Gingery Rice with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion & Peas

Gingery Rice with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion & Peas | The Full Helping

This seems to be a week of butternut squash recipes, since I posted one yesterday and I’m posting another today. Truthfully, I could eat winter squashes just about every day, regardless of the season. Today’s recipe for gingery rice with roasted butternut squash, onion and green peas is a new favorite. It’s simple, savory, and roasting the vegetables gives it so much depth of flavor.

I love winter squash so much that it tends to outshine any other ingredient in any recipe, but the star of this dish was in many ways the rice I used: Madagascar pink rice from Lotus Foods. This rice, which I received in my Vida Vegan Con swag bag, has a subtle sweetness and a beautiful pink hue. I also found that it’s slightly sticky rice when cooked: not so sticky as sushi or black rice, but a little more sticky than regular ole short grain brown rice (which is what I tend to cook with). A few more fun facts about pink rice:

  • Cooks in only 20 minutes
  • Whole grain and heart healthy
  • Gluten and wheat free
  • Nutritionally dense, milled to retain most of the wholesome bran layer

I rarely say “no” to rice that cooks in 20 minutes—what a gift! I couldn’t wait to use this new whole grain when I saw it in the swag bag, and it didn’t disappoint; I loved the hint of sweetness, and I even thought I could detect a faint cinnamon flavor, too.

Of course you could cook your vegetables with the rice for this dish, and that would turn it into a one-pot meal. But I promise that there’s good reason for the roasting. It brings out the caramelized sweetness of both the squash and the onions, and that ends up lending really valuable flavor to the whole meal. A salty, gingery marinade completes the dish and is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet roasted veggies.

Gingery Rice with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion & Peas | The Full Helping

Gingery Pink Rice with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion, and Green Peas
Recipe Type: entree
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 or 1 1/4 lbs (16-20 ounces, or about 3-4 cups) butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 white or yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 apple (any variety), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon safflower, grapeseed or canola oil (for roasting the vegetables)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup pink rice (substitute short grain brown rice* or black rice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (substitute coconut aminos)
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger (substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping cup frozen and thawed green peas
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash, onion, and apple on it. Coat with vegetable oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are all tender and the squash is caramelized, stirring a few times during cooking to prevent burning.
  2. When you’ve got about 20 minutes of roasting time left for the vegetables, cook the rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, heat a small pan of water to boil and blanch the peas for about a minute, then drain them.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, tamari or Bragg’s, rice vinegar, ginger, and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  4. When the rice and vegetables are done, transfer both to a large mixing bowl. Add the peas and the marinade and mix everything well. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more tamari or vinegar as needed. Serve.
*If you’re using brown rice, note that the rice cooking time will be closer to 40-45 minutes.[br][br]Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Gingery Rice with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion & Peas | The Full Helping

You really can’t go wrong with this dish. It’s absolutely delicious, the ginger gives it a little exotic flair, and in spite of the cooking steps, it comes together with very little effort. I urge you to try it the next time you’ve got some squash on your hands! And naturally, you can use a rice of your choice.

Thanks, everyone, for inquiring about the Orgo test! I will tell you that I saw a kid throw his own test into the trashcan and leave the auditorium about halfway through, and that’s a fairly accurate representation of how most of us felt. Then again, the thing about these hard science classes is that there’s always a curve, and when everyone feels as though they were just destroyed by IUPAC naming and reaction mechanisms, it’s hard not to go home with a sense of beleaguered camaraderie. What will be, will be.

And no matter what, there’s good food to come home to.


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  1. So I made this today and it is easy and delicious except I used too much sauce which made it salty. Will try to serve over raw spinach and add sesame oil with fresh lime as suggested by other reviewers to tone it down. I doubled the recipe to make for company and thought to double the sauce but big mistake.

  2. Gena, I must tell you how amazing this dish is. I made it last night and was skeptical because it was so incredibly easy to make, but when it all came together it blew my mind! The tangy, gingery kick from the dressing is just perfect against the caramelized roasted veggies and apple, and I love the addition of peas for color and texture. This has become a favorite for me, and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe! xo

  3. I just made this, subbing quinoa for the rice and adding some baby spinach and lentils, and it was lovely. Absolutely delicious!

    Thanks Gena!

  4. Yummy! I just came across Madagascar Pink Rice this afternoon at the store and remembered your post. This was delicious! (Btw, freezer-burned edamame does not make a terrifically tasty substitue for the peas. Otherwise, we *loved* this!) 🙂 Thanks for another great one, Gena!

  5. Tried this last night and it was DIVINE! I’d never cooked with coconut oil before, so couldn’t wait to try out your recipe. The smell in my kitchen was just heavenly. I used basmati rice instead of pink rice, but all good. Thanks Gena! Will definitely make this again. xo

  6. I made this last night and thought that the dressing was a little overpowering and gingery for the roasted veggies. That said, I did LOVE the dressing and am massaging some kale with it tonight and topping the kale with some quinoa and a half an avocado with a squeeze of lemon!

  7. I made this recipe last night and I’m back just to say how delicious it was! Perhaps my favorite recipe that I’ve tried off your blog. I used brown rice, acorn squash, and ginger paste, because that’s what I had lying around the house, and sadly didn’t have any apples. But it was scrumptious nonetheless! It was hard not to eat the extra portion I made for my work lunch.

  8. This looks great. I was in Thailand and Bali this summer, and I’ve been missing the incredible red rice that they serve. I’ve never had pink rice, but I’m definitely going to get some asap! Love the ginger : )

  9. Thanks for the pink rice suggestion. I’m a huge fan of forbidden rice (I buy Lotus Foods). It’s wonderful with a bit of sesame oil and fresh lime – but careful, the rice will stain your wooden spoon a dark purple hue. Good flavor for a gluten-free diet.

  10. I just made this, it was lovely!! I served it over a plate of raw spinach and I used brown rice. This is definitely the kind of food I am craving at the moment! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you post Gena, you always keep me enthused to eat well!

  11. It looks incredibly yummy! As did your previous recipe with the zucchini and squash. I love it how your recipes look healthy and supertasty at the same time. Thank you for the tip on the article, at first look it looks interesting, so I’m definitely going to read it soon.

  12. This dish looks so comforting and colorful. Lovely!

    I’ll be in NYC this Sunday for a blogger event on West 24th Street, near Penn Station. Any recommendations for great vegan restaurants? 🙂

  13. love the colors in that dish! so vibrant and full of life 🙂
    girl you know we love our ginger!!

    hope all is well! we need to catch up soon!!!

  14. Lovely. The weather’s getting warmer here and I can see myself making a big batch of this for a lovely cool rice salad during the summer… there’s just something about ginger that makes it compulsory eating during scorching heat. 🙂

  15. So yummy! I made it for dinner with the load of squash my mother-in-law gave me from their farm. Keep the butternut recipes coming. I am going to try yesterday’s recipe soon- I have my eye on one last zucchini in our garden.
    Thanks for all the great recipes during your crazy class schedule!

  16. It sounds as though some of your class mates have a real flair for the dramatic! I am sorry to hear that it is all so challenging, but your right, it is an awesome way to bond a group of people together! I think you have become a cooking fiend! And that is awesome. I love the use of pink rice here, and the idea that you are introducing this new ingredient to so many readers! Awesome.

  17. This dish looks great though I think I’ll swap out the peas for perhaps edemame as I’m not a pea fan. I was captivated by the Lotus brand black “forbidden” rice last winter and cooked it regularly, so this exotic pink variety intrigues me.

    Great to hear your positive, realistic attitude re. your exam results. You did your best; onto the next challenge! Happy weekend to you, Gena!

    • Funny, Karen, because I have an edamame and rice dish in mind for next week. This one is delicious not matter what — enjoy!

  18. Looks delicious as always.
    I habitually cut cooking times for grains by around a third by pre soaking them in boiling water for around an hour before starting to cook. I just dump them in saucepan, cover them in boiling water, leave ’em, rinse them clean an hour later, which gets rid of excess starch, or if dealing with quinoa, that bitter layer of saponins, and then boil them up for real. Sometimes this means you need a little less water, but it cuts cooking times dramatically, which if you’re dealing with long grain brown rice is always a huge plus.

  19. If it’s any consolation, we’re having a huge orgo exam today, too. Stereochemistry and I are going down…. ;-(

  20. I’m sure you did better than you think, and even if the result isn’t quite what you’d dream of? Ain’t nothin’ gonna take away from the awesome, compassionate, inspiring, and courageous doctor you’ll be in the real world. Fact.

  21. Yet another looking delicious-looking recipe, Gena!

    I am sorry things were rough during your exam-I’m sure you did better than you think you did, though! Exams are coming up for me, too…

  22. I didn’t know it was a long weekend?
    ‘Beleaguered camaraderie’–I love it! –Hope it all comes out well.

    Love, too that you admit to possible autosuggestion about the cinnamon note–we’ve all been there!

  23. One of my favorite dishes right now is healthy “faux fried” rice. This just took it up another step! Will you come over and make this for my birthday tomorrow please? 😉 Kidding but this does look fantastic!

  24. Wow! I bookmarked this straight into my recipes tab. I have two giant butternuts hanging out on my kitchen table until I find a fun new way to use them. I think I just did, thanks!

  25. That pink rice is fascinating! I must get some soon! I really am excited by your last few recipes– the food looks so wholesome and healthful and I can’t wait to try some of these creations.

  26. “Are we all gearing up for a long weekend? ” <— I am not even sure why I would be…probably a holiday that I don't know about? Googling that one next. Whoops!

    As for not turning it into a one pot meal, I chuckled because I am the queen of that. But you're right, you have to cook these things separately otherwise the flavor muddles. Or cook them 80% of the way separately and then finish them all off in one pot.

    I love the pop of the green peas…and the pink rice. So pretty!