Butternut squash risotto isn’t a dish you’ll need to wreck your head over.
It’s effortless to make, uses minimal ingredients, and delivers a flavorful final product.
In fact, squash, risotto rice, onions, white wine, and some seasonings are all you’ll need to create this super comforting dish.
Your questions about what to serve with butternut squash risotto are answered below in the easiest ways and as some of the best side dishes.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Butternut Squash Risotto?
A risotto always tastes hearty no matter what flavors you put into it.
And its creamy texture always makes it easy to take it.
Though they’re full of flavor, they can sometimes seem plain.
And the way to fix this is to use side dishes.
Once you do that, the flavors and nutrients in your meal will all align, making a perfect combination.
A butternut squash risotto is sweeter than most variants of risotto.
So, savory sides are the best option you can choose.
This can include anything from heavily seasoned meat to refreshing salads.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash Risotto? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Meat and veggies don’t compete when it comes to serving sides with butternut squash risotto.
And that’s because they’re both equally delicious, and we have more options below.
1. Whole-roast Chicken
A whole chicken for a risotto dinner? A big yes.
They are the definition of a contrasting yet flavorful food combo.
A well-seasoned and tenderly-roasted chicken is a must-try when considering serving side dishes with something sweet and hearty like a squash risotto.
The key to achieving the best roasted whole chicken is to season and marinate them for a few hours or overnight.
That way, your meat will have a homogenous taste.
It adds savory elements to your meal and healthy protein, making everything balanced and healthy.
2. Baked Salmon in Foil
Salmon is just another universal favorite when considering healthy fish.
When you bake it, its natural aroma gets even better, so take advantage of this and coat your salmon fillets in the best seasonings you have.
A simple seasoning of salt and pepper with a coat of olive oil always works.
And squeezing some fresh lemon juice over the fish is a must for serving baked salmon.
This easy recipe is light and refreshing, and baking it in foil keeps it full of flavor without drying it out.
And the best thing about baked salmon is that it takes just a few minutes from start to finish.
3. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a simple yet delicious dish that is perfect for a summertime meal.
The combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil creates a light and refreshing salad that is sure to please everyone.
The key to making a great Caprese salad is to use the freshest ingredients possible.
Tomatoes should be ripe but still firm, and mozzarella should be soft but not too runny.
Basil leaves should be bright green and freshly picked.
To assemble the salad, simply slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into bite-sized pieces, and then layer them on a plate with the basil leaves.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or olive oil to the dish.
4. Air Fryer Shrimp
Shrimp is another widely available seafood that doesn’t run low on flavor.
And an air fryer is perhaps the best appliance you can use to cook it to perfection and keep it healthy altogether.
This side dish will provide you with essential minerals like selenium, choline, zinc, and some vitamins.
It is a must-try if you’re a fan of seafood and need to stock up on some nutrients.
To prep, simply season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and vegetable oil and drizzle fresh lemon juice over it once cooked.
Or, get a simple sauce to dip the shrimp in as you enjoy each bite of the risotto and seafood combo.
Your shrimp will be cooked and ready to eat in just under 15 minutes (with a 10-minute bake time).
5. Veggie Platter
A veggie platter is just what it seems to be– a platter filled with lots of veggies.
Though a healthy option, it is usually a dish that most people wouldn’t consider their first choice.
But there are some ways to make it irresistible, starting from the prep to how you present it.
Firstly, you want to ensure that the vegetable you choose aligns with and complements the flavors of other dishes in your meal.
Also, remember to keep a few selections of varying flavors, so everybody has something to choose from.
Finally, shape the veggies into interesting cuts and slices.
If whole, make sure they’re properly cleaned.
Placing them around a small bowl of mayonnaise always works.
6. Honey-glazed Carrots
Carrots are crunchy and sweet and fill your meal with so much vibrancy.
And honey-glazed carrots make the perfect pair for risotto by providing the contrasting elements that it lacks.
And sure enough, butternut squash is sweet, but the honey-glazed carrots add a different twist to the usual sweetness, making the entire meal so addicting.
If you need some extra flavor in the carrots, just season them with rosemary and thyme, and bake to perfection.
Overcooking may ruin the whole idea of adding a crunchy accent, so a simple bake at 425° F for 20 minutes works well enough.
7. Grilled Lamb Ribs
When it comes to nutritious meat, lamb is always a top choice.
It is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and is a high-quality protein.
It’s best to prepare the lamb ribs and season them hours ahead or even overnight.
This long marination ensures that the meat is full of flavor in every layer.
The smoked paprika, oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage, onion powder, and orange peel are what give this side dish its distinct flavor.
This lamb dish should definitely be on your dinner table when you’re expecting guests and want something that will impress but still pair well with the risotto.
8. Pan-seared Scallops
Scallops taste sweet and nutty and don’t have a fishy aftertaste despite being seafood.
Their buttery texture makes them perfect to pair with a hearty dish such as risotto.
These shellfish sometimes referred to as ‘candy of the sea,’ will become the ‘candy’ of your dinner with a few seasonings and light searing.
Searing your scallops give them an interesting crispy crust and an added aroma.
Just season them with plain salt and pepper, sear them on a skillet with some vegetable oil, and drizzle with fresh lemon juice once cooked.
Do you like a little bit of everything in your side dishes? The Italian appetizer, antipasto, might be an ideal choice.
You have the liberty to add as many or as few ingredients, and the flavor keeps getting better with the more seasonings you add.
Traditional recipes often include olives, figs, cured meat, and a mixture of different cheeses (the signature item in Italian food).
Once all your ingredients are ready and well-seasoned, arrange them on a platter in a decorative way to make guests hungry just by its sight.
10. BLT Salad
A salad featuring bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes as the main ingredients makes a refreshing, vibrant bowl that can even steal the show in your dinners.
Romaine lettuce makes the best option as this variety is leafy and so satisfyingly crispy, second only to the grilled bacon in the salad.
While a salad with just these three ingredients can be boring, you can spice things up by adding some pepper flakes, avocado slices, and some Greek yogurt.
The key to having a perfect BLT is to make it visually appealing.
Do this by seasoning the ingredients separately and decoratively arranging them.
When you’re preparing side dishes for any type of risotto, always choose to go the extra mile.
It’ll elevate your entire meal and make the risotto more enjoyable to eat.
Ethnic dishes like antipasto and tempura are ways you can explore the many facets of side dishes.
And making simple additions to regular salads is another way to enjoy everyday food in a new way.
Honey glazes on crunchy vegetables and shredded cheese over salads are always a way to impress guests using simple ingredients.