This year we’ve gone virtual in many ways. Business meetings. School. Doctor visits. And we’re totally on board with this year’s virtual twist on the dinner party—sharing recipes with friends and then comparing tasting notes while catching up over a glass of wine! Entertaining sure is different this year, but social distancing doesn’t mean we need to stop sharing food and friendship, right?
This new recipe—Cheesy Butternut Squash Rice Bowl with Shrimp—is our recommendation for your next Virtual Dinner Party! It’s also seriously fun to put together. We are already huge fans of bowls—you could say we are bowled over by them—because they’re an easy way to pack nutrition into a satisfying, balanced meal. This bowl is especially satisfying (and Zoom-genic!) with succulent sautéed shrimp topping a hearty, no-stir butternut squash risotto that’s infused with garlic and herbs.
This recipe features heart-healthy, protein-rich shrimp, which has about 18 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving and provides 50% of your daily selenium needs. Swapping brown for white rice ups the nutritional profile of this dish.
Ingredient alert: This recipe makes liberal use of grated parmesan. Do not skip! The salty parmesan nicely balances the sweetness of the squash and shrimp.
Here are a few more suggestions that will make your Virtual Dinner Party fun and successful. The week prior, ask someone to choose a wine that can be enjoyed with dinner. The day of, remind the group to have their ingredients prepped and ready to go so everyone is ready to cook. Add a fun element, like getting dressed for dinner or voting on the most unique tablescape! This bowl is so amazing, we’re sure you and your friends will want to make it again and again! We’d love to hear how your Virtual Dinner Party goes!
Cheesy Butternut Squash Rice Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Carrie Walder, MS, RD, Walder Wellness
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon for shrimp)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 20 medium-size shrimp (approximately 8 ounces)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until garlic starts to brown and become fragrant.
- Add cubed butternut squash, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to the saucepan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add brown rice and vegetable broth to the saucepan. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Allow to simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed.
- Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Heat a pan to medium-high and cook shrimp 1 to 2 minutes on each side. To ensure adequate space between each shrimp, you may have to do this in batches. Set cooked shrimp aside in a clean bowl.
- Once the butternut squash-rice mixture has absorbed all of the liquid, stir in the freshly grated parmesan. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve butternut squash rice into bowls and top with sautéed shrimp. Enjoy hot!