If you’ve got a packet of rice, some stock, some veg and cheese it’s easy to make a speedy satisfying meal.  No butternut squash and leeks? No problem, use carrots and double the onions. No thyme – any herb would work well. No wine? Just replace it with stock.



350g butternut squash, halved deseeded, chopped

2tbsp olive oil

2tsp chilli flakes, optional

2tsp thyme leaves

40g butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 leek, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

300g Arborio risotto rice

150ml white wine (if you like)

1litre hot chicken stock

2tbsp milk

50g Parmesan cheese shavings


  1. Heat the oven to 220 C, Gas 7.  Put the squash into a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil, chilli flakes and thyme. Season, then roast for 35 mins.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and gently cook for a few mins, to soften. Add the leek and garlic and cook for a couple of mins. Pour in the rice stirring continuously for 2 mins to coat.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan and stir for about 2 mins until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in half the hot stock , stirring from time to time.
  4. Gradually add the rest of the stock, cooking until the liquid has almost been absorbed and the rice is just cooked through but still has some bite, remove from the heat.
  5. Mash half the roast squash with the milk. Stir the mashed squash into the risotto with most of the cheese then spoon into shallow bowls and scatter with the remaining, roasted squash pieces and Parmesan shavings.

Per serving: 517 cals, 18g fat (9g saturated), 65g carbs