Roasted Butternut Squash, Chicken and Parmesan Risotto

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s so weird to say that I’m actually a CA resident. Newport Beach is a very exciting place to be and is gorgeous. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned the few days we’ve been here:

  • Range Rovers seem to be the vehicle of choice around this town. They are EVERYWHERE making my Honda Accord look really sad! We like to see how many of them will pull up along side of us at each stop light.
  • The women really do dress up to go to the grocery store. It’s funny that I poke fun at my header with the high heels, but it’s really true here!
  • Awesome Produce is available and I can hardly wait to map out some farmer’s markets around town. I just found the BEST Whole Foods Market. I am going to have so much fun there!
  • I LOVE having the beach 10 minutes away. This will cure any bad day, I’m sure of it.


Even though it feels like we’re just vacationing and I’ll be returning home to AZ soon, I’m looking forward to all the adventures we come across here in this peculiar little fancy town.

Here’s my first recipe out of my new CA kitchen. I love risotto, this one is warm, wintery and delicious. Don’t be afraid of the butternut squash, it is to die for when roasted in the oven. Click HERE and HERE to see how to peel and dice one up, it’s really easy and a great vegetable to introduce to the kids, they’ll think it’s a carrot! Hope you all enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Chicken and Parmesan Risotto

2 Cups fresh butternut squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (see links above to properly dice one)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt with parsley

1 Tablespoon butter

12 oz bag Arborio rice

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

4 Cups chicken broth

1/2 Cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Cups cooked chicken, cubed

1/4 Cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 thin slices prosciutto, julienned for garnish (you can also substitute crumbled bacon for the prosciutto)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash, olive oil, salt and garlic salt into a large bowl; toss to combine and pour onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

2. In the meantime, melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Stir in rice and onion; cook and stir for 5 minutes, until onions are softened. Stir in garlic for 1 minute. Stir in ½ Cup of chicken broth, stirring constantly. As the broth gets soaked up, stir in another ½ Cup until broth, continuing this process until broth is used up and rice is cooked. Then stir in Parmesan cheese, chicken and parsley. Stir in butternut squash right before serving.

3. Garnish each bowl with a pinch of prosciutto and a sprig of parsley if desired.

6 servings


We had to take the boys to the beach our first night, it was freezing, but they loved it!



Have a great week everyone! I’ll be back with some more quick fix weeknight meals, I gotta lay off the sweets for a while, but not for too long!


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52 Responses
  1. Catherine Wilkinson

    Oh no! Watch out for the Housewives of Orange County! They look mean! I’m so glad you’re getting settled and the boys love the beach! But we’ll miss you here in Arizona!

  2. Emily

    I’m jealous you live so close to the beach.
    That’s funny about the high heels. Are you going to start wearing high heels now just to fit in?

    The risotto sounds amazing. I’m a fan of the butternut. It goes great in Baked Butternut Four Cheese Farfalle with Sage.

    Can’t wait to see you on the desserts show!

  3. That Girl

    1) Range Rovers are what stands out to you? Keep driving – the countless Bentleys, Hummers, and Porsches are what amazed me when I moved to Orange County.
    2) I agree with Jenn if you’re talking about the Whole Foods at the District, but for something that may be a little closer – make sure to check out the market in the food court at Fashion Island. It’s a little pricey, but FANTASTIC.
    3) The UCI Farmer’s Market is probably the best in the area. The one in Corona Del Mar, while closer probably is pretty pathetic. If you’re up for the drive, my favorite is in San Clemente.

  4. Bonnie

    Jenny, I LOOOOVE Whole Foods. They have the best produce and their deli sandwiches and salads are to die for! That is the cutest picture of you and your little guy at the beach. You look beautiful!

  5. Girl Japan

    I agree, Produce is the best… is this just a vay-cay? Will you be moving soon? I lived in Orange County for a few years got used to it but honestly.. when I was to tired to dress and shop in heels, I through ha swanky overcoat on. Could not get away with that during the summer though…

    No matter where you are.. just be yourself.. I am loving the recipe.. squash is a favorite of mine.

    Japan seems like the OC on steroids..

  6. CookiePie

    That risotto looks fabulous, and your family is so beautiful! Hope you find great happiness in your new home for many years to come 🙂

  7. Rachelle

    Welcome to Ca sunshine! Isn’t California grand! I love it here. I’m down in San Diego, and I think we only have a couple of Whole Foods here. I’m loving Trader Joe’s down the road from me though.

    This dish looks great, and I’ve been meaning to try risotto sometime.

  8. Anne

    I love the pics of your family on the beach! It looks like you guys are settling in nicely and I can’t wait to see some more wonderful dinners. 🙂 (PS I have an Accord too!)

  9. Ashlee

    Hi Jenny –

    I know you visited Ranch market in Mesa…there is a great produce market near Newport in Costa Mesa by Triangle Square called Grower’s Direct. Good prices and fresh stuff….also the farmer’s market at UCI on Saturday mornings is great! 🙂 Enjoy.

  10. hot garlic

    I can’t believe how well you’ve kept up on your blog through all of your chaos and holidays and moving! You really are Super Woman! I love risotto and this looks like a good one.

  11. Lisa

    Your risotto looks delicious. Newport Beach is so nice. We went to a wedding there years ago. I am finally caught up from the holidays and now able to be back blog reading.

  12. The Curtis Family

    I can’t wait to try this — it looks like a dish I had at Brio a couple of months ago.

    Side note: Fisher had a breakdown over the holidays about how all his best friends (Sol and Mason) have moved. I’m not talking just a little sadness. Serious sobbing. It was so sad. I hope your guys (and you!) are making new friends and loving Newport! Jealous!!

  13. CraftyT

    Welcome to California. I just mmoved back to Northern California after 8 months in South Carolina.

    I love it here and yes the produse is the BEST. I can drive 30 minutes any directions and be near farms where I can get the produce right off the trucks.

    Makes eating fun. I love your BLOG I have only been reading it for a few weeks but I love the dishes you prepare.

  14. Amber

    You could wear a garbage sack to the grocery store and look amazingly gorgeous! And I am excited to try your risotto recipe! I was very afraid the first time I made risotto, but it’s actually reall easy!

  15. Jenn

    Jenny! I had no idea you were moving to CA! I live right near you, in Tustin. And yes, that Whole Foods in Irvine at the District (if that’s not the one you’re talking about, you HAVE to go see it) is FANTASTIC! Email me if you want info on good farmers’ markets! Welcome to the OC!

  16. Bob

    That looks so good. What a great combo of flavors. But hey, you never did that tag thing I hit you with! Heh, no stress in reality though, I’m just busting chops. 😉

  17. Mary Ann

    Jenny- I am dying to try this! I am in love with butternut squash- we are eating it a couple times a week and risotto is also a new-found love. I made it twice last week.
    This looks great- I am glad you are loving your new home.
    I would love to be that close to the beach too.

  18. Sara

    Yummy this recipe looks great! I love Newport Beach and I bet your kids will love being the beach.

  19. Bunny

    10 minutes away from the beach huh? Guess who’s gonna be having lots of guests visiting for the summer !! This looks so good Jenny,a great winter dinner!

  20. Tina ♥

    We sometimes vacation there and it is gorgeous! We go to the Newport Beach Coast villas. Living there sounds like a dream! Thanks for all the yummy recipes.

  21. carol

    Oh those pictures of you and your family on the beach look SO inviting…I’m seeing snow, sleet and freezing rain out my window….YUCK!
    This risotto look wonderful…maybe. just MAYBE this would be a way to get my husband to eat butternut squash…if not…all the more for me!!!!

  22. Prudy

    How fun to live in Newport. I grew up not far from there. We end up there every summer still for at least a weekend, and usually in the winter too for a little bit. It’s a lot easier to find a parking spot in the winter!

  23. Allie

    So glad you’re learning your way around so soon. I’m so jealous you’re in CA! I told my husband that’s one place I could settle in really fast with the beach near by and all the fun stuff to do. You’re risotto looks so yummy!

  24. Kaitlin

    Jenny this looks awesome! I bet your new home is fabulous, and the beach shots are gorgeous!

  25. Barbara Bakes

    I’m so jealous! My favorite beach to go to when we lived in CA was Newport! I also miss the fresh produce!

  26. Katherine Aucoin

    I miss Whole Food Market, they are none here; they do have the best produce. Your risotto looks so rich and creamy. I’d love a big bowl of this right now!

  27. Nikki

    The produce in CA is the best!! I had to move from CA to Arkansas for my husband’s job and I nearly cried every time I went to the grocery store! Have many fun adventures with your new move.

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