Honeynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté

November 22, 2016

Honeynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring Well

The past two years Scott and I have spent Thanksgiving cozied up in our previous Denver apartment. Having always spent the holidays split between our families, it was a kind of a treat getting to be with just one another. Last year was extra special because Colorado decided to give us a full-fledged snow storm on Thanksgiving Day. I’ll never forget watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV while snow was falling. So magical.  However, I will gladly settle for rainy, cool weather here in southern California. Which is what this past weekend brought us and made everything feel all sorts of holiday-y. Instead of spending this long weekend together here in California, though, we will be heading to Phoenix to be with our wonderful families (HEY guys – so excited to see you soon!). So our humble and small Thanksgiving meals from the past two years will look a bit more traditional this year (although I’m bound to whip up a new veggie dish or two).

In the spirit of modest holiday meals, I wanted to bring you this cozy meal for two in case you are in our previous shoes and keeping your cooking simple this weekend. This is also a great option for any date night (or best friend night) where it just feels right to snuggle up on the couch with a glass of wine and a bowl of something that makes your autumn soul sing. I have been all about these cute little honeynut squash ever since stumbling upon them a few weeks ago. I tend to steam mine up and scoop out their sweet flesh for a snack with some hummus in the afternoons. But when I was turning through my old recipe pages from last year and came across my butternut risotto I had created for a publication, I knew I had to try it with this teeny-tiny squash and bring it to you here. But fear not, if you cannot find a honeynut – butternut puree will be just as swell. Topped with a crispy brussels sprout sauté with chestnuts, garlic, and sage – this dish is my kind of comfort food. And unlike traditional risotto, it all comes together in under 30 minutes – making the chances of me enjoying a few more bowlfuls of this very likely this season.

I hope those of you celebrating the American holiday this week have a sincerely wonderful time with your family and friends. I’m thankful for the mere fact that I have so much to be thankful for this year. I think if I tried to express my gratitude in it’s entirety I would explode into a thousand little pieces saying “thank you!”. So thank you, to each one of you for following along with me in this journey on FW. I hope to give back to you in a few exciting new ways this next month (stay tuned) but I never want to stop taking the time to thank you with my words. Because I really am so gosh darn grateful for you, okay? Stay cozy and full of gratitude, in all things, at all times. – xx

Honeynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring WellHoneynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring WellHoneynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring WellHoneynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring WellHoneynut Risotto + Brussels Sprout & Chestnut Sauté by Faring Well

Makes 2 cozy servings. 

for the risotto
1 tablespoon quality olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1/2 cup jasmine rice (see note)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 butternut squash (1/2 to 3/4 cup puree)
sea salt

for the sauté 
8 to 10 brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons quality olive oil
1/2 cup steamed chestnuts (see note)
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 to 4 large, fresh sage leaves
sea salt & pepper

Begin with the risotto. Place a seamer basket in a medium sauce pot and fill with 2 inches of fresh water. Turn the burner on high to bring the water to a simmer while you prepare the butternut squash. Trim the ends of the squash and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds. Place the butternut in the steamer basket with the cut sides down. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-high. Let the squash steam for 10 to 12 minutes. It should be soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove and let cool enough to handle before scooping out the soft flesh into a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork until “pureed” smooth.

Add the olive oil and minced onion to a medium saucepan/pot and cook over medium-low heat. Allow the onion to sauté until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the rice, butternut squash puree, and vegetable stalk. Season with salt. Stir well until everything is fully incorporated, and turn to high heat to bring the risotto mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let cook for 20 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, remove the lid and stir well – scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is sticking. Let cook uncovered for the last five minutes, stirring once every minute, until thick and creamy.

Once the risotto is in the pot cooking above, prepare the sauté. Slice the brussels sprouts in half and place in the steamer basket used above for the honeynut squash. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and let steam for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove, place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in it’s place, and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat on medium to medium-high. Add each brussels sprout to the pan with the cut side facing down. Fry until golden brown underneath (about 8 minutes). Slice the steamed chestnuts in half and add them to the pan along with the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Give everything a good toss and let cook for another 2 to 4 minutes to allow the chestnuts and garlic to brown. Finely chop the fresh sage and add to the pan during the last minute of cooking, tossing to incorporate. At this time the risotto will be just finishing up as well.

Divide the butternut risotto between two plates/bowls and top with equal amounts of the brussels sauté. Enjoy right away, and in a perfect world – with a glass of wine.

NOTE: Jasmine rice cooks up nice and quick, however if you wish to use brown rice make these adjustments: all to cook covered for the full 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes uncovered – stirring well every 5 minutes – until thick and creamy. As for the chestnuts, I purchased pre-steamed chestnuts to cut preparation time for this dish. If you prefer to purchase and steam your own from scratch, feel free to do so.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!


  • Reply betty November 22, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Oh this is so cozy – I can’t wait to give this a try. Honeynut squashes are my new favorite, and I’m so happy they seem to be pretty abundant here on the east coast. Alex and I are doing what you did last year (sans snow hopefully), and just taking in easy in our apartment. This may have to make an appearance on our chill dinner menu :)

    Safe travels, and happy thanksgiving jessie. Thankful for you and our friendship <3.

    • Reply Faring Well December 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Aw thank you Betty! I hope you two had the coziest holiday together. Aren’y honeynuts the neatest discovery this season? In love! Happy belated Thanksgiving to you too friend, so grateful for you too <3.

  • Reply Kiki November 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Hi! By vegetable stalk do you mean stalks of veggie leaves or “vegetable stock”?

    • Reply Faring Well November 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Oops! So sorry for that typo, one of many reasons why late-night-recipe-writing isn’t the best idea ;) thank you for catching this Kiki! Updated to “stock” now <3.

  • Reply KJ | Om Nom Herbivore November 23, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I’ve been mad crushing on winter squash lately – sweet and savory at the same time! Have fun spending time with family :) I’ fall into the quaint holiday group, just spending time with my hubby – and for now I’m super content just having those chill special moments while we’re away from family.

    • Reply Faring Well December 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      I hope you two had the best time together KJ, it is really so special to have those quiet holiday times to yourselves! xx

  • Reply Jodi November 27, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Thankful for you, Jessie Snyder. I may be Canadian but any chance to express gratitude is good by me. I’m so thankful to have made a connection with you, for your thoughtful comments and encouraging words. I hope you had a nourishing time with your family this weekend, what you lacked in snow I’m sure you made up for in sunshine and smiles (and coffee!). Loving all things winter squash and I can only imagine how creamy and delicious this would be – thanks for the continued inspiration. Lovely, as always x

    • Reply Faring Well December 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Aw Jodi, thank you for this. You are too kind and I am genuinely so grateful for you as well – your friendship has meant so much over these past two years! I hope you two are doing all sorts of wonderful in your new space and new town. Lots of hugs to you friend. XO

  • Reply Ingrid | Let's talk evergreen November 29, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Oh girls this looks so comforting! I hope you had a wonderful Arizona Thanksgiving darling! <3

    • Reply Faring Well December 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you so much sweet Ingrid! I hope you are doing crazy well, happy December and Christmas seasons now – yippee!

  • Reply Jasmine Ebott December 20, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you so much! I just started following you and I made this and it was DELICIOUS! My husband loved it too!

    • Reply Faring Well December 22, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Oh yay! I am so glad to hear Jasmine! Thank you for writing me this sweet note, it is so appreciated <3. Enjoy!

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