So, I have a butternut squash. I was going to make soup. Which was especially enticing since it doesn’t requiring spending too much time cutting up the squash, which I find tedious (and somewhat dangerous).

Then I felt like making butternut squash risotto after seeing this recipe on But I didn’t feel like stirring and I wanted to make something that would take minimal time and effort.

So I improvised a bit and substituted Trader Joe’s Israeli couscous medley, used TJ’s cut up butternut squash, added pine nuts, pancetta, and sage, and voila – Poor Man’s butternut squash risotto.

Here’s the basic recipe (note: I mostly feel recipes are taste guidelines, so I don’t really include exact amounts, sorry!)

TJ’s Harvest Grain’s Blend (Israeli couscous with some other good stuff thrown in)

one package TJ’s cut up butternut squash 16 oz


chopped garlic

chopped pancetta

toasted pine nuts

Minced sage

cheese: some pecorino, grated provolone

about 1/4 cup white wine

salt, pepper to taste

Roast the butternut squash: Oven to 400F. Spread out on single layer on baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes or until soft and browned.

Cook the harvest medley according to package directions (I use at least half chicken stock, some white wine and water).

Sautee the pancetta with the garlic and sage until garlic begins to brown and pancetta is brown and crisp.

To the pot with the harvest medley – add a bunch of arugula, mix until it wilts. Add the squash, add the pancetta-garlic-sage mix, the pine nuts. Add some cheese and mix. Adjust flavors as needed.

Thanks to my awesome roommate John for introducing me to TJ’s harvest medley mix!