Shortcut Brown Rice Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Butternut Squash and Broccoli

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 20 minutes (cooked rice needed)


By Vicki Brett-Gach
Vicki is a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, and a Certified Personal Chef through Wellness Forum Health.


  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (leftover cold rice works best)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • Optional Crunchy Garnish:
  • toasted whole grain breadcrumbs
  • OR
  • finely chopped roasted pecans
  • finely chopped roasted pecans


In a large saucepan or electric skillet, saute diced onion in a few splashes of the measured water (to prevent sticking) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Add the butternut squash and the remainder of the water, and cook for several minutes on a fairly high flame until the vegetables are tender.

Then add the broccoli florets, and continue to cook just until the florets turn bright green. Into the pan of vegetables, add the cooked brown rice, along with the broth and the white wine.

Lower the heat if needed to allow the liquids to simmer slowly with the rice and the vegetables for just a few minutes, until mostly, but not entirely absorbed.

Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the pan.

Once the broth and the wine are almost completely absorbed, add non-dairy milk for a little creamy finish. Combine briefly (but thoroughly) until the rice mixture is creamy. Remove from heat.

Season to taste, and garnish with toasted breadcrumbs or roasted pecans, if desired.

Serve immediately.