Butternut Squash & Spinach Barley Risotto Recipe from The Honest Project

butternut squash barley risotto

Winter dinners should be hearty and comforting and this butternut squash risotto served with a soft fried egg perched on top fits the bill perfectly. Cut through the yolk and allow it to run into the risotto – perfect. Serve with warm sourdough bread (just pop some slices under the grill for a few minutes), topped with real butter or a drizzle of olive oil, you decide. We have a feeling this risotto is destined to be a regular dinner this Winter.


– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
– 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 1 cup of pearl barley
– 4 cups of vegetable stock
– 2 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
– 1 tsp grated nutmeg
– Sea salt and black pepper

For the eggs

– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 4 fresh eggs


1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash and cook for a further five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and the pearl barley and stir, cooking for a further two minutes.
2. Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for approx 40 minutes, checking towards every so often to make sure the stock hasn’t cooked off. By the end of the cooking time, the stock should be absorbed and the barley soft and tender. If the barley is too hard, add some more stock until the pearl barley is softened.
3. Once the pearl barley is cooked, add the spinach, thyme and nutmeg and stir well. Spoon into four dinner bowls.
4. Cook the fried eggs by heating 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Crack open the eggs on to the pan and allow to cook for without touching them for a few minutes to allow the whites to set. Then cover the pan for a few minutes to allow the egg yolk to cook, just so that it’s runny. Use a spatula to transfer the egg from your pan and place on top of your risotto.
5. Season with a little black pepper and sea salt and serve straight away with some toasted sourdough bread on the side.


Frances Walsh Frances Walsh is the creator and writer behind healthy lifestyle blog, The Honest Project. The Honest Project focuses on plant based eating and cooking, using vegetables, fruits and wholefoods. Frances’ interest is in preparing and eating foods that are made from scratch but are practical and easy to make for even the most inexperienced cook.

For more information visit thehonestproject.com.

The Honest Project The Honest Project

You may also like...