The combination of sweet butternut squash, herby sausage, and comfort-food rice is so good in those cold autumn months. But the ingredients can get a little repetitive, so that’s why I’m sharing with you three very different recipes that use all three ingredients. You’d be surprised at how versatile your meals can be.
So, if you have an old butternut squash in the back of the fridge, some sausages you can’t shift, and a tired-looking bag of basmati in the cupboard, this article is for you.
These recipes are easily adapted with plant-based sausages and non-dairy milk, to create vegetarian and vegan versions.
Chestnut, Sausage, Squash and Sage Risotto
The image above is from Gino D’Acampo’s Italian Adriatic Escape book, where he has a nice recipe for chestnut and sausage meat risotto. Except, it’s not that great (sorry, Gino) because the chestnut, sausage meat and risotto rice all have the same texture and heavy, stodgy flavour.
But it is a wonderful base for a chestnut, sausage, squash and sage risotto. The sage adds some freshness, and the squash brings it to life. If you need exact timings and temperatures, look for any basic risotto recipe online.
- Cut and peel the squash into cubes, toss with olive oil, chopped sage and honey. Roast until soft.
- Toast your chestnuts and put to one side.
- Take the sausage meat out of their skins and fry until browned. Remove from the pan.
- Fry onion and garlic in the sausage pan with butter, then add the rice. Make risotto as per normal, with ladles of stock.
- Just before the risotto is finished, add the sausage meat and 90% of the butternut squash to the pan, along with parmesan and more butter. Stir until melted and gooey. Season and stir through chopped chestnuts.
- Serve with crispy fried sage leaves, a few butternut squash cubes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over the top.
Sausage, Squash and Kale Casserole, Served with Rice
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in a Tesco magazine. Carl’s ‘all-change casserole’ recipe is now online, so you can make this one easily. Carl uses vegetarian sausages, spinach, and haricot beans, while I use butcher’s sausages, curly kale, and whatever beans we have at the time (usually butter beans or cannellini beans).
It’s a simple, tomato-based casserole with a few select veggies that can easily be taken out for fussy eaters.
What makes this recipe taste so good is that combination of Indian spices – cumin and coriander – with sweet and tart mango chutney. It just melts into the sauce and makes it taste so good!
This is a brilliant winter warmer, and it goes amazingly well with a small bowl of rice. If you have leftover rice in the fridge, this is a great way to use it up.
One final note: if you’re feeding a family of four, use 8 sausages rather than 6 to prevent squabbling.
Wild Rice, Squash, Mushroom and Sausage Soup
My final squash sausage rice recipe is an adaption of this wonderful Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup by Gimme Some Oven. It’s a creamy, vegan recipe that features sweet potato, carrot, mushroom and kale in a cream soup with wild rice.
I’ve made some changes to perfect it, however. I use soy milk sometimes (we don’t drink dairy in our house) instead of tinned coconut milk, but you can use dairy cream if you like.
Replace the sweet potato with butternut squash and cook your sausages separately. I either cook sausages in the oven until slightly browned and crisp, or I use leftover cooked sausages from the fridge. Once they’re cooked and cooled slightly, slice them into discs and stir through the soup at the end.
What I really like about this recipe is how easy it is to make… yet how amazing it is to eat. I found this recipe on Pinterest where it already has hundreds of fans. Gimme Some Oven provide instructions for making this soup in a pressure cooker, in a slow cooker, or on the stovetop.
If you are worried that your fussy family won’t be okay with all the veg in these recipes, read my article about how to artfully hide veg in your meals next.