Butternut Squash Knorr Selects Four Cheese Risotto with Kale

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Knorr® Selects Four Cheese Risotto makes it possible to whip up a fall family meal with butternut squash, kale and four cheese risotto in less than 30 minutes.

This blog post is sponsored by Unilever®. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

As you know, I’ve partnered with Unilever® this year as one of their Agents of Change. [Read more about the program here.] I’m really excited to share one of their brands that helps people get quick, affordable and nutritious meals on the table in minutes– Knorr®. I used the Knorr® Selects Four Cheese Risotto to make a simple Butternut Squash Risotto with Kale meal. 

Now, if you’ve ever made risotto from scratch before, you might know that it takes time, effort, attention to detail and a real knowledge of cooking. Risotto is traditionally made by progressively adding stock to rice, stirring and then repeating until it’s smooth and creamy. Not to mention that it’s topped off with a large portion of butter and cheese. 

Listen, I love cheese as much as the next girl, but I also don’t love feeling weighed down after a meal. To save time and ensure I’m getting a nutritious meal on the table on a weeknight, I use Knorr® Select Four Cheese Risotto instead of making my own. All you need is water, milk and olive oil, and you’ve got a cheesy risotto in just 10 minutes! 

And let me tell you, this tastes as good as any other risotto I’ve ever had. Knorr® Selects Four Cheese Risotto blends rice with asiago, parmesan, Romano and cheddar cheeses into a delicious creamy risotto.  It also contains no artificial flavors or preservatives, and no colors from artificial sources.  I spiced it up —by adding butternut squash and kale – both of which really amp up the nutritious value, flavor and fullness of this meal. 

Butternut squash is a crowd pleaser, and it has a sweet taste and creamy texture that pairs really well with cheesy foods. It’s a perfect plant-based addition to this dish, and not to mention, butternut squash is packed with nutrients, like Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and magnesium.

Kale also increases the flavor of this dish. It’s chock-full of Vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Plus, it adds some vibrant green to the risotto. Kale is also a Knorr® Future 50 ingredient. 

What is the Knorr Future 50?

Knorr® is on a mission to diversify our food supply and utilize sustainable ingredients. The Future 50 Foods were researched and written with input from many experts in the sustainability, agriculture and nutrition space. These 50 foods are diverse in taste, appearance, flavors and textures, yet they are all nutritional powerhouses with low environmental impacts.

The list is comprised of leafy greens, beans, root vegetables, sprouts, algae and grains. Kale is one of the 50 foods listed in this report. Read more about the Future 50 Foods report and Knorr®’s mission here.

How to make Butternut Squash Risotto

Now back to this simple, yet delicious, fall family meal. We all know what it’s like to be in a rush, but still wanting to get a nutritious meal on the table without ordering takeout. This risotto is the answer. Pair Knorr® Select Four Cheese Risotto with your choice of protein or a plant-based option (I chose butternut squash) and your favorite fall veggies (I chose kale), and you’ve got a main meal in less than 30 minutes. 

Amazing butternut squash recipe! This butternut squash risotto is a healthy vegetarian side dish that is ready in just 30 minutes. It makes a great side dish any night of the week! #butternutsquash #risotto #sidedish #vegetarian

And if you don’t have time to cook the squash or kale, frozen veggies are a great alternative. Whip them up according to the package directions and add to the cooked risotto. Voila! 

Butternut Squash Risotto with Kale

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD


  • 1 medium butternut squash 1 ½ – 2 pounds, peeled and chopped
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 packet Knorr® Selects Four Cheese Risotto
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • Shredded parmesan optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lay out the butternut squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste and roast for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the Knorr® Selects Four Cheese Risotto, water, milk and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot and cook according to package directions.
  4. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the kale. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
  5. Add the cooked butternut squash and kale to the cooked risotto. Stir until well combined. Garnish with parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Serve this delicious meal!


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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