been easy – everyone I spoke to recently has been struggling to keep going in the past few weeks, as we get closer to reaching a year since Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Anyway, I am not looking to bring the mood down even further with this post – I’m hoping for the opposite, really!

The first couple of months of this year have been tough, however spring is almost here (in the northern hemisphere, that is!), vaccination programmes are being rolled out around the world and by the end of this year we will hopefully be able to hug our friends and family again. So here’s hoping that things will keep looking up! In the meantime, take it one day at a time, be kind to yourselves and to those around you, and savour the little things, like the sunshine, a hot cup of tea or coffee, a favourite song or a comforting plate of this mushroom and butternut squash risotto.

Mushroom and Butternut Squash Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A delicious and nourishing risotto for that extra comforting dish



  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 200g short grain brown rice
  • 200g closed cup / chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp mixed herbs (omit if not a fan)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • vegan Parm
  • pine nuts (optional)
  • rocket (optional)


  1. Add brown rice to boiling water, add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, mixed herbs and a pinch of salt and boil for 45-50minutes, adding additional water if needed
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  3. Soak porcini mushrooms in boiling water (min. 20 mins)
  4. Peel and chop the butternut squash, mix in spices (cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic powder) then pop in the oven for 40 minutes, turning it halfway
  5. Saute onion for a few minutes in a preheated non-stick saucepan; once golden, add the chopped garlic and stir, then after another minute add in the closed cup / chestnut mushrooms
  6. Drain and chop the porcini mushrooms, saving the liquid in a separate mug/bowl to add to the risotto later, then add them to the pan
  7. Puree half of the butternut squash, along with 1 tbsp tahini and 200ml almond milk
  8. Once the rice is almost done, drain (if needed) and add to the non-stick pan, mixing in the butternut squash puree and the remaining butternut squash, then stir in 2-3 tbsp of the vegan Parm
  9. Serve topped with a few rocket leaves, toasted pine nuts (if using), cracked black pepper and additional Parm