Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto Balls

We are always looking for something new to try and this worked out very. Maybe next time I will add a pinch or so of red pepper flakes to give it a little spice.

I served these on a bed of Lyn’s red pasta sauce with a drizzle across the top and then a sprinkle of grated cheese. YUM.


Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto Balls by TRobinson – Source: Clean Eating



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pot barley, rinsed (NOTE: Hulled barley works equally well in this recipe.  You’ll need to adjust the cooking time as directed in Step One.)
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash (1/4-inch cubes)
  • 1/4 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup whole-grain panko bread crumbs (of 3/4 cup whole-grain regular bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil cooking spray


In a medium pot on medium-high, heat oil. Add onion, garlic and sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add broth and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. (NOTE: If you are using hulled barley, cook for an additional 20 to 40 minutes to further soften grains. Add squash and return to a simmer, cover and cook until tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes more. Mix in goat cheese and salt.


Transfer to shallow dish, cover loosely and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4 hours or overnight.


Preheat oven to 400. Form barley mixture into 1-to 2-inch balls, making about 24 balls in total. In a small bowl, combine panko and Parmesan. Roll each ball into mixture then transfer to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet.

make balls

Mist with cooking spray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crisp on the outside and heated through.


Hey as long as I was making balls why not mix up a quick batch of Meatballs