Roasted Butternut Squash Faux Risotto Recipe

Earlier this week, I made a healthy “risotto” recipe using quinoa and roasted butternut squash. I invited my dad and sister to come over for dinner and was excited to make something using the ingredients I bought at the local Farmers Market. Naturally, I gravitate towards the foods I know I love, Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. Last year, I made a faux risotto for my sister that she loved using Laughing Cow wedges. This year, I decided to try out a similar recipe using the new Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spreads.

IMG 9481The recipe was a success. I added pulled chicken and used quinoa for extra protein, making this an easy one pot dinner. I made a large recipe so that I would have leftovers since there was a ton of butternut squash.

Faux Risotto Recipe: Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto with Brussels Sprouts Prep Time: 1 hr Serves: 8

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 3 cups of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 4 cups of cubed Butternut Squash
  • 3 cups of sliced Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese Spread
  • Optional: Walnut Pieces or Sliced Almonds
  • Optional: Thinly sliced parmesan cheese and pecorino romano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste, I also used a little bit of a spice blend from Trader Joe’s called 21 Seasonings Salute
I used my Ninja 3-in-1 pot to make this meal, but I am going to give directions using traditional methods so it may seem like a lot of work but really it isn’t. Bring 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add in chicken breasts and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is easy to pull apart. You may skip this step if you are a vegetarian or feel free to use chicken apple sausages in stead for extra protein. You will know when the chicken is done. Do not worry about over cooking it. The longer is simmers the easier it will be to pull apart. I actually did this step in the Ninja 3-in-1 on the slow cooking setting.
IMG 9480

Preheat oven to 400F. Place butternut squash and brussels sprouts on 2 cookie sheets. Spray with a little EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take them out, flip the squash and sprouts. Depending on your oven, you may need another 10-20 minutes of roasting. While veggies are roasting and chicken is cooking, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add in 2 cups of rinsed quinoa. Bring down to a simmer and cook according to directions. I took the chicken out of the Ninja slow cooker and set it on the steam rack. I switched to the roasting setting and added the quinoa and water at the same time without needing to bring it to a boil.

The quinoa will take about 15 minutes to cook. Once it’s done, add in the laughing cow cheese and 1/2 of the roasted butternut squash and stir until the cheese has melted in smoothly. Shred the chicken and add that in to. I added a little bit of garlic powder and celery seed for seasoning. Feel free to add what you like here. Sage is a good seasoning as well for butternut squash but I’m not a big fan of it. I stuck with the basics.

Next, add in the rest of the roasted veggies. After you serve your guests, top with walnut pieces and a blend of parmesan cheese and pecorino romano (I bought this at Trader Joe’s).  Enjoy!

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Using the Ninja 3-1, I slow cooked the chicken. I shredded it and set it aside. I dumped out the extra water and refilled with the quinoa and broth. I did have to roast the veggies separately. Below are the Nutrition Facts however, it does not include additional nuts and cheese I suggested to add on top. To reduce the sodium, use less broth and more water in your ratios.

ButternutSquash Nutrition

If you like this recipe check out my very similar faux risotto using spinach and the original Laughing Cow wedges.

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