Chicken, Spinach, and Butternut Squash Risotto; cranberries

I’m starting to add spinach to anything and everything.

Well, within reason, of course.

It has all sorts of vitamins and minerals and hardly any calories, so why not?

Even people who claim not to like it aren’t really going to notice it when it’s not the main ingredient.

Notice I didn’t say it was going to be a New Year’s Resolution…. I don’t do those.

Resolutions seem to a lot of hype about something one thinks one should do but really one has no intention of doing.

Having a lot of resolutions can be quite impressive….. for a few days, until they’re broken.

On the other hand…. it’s a good topic of conversation this time of year.

For this risotto I didn’t thaw the spinach, but added it, still frozen, to the skillet. The moisture in the spinach helped to cook the squash. Cook off any excess once the squash is tender.

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Chicken, Spinach, and Butternut Squash Risotto

This is a hearty one-dish dinner with lots of vegetables. We only use 1 chicken breast when we make risotto and it’s plenty for the 2 of us.
Do not be intimidated by risotto – it’s one of the easiest things you can cook.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Risotto


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated 
  • Condimenti:
  • 1 (6oz, 180gr) chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces 
  • 8oz (240gr) butternut squash, cut into small pieces
  • 8oz (240gr) spinach, frozen, no sauce
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tbs olive oil 


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. 
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add 1/2 of the onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir. 
  • Start condimenti. 
  • When rice has almost absorbed all the wine add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. 
  • Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it a few tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. 
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold its shape on a plate. 
  • Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
  • Condimenti:
  • Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet. Add 1/2 onion and sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken and sauté until starting to brown. 
  • Add butternut squash and sauté 5 minutes longer.
  • Add the spinach, cover and cook over low heat until chicken and squash are done.
  • Uncover and cook off any excess liquid.
  • Keep warm until needed. 


There is no need to stir constantly but do stir vigorously from time to time. The risotto should have visible liquid when you are ready to serve. It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff. 

Chicken, Spinach and Butternut Squash Risotto

I may have mentioned that the French aren’t quite sure what to do with cranberries, which they call La cranberry des Etats-Unis or U.S. cranberries.

A recipe booklet came with each box of cranberries, much like the recipes printed on the Ocean Spray bag.

One recipe was for cranberry sauce – perfectly reasonable and a good, if simple, recipe.

One recipe was for a raw mushroom and cooked cranberry salad on lamb’s lettuce. It included walnuts, soy sauce and maple syrup.That could work….. I’d be willing to try it. Maybe next year (my cranberries are done for this year.)

The last recipe was the one that inspired this post: Spaghetti Bolognese with Cranberries.


It included ground beef, cranberries, onion, garlic, tomato paste, ketchup and beef broth.

This could be why the French are skeptical of American products and recipes.

Or maybe they’re on to something…..

4 thoughts on “Chicken, Spinach, and Butternut Squash Risotto; cranberries”

  1. Spaghetti Bolognese with cranberry?

    Um…I think not. But, it begs the question, who put the recipe on the bag? If it was a French packager…

    We had prime rib soup tonight from the bones. It’s always a winner here and this year, the bones were especially meaty.

    • I have no idea where the recipes come from. I bought an ‘American Favorites’ cook book here, in French of course. Some of the recipes were, shall we say, interesting interpretations. I need to buy some short ribs and make beef soup….

  2. No thank to the cranberries and spag bol….I am all about fusion food but have to draw a line with this combo….happy resolution free 2020 xx

    • I can’t imagine – but then a friend just told me she made my cranberry crisp recipe – and added meat !
      Different cultures….. Happy 2020 to you too – thinking of you and your family with all the fires…..

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