Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto

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These brown butter scallops with butternut squash risotto are tender, delicious and nutty. 

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter Scallops

Brown Butter Scallops 

Scallops are one of my favorite types of seafood to cook. I know some people can be intimidated by cooking them but they’re really super simple. It starts with a few teaspoons of neutral oil to the pan and when it was hot, I placed VERY dry, fresh scallops in the pan. I seared them on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes and got the perfect sear.

Risotto in pan
Risotto in skillet

How to Make Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. First you want to work with warm chicken stock in your 4-quart saucepan. You could also use veggie broth, if you want to keep this dish pescatarian.
  2. Next, add the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan. When it’s warm, add in the onion and cook until they’re softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Then you want to add the garlic, thyme and arborio rice and mix. You want to toast the rice until you see the little kernels have what appears to be a white dot in the center of them. This is them par-cooking a bit BEFORE we cook it slowly in the broth.
  4. Pour in the white wine and let it evaporate a bit and cook with the rice. The rice will absorb the wine.
  5. Ladle in a big ladle full of broth, stirring and then letting it cook until it’s been absorbed by the rice. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Then you want to repeat this process about 5 times until the rice has cooked to al dente and has absorbed most of the broth. This process usually takes about 30 minutes.
  6. Mix in the butternut squash puree, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cream cheese. Give it a good stir; it’ll turn super creamy and delicious. And cook for about 2 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and then fold in the butter, parmesan and gruyere. If it’s super runny or thin, not to worry, it’ll thicken a bit as it sits while we sear up the scallops.
  8. To cook the scallops, I like to take a 10-inch skillet and place it over medium heat. Add in the neutral oil and cook the scallops on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the scallops.
  9. Clean out the pan and then add the reserved 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook until it’s toasty and browned.
  10. Divide the risotto amongst 6 bowls. Top it with a three to 4 scallops. And drizzle with the browned butter and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
scallops in pan

Tips and Tricks for these Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto

  • Substitute veggie broth if you want to make this dish pescatarian-friendly.
  • Warm broth helps the risotto cook faster. If you pour in cold broth, you have to wait until it heats up until it can begin cooking the arborio rice, hence the reason why this recipe calls for the first step to heat up the broth.
  • You can substitute pumpkin puree in place of butternut squash puree.
  • If you want to skip the addition of wine, no biggie, you can just skip to the step with the broth. You may need a bit more broth in the end.
Brown butter in skillet

If you make this Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto, let me know on Instagram!

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter Scallops
If you’re looking for more recipes? Here are some complimentary ones:
Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto