For the lifestyle you want

At just 171 calories per portion, this super-healthy Butternut Squash Risotto is a dieter’s dream dish

This recipe can be adapted for vegetarians/vegans by substituting veggie stock/cubes for the chicken stock and coconut cream for the dairy cream.

Vegan cheese can also be used instead of the Asiago, although, in my opinion, unless you’ve found a great tasting vegan cheese, I’d leave it out, this dish is flavoursome without it. You could always add garlic to give it some extra pow!

But, more importantly, it’s only 171 calories a portion. Hurrah!

You could use Basmati (low GI) or wholegrain organic rice, which won’t make it quite as ‘pudding-y’, but a bit healthier. I’d also use organic veg, but let’s not have that discussion about pesticides just now. Happy eating!

Serves 4


1 cup uncooked brown sushi rice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup diced onion

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 cup white wine (check out this article about vegan wines)

2 cups roasted butternut squash, chopped

1 cup chopped courgette

½ cup frozen peas

5 chopped Porcini mushrooms

1 tablespoon chopped sage

half tablespoon chopped thyme

half cup shredded Asiago cheese (Italian cheese, but others will do)

1 tablespoon heavy cream

salt to taste

ground black pepper


Follow package directions to partially cook the rice for about 40 minutes. Drain excess water and set aside.

Preheat a medium saute pan to medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the rice to the pan and saute with the onions for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

Reserve ½ cup of stock. Then pour ½ cup of stock into pan and let it absorb into the rice. Stir in ½ cup of wine and let it absorb into the rice. Continue adding stock and wine in ½-cup increments, cooking each time until the liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 30 to 45 minutes total. Add the squash, courgette, peas, mushrooms, sage and thyme to the pan, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the last ½ cup of the stock. Once the stock is absorbed into the rice, add the cheese, cream, salt and pepper; stir well.

Nutritional information per serving: 171 calories; 5g total fat; 3g saturated fat; 0g trans fat; 0g monounsaturated fat; 13mg cholesterol; 362mg sodium; 24g total carbohydrate; 3g dietary fibre; 4g total sugars; 8g protein.

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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