Butternut squash risotto with Meyer lemon

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 750 Calories/Serving

35 – 45 Minutes

Now that it’s early winter, Meyer lemons are coming into season, and we’re taking full advantage. Likely a cross between an ordinary lemon and a mandarin orange, the fragrant citrus originated in China, and got its name when USDA researcher Frank N. Meyer discovered it there in the early 1900s. Here, its gentle acidity balances the richness of the squash and fresh ricotta cheese.


  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 to 2 shallots
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ pound peeled chopped butternut squash
  • ¾ cup Arborio rice
  • 1½ ounces shredded Parmesan



Prep the risotto ingredients

  • Let the ricotta come to room temperature.
  • Peel and finely chop the shallot.
  • Finely chop enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Zest and juice the Meyer lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate.
  • Coarsely chop the walnuts.


Start the risotto

In a medium pot over medium heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the squash, shallots, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to soften and caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the rice and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.


Finish the risotto

Add ½ cup wine or water to the rice and cook until the liquid reduces slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in 2½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and half the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the risotto cooks, prepare the ricotta.


Season the ricotta

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and remaining lemon juice. Mash with a fork until blended.



Transfer the risotto to individual bowls. Garnish with the ricotta and walnuts and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 750, Protein: 24 g, Total Fat: 33 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 45 mg, Carbohydrates: 93 g, Fiber: 10 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 610 mg

Contains: milk, tree nuts

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