Background Image: Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risottowith Fried Sage and Bacon


The sweet-savory combination of butternut squash and bacon elevates this classic comfort food.



1/2 C bacon, uncooked, cut into pieces
4 C butternut squash, peeled and chopped into large chunks, divided
4 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1 C heavy cream
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp maple syrup


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C onions, diced
2 1/2 C arborio rice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 C white wine
4 C chicken stock, hot
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Parmesan, shaved, to garnish
1/4 C sage, fresh
1/2 C olive oil



  • Sous vide circulator
  • Container for water bath
  • Sous vide pouches
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Blender or food processor
  • Tongs or a slotted spoon


Prepping time: 35 minutes / Cooking time: 55 minutes (excludes sous vide cooking) / Sous vide cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes




For the Squash:

  1. Set circulator to 181.4°F (83°C).
  2. In a heavy‐bottomed pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it starts to render fat, about four minutes, then add 2 cups of squash and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook five minutes until squash begins to soften, then remove from heat and chill. Transfer to a sous vide pouch, add the cream and seal.
  3. In another sauté pan, heat olive oil over high heat and quickly sear the other 2 cups of squash on one side until it is browned. Chill, then transfer to a sous vide pouch with butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Seal.
  4. Cook the maple butternut squash for one hour and the bacon‐cream butternut squash for one hour and 30 minutes.
  5. Once the maple squash is done, remove and set aside.
  6. Once the bacon‐cream butternut squash is done, open the pouch and add the mixture to a blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth. Chill.

For the Risotto:

  1. In a heavy‐bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sweat the onions until translucent.
  2. Next, add the arborio rice and salt and pepper. Stir frequently, allowing the rice to toast a bit and mix with the oil and onions.
  3. Add white wine and let it absorb into the rice, then immediately add a ladle of hot chicken stock and a tablespoon of butter. Cook until absorbed, five to 10 minutes. Repeat, adding ladles of stock until the rice is slightly al dente. This process can take up to 45 minutes.
  4. When the rice is cooked as desired, add the butternut squash purée and Parmesan cheese, to taste. Stir. Rice should take on an orange hue and creamy, rich texture. Mix for another 10 minutes.
  5. Next, open the pouch of seared, diced butternut squash and add to the rice. If the risotto becomes too thick, add a small amount of chicken stock and a small amount of cheese.

To Serve:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium‐high heat until hot, then add sage and fry for about 15 seconds per side, turning with tongs or a slotted spoon. When crispy, transfer to a paper-towel‐lined plate until ready to serve.
  2. Place risotto in a bowl and garnish with fried sage and more Parmesan.
Developed by the chefs of Cuisine Solutions. Featured in Sous-Vide magazine Fall/Winter 2018.