In our house, there are three flavors of fall: apples, butternut squash, and pumpkin. Sure, we bake a lot (check out the apple cider mini muffins!), but I also look for ways to incorporate them into savory dishes. I’ve found a little sweet goes a long way with trying to get the kiddos to try new things! You can even ‘sneak’ in green veggies without them knowing (like the kale in this recipe).

Risotto is one of those dishes that gives you a ton of latitude with flavor! And this Butternut squash and apple risotto was a crowd pleaser.


cooking for kids: squash and apple risotto - (cool) progeny

squash and apple risotto

about 30 minutes ⎟ serves 4 adults


  • 1.5 cups of arborio rice
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 handfuls of kale (sneaky parent tip: chop to make it look like an herb!)
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


Heat 2 TBSP of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add another TBSP of olive oil, squash and apple. Cover and sauté until soft, about 20 minutes. You may need to add more olive oil to keep the veggies from browning.

In another pot, melt 1 tbsp of butter over high heat. Add rice and toss in butter for about 1 minute. Add a cup of chicken broth, stirring while you add it. As the broth dissolves, add another cup of chicken broth. Be sure to keep stirring to keep the rice from burning. This is the real secret to good risotto! Add your third cup of chicken stock, while stirring. The whole process should take 20-30 minutes. You may need to add more chicken stock if rice still isn’t soft even after the third cup of stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes.

While rice is resting, add kale to your squash and apple mixture. Stir over heat for about a minute.

Combine rice, apple/squash mixture, and parmesan cheese in large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

cooking for kids: squash and apple risotto - (cool) progeny