Squash & Quinoa Risotto with herbs & greens pesto

Veg mains

Squash & Quinoa Risotto with herbs & greens pesto





This hearty Squash and Quinoa Risotto is lovely as a warming Autumnal lunch or dinner. It’s a great way of using up any leftover Pumpkin after Halloween and can easily be made vegan if you swap the butter for oil and leave out the parmesan. If you’ve got any leaves that need using up, try making the pesto with whatever you’ve got – rocket, watercress, spinach or even carrot tops work brilliantly. And don’t throw away the squash/pumpkin seeds! Simply dry toast them in a pan & sprinkle on top. My sage was from the garden but if you can’t find sage why not try thyme or rosemary. If you find parsley or rocket a little bitter, you could add a little squeeze of honey or maple syrup to the pesto.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C and prepare the squash by chopping in half, scooping out the seeds then chopping the flesh (no need to peel)  into rough 1.5 cm chunks and sprinkling with sea salt & pepper. Roast the flesh and the seeds with half the ghee for 25 – 30 minutes until the squash is golden. Half way through the roasting time, toss the sage leaves into the squash and pop back in the oven.
  2. Meanwhile get started on the risotto. Gently fry the onion in the rest of the ghee or butter for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time
  3. Add the garlic and fry for a minute then add the rinsed quinoa to the pan over a medium heat, stir and leave for a minute until the quinoa is almost sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan of all the juicy sticky bits then turn up the heat and let the wine evaporate.
  5. Pour in most of the broth, a pinch of sea salt & pepper and turn up the heat to bring to the boil then turn down to a medium simmer for 12 minutes of cooking, the quinoa should be almost tender (it take about 20 minutes if you haven’t soaked the quinoa)
  6. Meanwhile grate the parmesan and prepare the pesto by roughly chopping the herbs and rocket and stirring in the lemon juice and olive oil and seasoning and set aside.
  7. Once the squash is golden, stir through the quinoa, taste for seasoning and add more broth if you need it.
  8. Take off the heat and stir through half the parmesan and top with the pesto then serve up and sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on each bowl.

This recipe was created in partnership with Green Pan.


  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 800g
    1 large white onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    2 tbsp ghee or butter
    1 large handful of sage leaves, about 12 large
    400g white quinoa, drained, rinsed & soaked if time
    1 large glass white wine, 250ml
    1 – 1.5 litre chicken or vegetable broth or stock
    Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
    To serve
    2 large handfuls of parmesan cheese
    Rest of the sage leaves
    2 large handfuls parsley – or basil if you have any
    2 very large handfuls rocket / watercress
    5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    Juice of ½ lemon
    Sea salt & pepper

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