Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

You may remember a few weeks ago when I put my homemade 3-Cheese Stuffed Shells against Fresh & Easy’s Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Both were tasty, but I decided that in general, I’d be making the Fresh & Easy variety more than the homemade version because they both tasted great &their version saved me 55 minutes & some money on ingredients as well.

Well, Fresh & Easy has so many great items in their Kitchen to Go selection so I decided to do another round! This time, I made butternut squash risotto- something I’d actually never tasted, let alone cooked, before, but that I knew would be great for the upcoming fall season. Here’s how they stacked up:

Fresh & Easy Butternut Squash Risotto

Round 1: Fresh & Easy Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves: 2

-Do not remove film lid.
-Puncture film several times.
-Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
-Halfway through cooking, peel back film lid, stir & replace.

Cost: $2.99

Cook Time: 3-4 minutes

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Round 2: Homemade Butternut Squash Risotto

{recipe from}

Serves: 4

-Place squash cubes into a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow to steam until the squash is tender (10 to 15 minutes), then drain, and mash in a bowl with a fork.

-Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then stir in the rice. Continue cooking and stirring until the rice is glossy from the butter, and the onion begins to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes more.

-Pour in the white wine; cook, stirring constantly, until it has evaporated. Stir in the mashed squash and 1/3 of the hot chicken stock; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice, 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the remaining chicken stock, and continue stirring until it has been absorbed. Finally, pour in the remaining stock, and continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Finish by stirring in the Parmesan cheese, and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken stock
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cost: Roughly $24.50

Cook Time: 10 minutes prep; 35 minutes cooking

Obviously, the cost was a huge difference! I spent over twice as much on one ingredient {the wine} than I did on the entire dish of the F&E version! &As a note, since this was my first time making this recipe, I didn’t want to mess with quantities so this makes roughly double what the Fresh & Easy variety serves. That said, the ingredients used can’t be purchased in half-quantities, so even if you only made as much as the F&E version, you’d be paying the same price for the ingredients, you’d just have more leftover ingredients. {Unless your grocery store will sell you 1/4 of an onion.}

My opinion:

I liked their version, but it’s a dish that I’ll have to revisit in a couple of weeks when the morning sickness has died down a bit more because it’s very flavorful. {This is a good thing, I just can’t handle much flavor right now.} The homemade version still had a good flavor but was easier on my palette & since it wasn’t as heavy either, it was better on my stomach as well. However, I can’t dispute the 40 minute time difference, or {especially} the huge price gap.

Justin’s opinion:

Right off the bat, Justin said that the Fresh & Easy variety reminded him of a dish he gets at a particular restaurant. That’s a pretty good compliment for microwave food! He actually slightly preferred the homemade version, but definitely thought their version was good, too.

As I said last time, Fresh & Easy’s Kitchen to Go meals have been a huge lifesaver since I’ve been too sick to cook. Not only that, but this summer has been crazy busy {especially the last few weeks, with my trip to LA, Shane’s birthday & getting ready to start school} so they have been saving me so much time! I’m glad that they have such a wide variety of options too so we don’t get sick of the same varieties over & over. {Though I’m a sucker for the tortellini & pick that up quite often.}


Sometimes you want ingredients. Sometimes you just want to eat. At Fresh & Easy, find freshly prepared meals that are ready to eat in minutes, delicious options that are ready to cook and even the raw ingredients you need to create your own recipes. Fresh & Easy makes grocery shopping easy with great food you can trust at prices you can afford and a small store to make it easy to get in, get out and get on with it.

What’s your favorite kind of risotto?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Fresh & Easy via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Fresh & Easy.

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  1. Daisy says

    This recipe is awesome! It’s so flavorful.

    Let me tell you that I used to live in Henderson, NV and loved when I had a Fresh & Easy store near me.

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