Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes

Whenever I make risotto, I always make extra for risotto cakes. I can’t think of a more frugal yet inspired way to use leftovers. Risotto cakes actually turn out best when made from chilled, day-old risotto. When cooked risotto is held too long, the starchy arborio rice turns glutinous and gummy, not desirable for fresh risotto. But this glutinous texture is perfect for savory risotto cakes.

I enjoy an egg and breadcrumb crust, though it is not necessary to the success of the recipe. The dried mushrooms aren’t essential but they were a wonderful addition. Risotto cakes can be as simple as forming chilled risotto into patties and sautéing in butter or oil. Although I use yesterday’s dinnerFeed recipe, any leftover risotto would work well with risotto cakes.

Of course to have leftover risotto, you must make risotto. These cakes are so yummy, you may intentionally make a batch of risotto tonight to enjoy risotto cakes tomorrow. In this spirit of epicurean frugality, save your leftover mushroom-enhanced water for another day’s soup!

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes


  • 1/4 cup dried wild mushrooms (I used cepes)
  • 3 cups leftover chilled butternut squash risotto
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread flakes)
  • 6 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
  • Chives for garnish,optional


  1. Rehydrate mushrooms by soaking in warm water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  3. Chop mushrooms and thoroughly combine with leftover chilled risotto. Form risotto mixture into 6 (3/4-inch-thick) patties. Place flour, egg, and panko in 3 separate shallow dishes. Coat 1 cake with flour, tapping off excess, then egg,letting excess drip off, and then panko, pressing lightly into flakes to adhere. Transfer to wax paper. Repeat process with remaining cakes.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté cakes until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Turn cakes over with a guiding hand and spatula, adding additional oil as needed.
  5. Transfer with a slotted spatula to a paper-towel-lined baking pan and keep risotto cakes warm in oven. Serve hot, garnished with chives if desired.

Mushroom soak time: 30 minutes

Active time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 6 (4-inch) cakes

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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