This creamy, comforting vegan risotto is a fall favorite. A quick balsamic reduction adds sweet-tart notes that complement the warm, robust flavors of fresh sage and butternut squash

We have plenty more butternut squash recipes for you to try!

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • ½ of a medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes (4½ cups)
  • 2 red onions, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry short grain brown rice or brown Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place squash and onions on baking sheets. Roast 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is tender, brushing with water if vegetables start to look dry.
  • Meanwhile, make Balsamic Vinegar Syrup: Pour balsamic vinegar into a small skillet. Cook over medium 8 to 10 minutes or until vinegar is reduced to about 3 Tbsp. and is syrupy. (It will thicken slightly as it cools.) Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan heat broth and 1 qt. water until simmering. In a 5-qt. Dutch oven cook shallots and garlic over medium 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add rice; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until rice is toasted in places, stirring occasionally. Add simmering liquid, ¾ cup at a time, to the rice mixture, cooking and stirring frequently until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding liquid in this way until all the simmering liquid has been absorbed. (This will take about 40 minutes total.) Stir in roasted vegetables, the parsley, and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle risotto with Balsamic Vinegar Syrup. Top with additional chopped fresh parsley and sage.

Comments (26)

(5 from 12 votes)

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Instructions were fine until they weren't. Basalmic ended up hardening in the pan while I was doing other stuff making it virtually unusable and the third step was just a disaster of confusion and I ended up using far too much kitchenware. Way too much for such a simple dish.


This was so delicious. I was too lazy to try and find space for half a butternut so we just used the whole thing.

Mary Woods

It’s difficult to know how much garlic to use when the recipe says 6 cloves. Cloves of garlic are all different sizes. Can you give an actual measurement? I don’t want to ruin the recipe. Thank you.

Megan Edwards

Hi Mary, Generally, 1 clove equals 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. So for this recipe you could use 6 teaspoons of minced garlic for an exact measurement. We hope you enjoy it!


Can’t you just recommend basaltic glaze and reduce reduction time?


Many balsamic glazes have added sugar.


Delicious …. Worth the time!

Josie Grasso

I haven't as yet tried this particular recipe although the addition of the Balsamic vinegar reduction sounds great. However, I have made a pumpkin (I'm in Aust) spinach risotto, similar to this recipe, but it includes half cup white wine, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast and a handful of spinach leaves added at the end of cooking time. I'll combine the two recipes and see what I end up with.

Eileen Rodan

Would like this adapted to instant pot like my mushroom risotto. I’d never stand stirring for forty minutes.


How long would this have to cook in the instant pot! Don't want to have to stand & stir for 40+mins!!

Andrew T

I enjoyed making this with water, not oil - a good technique to learn. It certainly feels wholesome and healthy. However my family found it bland but that may be because we are new to wholefood plant meals and our taste needs to adjust.

Sherry Hood

How can you rate the dish if you didn’t follow the recipe?


To Sherry, I don't understand why you think she didn't follow the recipe? When she said she enjoyed making this with water instead of oil, that's what the recipe calls for, the usual way to make this calls for oil. Just curious.

Rebecca Waldron-Geranis

Took a long time, but so worth it! The balsamic glaze really pulled it all together! What has been great is grabbing a cup full for a meal on the go! Heats up easily and tastes just as great as left overs!


Nice recipe, but I would love an Instant Pot variation. Waited a long time by the rice.

Jan vance

To the author: I need help my mother-law which lives with us, is on a FODMAPS diet which includes not having just about everything. Plus gluten free no soft cheese no salt no garlic and onion . This is a gastronomical problem which her gastroenterologist put her on I’m at a lost here any suggestions would be appreciated tks


Try these resources:


I see this is old, I hope my answer helps you a little bit still. Going WFPB with no oil is very hard, almost impossible to adapt to the low FODMAP diet until you finish the elimination diet and find out if you can add anything back in. For this recipe I could adapt it because the onion is so high. You can replace onion with the green part of green onion, or the green part of leaks (sometimes you can get these free from you produce section, they often throw them out) you need to soak these and cook them in water to soften them a lot before using. I used dried green onions and blitz it for onion powder. If I needed a stronger onion taste I used to used onion oil, but I don't do that any more, so it means I just don't eat some things, I think I'm going to try to adapt this, but I might have a hard time. There are low FODMAP enzymes you can get that help you digest them, they can be a life saver. For garlic, all I've really found is garlic oil. you can use Asafetida, but it stinks to high heavens! However, after it's cooked it can really add a depth and taste a lot like garlic. I'm sure you've worked this all out by now, I wish I could have helped when you needed it. I'm going to try the risotto with lots of vegetables and change any vegetables I need, I think that will be easier. Luckily I can eat more garlic now, still can't eat onion, so that's hard, but I can eat a lot of things I couldn't before. I have fructose malabsorption, so not all the restrictions bother me, but fructose and most fructans get me a lot. and all things that end in 'ol luckily I don't eat any additives now so that's not a problem. Good luck!! if I can help, I'm glad to.


Recipe sounds great! We’re on keto, what can I substitute for the rice?


You could use cauliflower that is “riced.” I.e., looks like rice.

Candace Byrd

Looks amazing


I tried this. Loved it. I didn’t have the right vinegar to reduce, i can imagine how good it would taste with balsamic vinegar. Will definitely make this again.

Lisa Lima

Easy ingredient prep. Delicious!




Yum! Made this dish and loved it! It’s definitely a hearty meal, which is great. Trust the recipe and it will come out delicious!


Sounds delicious! White rice should take ~20 minutes, brown ~45

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
See More from this Author

Free Download

Free 5-day meal plan!

Get a taste for healthy, fuss-free meal planning with this free five-day meal plan from Forks Meal Planner!

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.

Placeholder image

Join our mailing list

Get free recipes and the latest info on living a happy, healthy plant-based lifestyle.

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.