Butternut and Pesto Risotto

This recipe is part of my Cheaper than a Ready Meal series.

Okay guys and girls – I reckon this is probably the food they serve in Heaven. This risotto is INCREDIBLE. Using pesto is a great little hack for so many meals – you get all the flavour of the pounded up nuts, herbs, cheese and seasoning as well as a nice bit of oil to bring it altogether. Along with the butternut squash, and an extra bit of goodness from the spinach, you’ve got yourself something pretty wonderful. My version is homemade, full of the good stuff and costs just £1.85 compared to the £2.50 ready meal. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and tastes even better knowing that you’ve made it yourself. Consider this recipe my gift to you!IMG_6839.jpgIngredients


  1. Add the olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Throw in the onion and butternut squash, season with salt and pepper and gently fry for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Make sure not to brown the veg; you just want to soften and sweeten it beautifully.
  2. Bring the heat up a little and add the risotto rice. Fry for another minute.
  3. Bit by bit, add the stock to the rice. Use a wooden spoon to constantly stir the rice, massaging each grain against each other to ooze out the starch. Keep adding the stock and stirring for around 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. A few minutes before the rice is perfect, stir through the vibrant pesto. It will smell incredible!
  4. When the rice is nearing perfection, stir through the spinach and parmesan. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. This is the secret to getting a really creamy texture. Add a final drop of stock if you need to loosen it a little and serve up! Finish with a cheeky bit of parmesan and another crack of black pepper.

Here’s an idea…

This risotto works amazingly with butternut squash, but can work with more or less any veg you like. Try with sweet potato, mushroom or peas. Pesto will work its magic with any of these, and many more too!


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