Quick Butternut Squash & Chicken Risotto on a Budget

This is quick and low cost yet very delicious (my husband’s favourite) risotto recipe made with cheap broken long grain rice that cost £0.40 per kg rather than special expensive risotto rice, frozen chicken, dried sage and plain grated cheese instead of Parmesan… Total cost about £4.50 per 5 – 6 portions which may seem a little for some but is still plenty for those who live below the line.

I was inspired to make this risotto on a budget by Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food For Families who is taking up I’m living below the line challenge (again) to raise money for Save The Children UK. Please, visit her blog to support her.

budget recipes for family of four five


  • large butternut squash / 1.5 kg (peeled, cubed)
  • 500 g frozen chicken breasts (defrosted, diced)
  • 2½ cups plain broken long grain rice / about 500 g
  • 5 cups of boiling water
  • couple of garlic cloves (peeled, sliced) or some garlic powder
  • generous handful of grated Cheddar
  • 3 tbs mild olive oil or some butter
  • 1 tbs dried sage
  • salt – to taste
  • black peppercorns – optional

how to cook quick risotto


  1. In a large, covered pot cook rice with water. Once ready, leave aside.
  2. In meantime on a large frying pan or in a wok fry butternut squash, chicken and garlic (if using) seasoned with sage and some salt. Stir fry until chicken is cooked through and butternut squash is getting browned and falling apart.
  3. Add chicken and butternut squash to the rice.
  4. Add also cheese, more salt to taste and garlic powder (if using), mix well.
  5. Share, optionally sprinkle with some freshly cracked pepper and enjoy.

Serves 5 – 6  people ( or 4 – 5 people plus leftovers for the next day’s lunch for 1 – 2 ).

healthy cooking on a budget recipes


Skip the chicken for vegetarian version.


Other risottos I previously made: Wild Mushroom Risotto with Dill & GarlicMushroom & Leek Risotto with ThymeMushroom & Leek RisottoPumpkin RisottoOnion Risotto with Black Olives & EggsEgg Curry RisottoMushroom Risotto with Black OlivesCreamy Carrot RisottoTarragon Chicken RisottoCarrot, Parsnip & Leek RisottoFennel & Celery Risotto and Butternut Squash Risotto.

If you are looking for more risotto recipes then try: Butternut Squash and sage risotto from Knead Whine, Avocodo Risotto from Amuse Your Bouche, Tuna Meatball and Courgette Risotto from Anne’s Kitchen, Winter Pearl Barley and Butternut Squash Risotto from Supper in the Suburbs, Moreish Mushroom Risotto from Munchies & Munchkins, Wild mushroom baked risotto from Family Friends Food, Mushroom & Chocolate Risotto from Tin & Thyme, Salmon and Asparagus Risotto from The Petite Cook or Prawn Savoury from Fab Food 4 All.

Some of the tableware used in the photos came from Home Sense and you can read about them in April’s Tried & Tested round-up.

I’m submitting this recipe to Camilla‘s & Helen‘s Credit Crunch Munch hosted this month by Lucy of Baking Queen 74.

frugal recipes on a budget

Your thoughts…

  1. Love this quick risotto Margot sounds so tasty:-) Thanks for linking to my Prawn Savoury!

  2. Really like the sound of this risotto, ideal midweek meal.

  3. Thanks for linking to my mushroom risotto. I love squash..hate peeling it but love eating it. This looks fab – gotta love a budget friendly recipe.

  4. I don’t think that anyone tasting this would ever guess that this was a budget meal. Great combination of flavours.

  5. This sounds like a delicious risotto, I love butternut squash and think it goes really well with chicken. Thanks for linking up with #creditcrunchmunch.

  6. Thank you for nice comments. We are making it almost every week recently, till we will finally get fed up ;)

    You are right Claire, it does not taste like a budget meal at all.

  7. A great idea using butternut squash! Can’t wait to give this a go

  8. I love the idea of using butternut squash in a risotto. Can’t wait to try this. You suggest using long grain rice, not arborio rice, does it make a difference? I’ve only ever uses arborio rice for my risotto.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  9. Thank you Kerry! :)

    Sally, Glad to hear that :) Arborio rice is quite expensive and this is recipe on a budget but to be honest, no, using plain rice does not make a big difference to the overall taste.

  10. I love butternut squash, so versatile and so good. Thanks for linking up to Credit Crunch Munch.

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