Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

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Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Often times, Lu and I have these grand ideas, like, “let’s wake up 30 minutes earlier so we can sit together and drink our coffee, instead of rushing to drink it while we get ready for work.” When the alarm goes off, we straight up snooze.

One of our ideas was, “let’s read in bed for an hour before lights out, instead of watching TV.”

As I’m writing this post, I’m staring at the Cooking Light magazine that I started reading in bed last night. I couldn’t force myself to read, but I was looking at all the pretty pictures. I was just exhausted, like every night. What’s the trick to getting your brain to focus the hour before you hit the hay?

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

After a full day, 8am – 10pm of blogging, posting, Tweeting, sharing, commenting, writing, researching, developing, cooking, photographing, brainstorming and planning, I’m beat. By the time I go to the bedroom, the last thing I want to do is use my brain. I want to zone out on TV or just, well, sleep.

Anyone else have this problem?

I have a stack of magazines that weighs about 35 pounds, waiting to be read. Not to mention, a bunch of cookbooks I’ve been meaning to leaf through. Plus, one of my best friends from high school’s boyfriend is a writer and I recently bought his book (What’s Important Is Feeling by Adam Wilson) and haven’t had the time to read it.

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need your tips on calming down your brain at night so I can zone out on a good book or a magazine.

In exchange, I’ll keep whipping up things in the Inspiralized kitchen, like this easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto, that’s featured on the KitchenAid blog.

Since I already have a video on how to make butternut squash risotto, this is really easy. Just add peas and shrimp and you’ve got a whole new take on a simple risotto dish. Shrimp is perfect for a risotto – you want something refreshing (like seafood) when you have a creamy risotto. Or, at least I do!

I also love that this dish can be refrigerated and saved for lunch the next day. It’s just as good – just heat it up in a saucepan or, eek, throw it in a microwave. I never recommend the microwave (mainly because I don’t own one), but if you’re pressed for time, it’s an option.

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

The peas give the risotto that light, springy taste. Spring, yay! It’s spring.

Head over to the KitchenAid blog to get the recipe!

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So, how do you unwind at the end of the day and clear your head? 

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto


Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto


  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound defrosted deshelled, deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese*
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley to garnish


  • Place your spiralized butternut squash noodles into your KitchenAid® food processor. I have the KitchenAid® 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, so I do this in batches. If you have a larger food processor, use that.
  • Pulse on “chop” in two-second intervals until the butternut squash is made into “rice-like” bits. Remove from the food processor and set aside. It should make about 3 cups of “rice.”
  • In a large skillet, place in the olive oil. Then, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 30 seconds and then add in the onions.
  • Let the onions cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Then, add in the butternut squash “rice.” Season with salt and pepper and stir. Let the “rice” cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Let the “rice” reduce. Taste the “rice” and if it is still crunchy, add in another 1/4 cup of the broth and let reduce again.
  • Repeat the taste test and if needed, add in the last 1/4 cup of the broth.
  • Once the rice is done, remove from the heat and stir in the peas and if desired, the Parmesan cheese.
  • While the rice is cooking, set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the shrimp and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes or until opaque.
  • Spoon into bowls and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately!


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Joanne says:
I have the same problem!! So I'm of no help. But if you figure out a secret trick, then let me know! In the meantime, I'll just keep drooling over everything you make. K?
Julie says:
I take a valerian root capsule and suck on homeopathic lozenges call "Stress Mint" they are awesome. If I wake in the middle of the night I pop another one!
Anonymous says:
Drinking a glass of water mixed with a tsp of magnesium caltrate has helped me. It calms and grounds me and I get a good night's sleep. I use the powdered one from Natural Calm (brand name). It does have a laxative effect so be careful. Start slow (1/4 tsp at first and work your way up).
Thank you - great tip !
Christine says:
A short walk outside can help, or you light some candles, dim the light, turn on some piano(or any other)relax music and do 10 minutes of yoga or simple stretching. Then you make yourself a cup of herb tea (hello, sleepytime by celestial seasonings), or chamomile with honey, in a special beautiful cup and start reading. It is also about practice to calm your busy head, but soon enough you will be looking forward to the ritual. Another idea would be to get any massage tool and a lotion of your favourite smell, and massage your legs and arms... there are one million ways to calm down (: Good luck (:
sooo nice!! i wish i good grab this one in my screen:)
Shannon says:
Decided to make this for dinner tonight... man oh man it was delicious! And even though I miss the hubs who is out of town, I'm kinda glad I have enough for leftovers since he isn't here to eat it all :)
Elizabeth says:
I <3 Butternut Squash!
Sarah says:
Thanks for the butternut squash dish idea! The suggestions above are great, especially stretching and drinking herbal tea. In order for me to develop the habit of reading before bed, I had to initially pick something to read that was not related to work and that was a non-fiction page turner. I also had to "force" myself to read for at least 8 minutes every night for a week or so to make it a habit. Now, it's a wonderful habit, and I can read entertaining non-fiction. I still stay away from work related reading. I hope that helps.
susang12 says:
This recipe is lovely, so I've come back to it again. I also used grilled chicken as an alternative to prawns sometimes. As for clearing my head, I start to wind down in the early evening, around 7pm. I don't eat late, and I keep away from work or phone calls after this time. If I do have to work I'll make a herbal tea and keep things low key and not stimulating. Having a bath before bed and moisturising is a lovely way to look after myself. In bed by 9am, means I can get up early and feel refreshed the next day.
Where is the recipe?????
Meaghan says:
Here is a video that will help you make this dish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAxcHg-q3CY
To calm myself and relief stress, I use Reiki, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Meditation (not all at the same time....of course...).
Anonymous says:
I made this tonight it was delicious. I think the amount of garlic needed in the recipe that you - add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. I used 2 gloves of garlic.
Meaghan says:
Thank you for sharing this!

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