Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto with Crispy Sage

Hulled barley is the whole-grain version, meaning it's minimally processed and has only the inedible outer hull removed. It takes longer to cook than the more common pearl barley, but its higher fiber content makes it well worth the wait. If you're time-crunched, though, substitute pearl barley and reduce the cooking time to between 20 and 25 minutes.

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Find more butternut squash recipes here.

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
75 min


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup hulled whole-grain barley, rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/8 tsp (1/4 + 1/8 tsp) sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large saucepan on medium, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add barley and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.

2. Add broth, bay leaf and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender yet still slightly chewy in center, about 50 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss together squash, sage, remaining 1 tbsp oil, pepper and salt. Arrange in a single layer on prepared sheet. Bake, without turning, until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until pine nuts are golden, about 4 minutes more. Transfer sage to a plate; set aside.

4. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add three-quarters of the squash mixture to the barley. Once cooked, remove from heat and break up squash completely with the back of a wooden spoon. Add cheese, stirring to combine. To serve, top with remaining squash mixture and sage.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories 407
  • Carbohydrate Content 56 g
  • Cholesterol Content 9 mg
  • Fat Content 17 g
  • Fiber Content 14 g
  • Protein Content 12 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 466 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g
  • Trans Fat Content 0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 4 g