clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto (Vegan + Paleo) - No Rice Needed!

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Creamy Butternut Squash "Risotto" is plant-based, grain-free, and filled with creamy texture and all the flavor you're craving this season.


  • 1 small (~ 2 pounds) butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or vegan butter)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup homemade vegan cashew cream. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.
  • optional garnish: vegan Parmesan cheese,  fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely diced


  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the butternut squash.  Use a knife to cut off the ends of the squash.  Slice the bulb (thicker part) off and cut the bulb in half to expose the seeds.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and guts from the bulb leaving just the flesh behind.  Cut the butternut squash flesh into 1-inch chunks.  Repeat with the peeled shaft of the butternut squash as well (this is the longer thinner end of the squash).  A two pound squash should yield ~ 5 cups of chopped butternut squash cubes.
  2. Place 2.5 cups of chopped butternut squash in a 7-cup food processor and process for 15 seconds so it resembles rice.  Empty the rice out of the processor and set aside to rice the second batch of butternut squash cubes.  Process again for 15 seconds until the butternut squash resembles rice.
  3. Heat olive oil (or vegan butter if using) in a 12-inch non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper and sauté until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.  Add all of the riced butternut squash and one cup of water and stir well to combine.
  4. Sauté, stirring frequently, uncovered over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the water is fully absorbed and the "rice" is soft.  Add a little more water if the "rice" needs more time to soften.
  5. Turn off your burner, add the cashew cream and stir well to combine.  Serve immediately while hot.  Garnish with vegan Parmesan cheese and/or parsley if desired.
  6. Store leftovers once fully cooled to room temperature in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.  Reheat on the stovetop and add more liquid to make it creamy if needed.


No-waste tip: save the butternut squash seeds and roast them!  Separate the seeds from the flesh in a bowl of water using your hands.  The seeds will float to the top.  Scoop them out with a ladle and allow them to fully dry before roasting.  I like to toss with avocado oil, maple sugar and salt.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Food Processor

Keywords: butternut squash risotto