Risotto with Kabocha Squash, Leeks, and Parmesan Cheese

We picked up these kabocha squash at Seattle’s U-District Farmers’ Market a few weekends back, from the farmers at Alm Hill Gardens. And we have a freshly made pot of turkey broth ready to go, so this risotto was an easy dinner to make. (If you don’t have fresh turkey broth, any type of broth will also work.)

Kabocha Squash, Leeks, Parmesan Cheese and Risotto
Kabocha Squash, Leeks, Parmesan Cheese and Risotto

Throughout this recipe, have 6-8 cups broth in a saucepan over low heat on the stove.

Peel (with a potato peeler) and cube 2.5 pound kabocha squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice two leeks into rounds (just the white and light green parts). Chop up a tablespoon of sage.

Sauteeing Squash
Sauteeing Squash

Heat up a couple tablespoons olive oil in a big pot, like a le creuset dutch oven. Put in the squash and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Then splash in some sherry vinegar to deglaze anything that’s browning. Scrape up any brown bits, turn it down to medium, and add the chopped sage. Cook until the squash is soft, about eight minutes more. Remove the squash.

If you have a lot of brown bits still in the bottom of the pan, wash it out. In the same pot, heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced leeks and sautee them, but don’t brown them, for about five minutes.

Risotto in Process
Risotto in Process

Add a cup and a half of arborio rice and continuously stir, letting the rice brown. Do this for about three minutes. Add 1/4 cup medeira and continue to stir. Once the liquid is absorbed, start adding 1/2 cup at a time of turkey broth to the mixture, stirring as you go. As it absorbs, add another half cup.

When the arborio rice starts to get bigger in volume, add a cup of broth at a time, continuing to stir. After about 15 minutes, put the squash back in. Continue adding broth and stirring until the risotto is bitable and the squash is done.

At the very end, turn off the risotto, put a lid on, and let it set for a few minutes. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, and stir it in.

Risotto with Kabocha Squash, Leeks, and Parmesan Cheese
Risotto with Kabocha Squash, Leeks, and Parmesan Cheese

Add a little more cheese and parsley as garnish after you dish it up.


  • 2 leeks
  • 1 two and a half pound kabocha squash
  • 6-8 cups turkey broth
  • tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • cup and a half arborio rice
  • splash of sherry vinegar
  • quarter cup of mediera
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped italian parsley

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

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