Butternut and Brussels Sprout Risotto

We've been running our Etsy store now for over a year, and have determined our busy seasons to be Father's Day and of course, Christmas. During those times, it is sheer insanity around here- 16 hour days, 7 days a week, and very limited time or energy for meals. 

When we were first hit with volume Christmas 2015, we were not expecting it, and did what we had to do to survive. This meant eating out. A LOT. We both put on about 15-20 pounds due to the stress and the horrible habits we were adapting. Some days I am absolutely embarrassed to say we were eating out multiple meals- and we definitely felt the effects of it. It was actually counterproductive- what we were eating for convenience was actually slowing us down. You are what you eat, right? Well, we felt like garbage. 

Father's Day 2016 we were slightly more prepared. We signed up for Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, selecting 3 meals a week for 2 people. Blue Apron is $60/week and Hello Fresh is $70/week. Now I admit, this is a little steep in price, but compared to the alternatives, within reason for us. It averages $20-23/meal for the 2 of us, which is WAY better than what we usually spend on meals, and healthier than what we would be purchasing out at that price point.  So when we combined convenience and health concerns, we decided it works for us during the busy seasons.  

I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes going forward from my box subscriptions, and do my best to convert some of the ingredients so you can try them as well.  

INGREDIENTS (for 2 People:)

8 oz. Brussels Sprouts
8 oz. Butternut Squash
1 Veggie Stock Concentrate (Buy here)
1 Yellow Onion (medium to large)
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Lemon
2 oz. Pancetta
3/4 cup Arborio Rice
1 oz. Pepitas
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Butter


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2.) Halve and trim Brussels sprouts through stem. Toss squash and sprouts on a baking sheet with 1 TBSP olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Toss halfway through. 

3.) Bring stock concentrate and 4 cups water to a boil in a small pot, then reduce heat to low. 

4.) Halve, peel, and finely dice onion. Mince garlic. Zest then halve lemon

5.) Add half the pancetta (more for snacking!) to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add onion to same pot and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add rice and cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes. 

6.) Add garlic to pot and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat under pot to medium and add stock to pot 1⁄4 cup at a time. Stir after each addition and allow rice to absorb stock before adding more. 

7.) While risotto cooks, add pepitas to a small pan over medium-high heat. Toast until fragrant, 2-3 minutes (be careful—they might pop). Add honey, 4 TBSP water, and a pinch of salt to pan. Stir to dissolve honey. Cook until liquid evaporates and pepitas are coated and sticky, 3-4 minutes. Remove to parchment-lined plate and let cool. 

8.) When rice is al dente, squeeze in juice of half the lemon. Stir in the squash, Brussels sprouts, half the Parmesan cheese, and 1⁄2 TBSP butter. Season with salt and pepper. Plate risotto and sprinkle with honey pepitas, lemon zest, pancetta, and remaining cheese


This was the first time I've made risotto the real way, gradually adding the stock to the rice- it is quite labor intensive! It's needy, and definitely something you want to put the effort in to. It is worth it, but you can't say I didn't warn you. This was unusual for a Hello Fresh meal, they are usually a 20-30 minute easy sheet pan dinner- this was quite out of character, but I enjoyed it!

Finish off with a cup of hot tea on the side and you have the perfect winter meal!

*Note: I am in the process of finding a Recipe Card widget for Blogger to make it easier to print out recipes-- anyone have any advice, please let me know!*

I paid full price for this box and all opinions are my own. 

If you'd like to try Hello Fresh, click here for $40 off your first box!