Mains, Vegan, Vegetarian

Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Pesto Pearl Barley Risotto

Cooking method:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Skill Easy
  • Serves 4 people

Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Pesto Pearl Barley Risotto

An extraordinary risotto like no other. The red pepper pesto adds delicious depth, and the texture of the pearl barley compliments the other components wonderfully. Enjoy!


Tip: Allergy Advice

This dish contains the following allergens: Nuts


  • 1 white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dairy free butter
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1.2L vegetable stock
  • 350g dried pearl barley (rinsed)

For the pesto

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 40g dairy free parmesan or alternative
  • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g pine nuts
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Cooking mode

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  • Step 1

    Begin by preheating the oven to 180c and lining two baking trays with parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    Scatter the small butternut squash cubes onto one and the sliced red peppers onto the other. Drizzle both with oil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile in a large saucepan on a medium heat add the extra virgin olive oil along with the white onion and crushed garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.

  • Step 4

    Next add the dried sage, pearl barley and butter and combine.

  • Step 5

    Pour in the stock and leave to simmer for 25 minutes or so until the pearl barley has absorbed the stock and is cooked.

  • Step 6

    Whilst the risotto is cooking prepare the pesto by adding all of the ingredients including the roasted red peppers into the Ninja blender and blending until smooth. Empty into a bowl.

  • Step 7

    Rinse the blender and next add half of the butternut squash to it and blend again until smooth.

  • Step 8

    Pour into the risotto along with half of the pesto and stir until combined.

  • Step 9

    Finish by plating up and topping with the remaining butternut squash chunks, pesto dollops and fresh basil. Enjoy!