Gingery Roasted Butternut Squash Rice
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This gingery roasted butternut squash rice with onions and peas has both savory and sweet notes. It’s a perfect side dish for the fall months, and it’s really easy to make.

I’ve always loved butternut squash. I eat it year round, but I get especially excited about it in the fall, when it starts to find its way into a lot of my meals. I add it to vegan risotto, soup, chili, pizza, and even nachos.

I love winter squash so much that it tends to outshine any other ingredient in any recipe. But there are a lot of other great components to this gingery butternut squash rice, too. There are sweet, bright green peas, which offset all of the other, earthy ingredients.

There’s onion, which adds savoriness to the rice. And there’s apple, which gets roasted along with the butternut squash. Apple + squash is one of my favorite autumn pairings, and it’s on great display in this recipe.

An overhead image of a round bowl of gingery butternut squash rice.

Butternut squash rice ingredients

The rice dish has relatively simple ingredients, but each of them is purposeful.

Butternut squash

The butternut squash adds nutrition, color, sweetness, and satisfaction to an otherwise simple rice pilaf. You can use pre-cut squash from the store, break down a squash yourself, or even use frozen squash chunks. Any of those options is fine!

Onion

Onion is here to add a savory quality to the rice. I cut my onion into 1-inch pieces, so that they’re almost the same size as the apple and squash pieces. This ensures that the ingredients roast evenly.

Apple

I love using roasted apple in savory fall dishes! It adds mellow sweetness with deep flavor.

You can use any type of apple for the recipe. I like roasting honeycrisp, gala, and Jonagolds.

Ginger

Fresh, minced ginger gives the rice dish a more complex flavor profile and a zippy edge. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can substitute a teaspoon of ground ginger with the roast vegetables.

Peas

Though peas are really a springtime vegetable, I keep a bag of frozen ones in my freezer at all times. I love peas, and in this recipe, they add freshness and color.

Tamari

I use some salt for roasting the vegetables and apple for the butternut squash rice. However, tamari is the main source of salt. I like that it adds saltiness as well as umami, and because it’s liquid, it’s easy to stir into the prepared rice.

If you don’t have tamari, you can use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or nama shoyu instead.

Vinegar

Very few of my recipes are complete without some acid, and the butternut squash rice is no exception. I know that two types of vinegar (plain rice vinegar and apple cider) seems fussy, but really, they add different flavor here! I like to use them both. If you don’t have one of them in your pantry, it’s OK to omit.

Preparing your brown rice

A while back, I stumbled on this method of cooking short grain brown rice (boiling it, like pasta!) and I haven’t looked back. That’s how I call for the rice to be prepared in this recipe.

If you have another rice cooking method that you love, you can use it for your rice cookery instead. And while we’re on the topic, you can substitute long-grain white or brown rice for the short grain brown rice if you wish to.

Can I use another type of winter squash?

Yes, you certainly can! Acorn squash, kabocha squash, honeycutt squash, and delicata squash will all work really nicely in the recipe.

Butternut squash rice leftovers & storage

The butternut squash rice leftovers will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. They also freeze really well! You can freeze the leftovers for up to six weeks and enjoy them for future meals.

To make meal prep for the recipe a little easier, you can roast the vegetables or cook the rice ahead of time. Doing either step in advance will make assembly of the rice a bit easier.

Serving butternut squash rice

On it’s own, the rice is a great side dish. With a salad, it’s a nice, light meal.

To make it a power plate, you can add a protein source to the rice! Try some lemon pepper tempeh cubes, balsamic mustard baked tempeh, tempeh croutons, balsamic tofu, chickpeas, white beans, or lentils.

More butternut squash recipes

If the butternut rice inspires you to make a few more butternut-themed autumn recipes, here are a few of my favorites:

An angled image of a round, white ceramic bowl filled with rice and roasted autumn vegetables.
A white, ceramic bowl holds a mixture of roasted butternut squash, rice, and peas.
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Butternut Squash Rice

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 16-20 ounces cubed butternut squash (1 medium sized squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large apple (any variety), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (divided)
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen and defrosted green peas
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat you oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place the squash, onion, and apple on the prepared sheet and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the avocado oil. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the mixture for 20. Sprinkle the vegetables and fruit with the ginger, stir them on the sheet, and then continue to roast for another 10-20 minutes, or until the squash and apples are gently browning.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the brown rice. Boil the brown rice for 35-40 minutes, or until all of the grains are tender. Add the peas to the pot and let them boil with the rice for 1-2 minutes, till bright green and tender. Drain the brown rice and peas, then return them to the pot. Cover the pot and let the mixture steam for 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, fold together the cooked rice, peas, and roasted vegetables. Whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, tamari, and vinegars. Pour this dressing over the rice, mix again, and serve warm.
An autumnal whole grain and vegetable dish rests in a light white and gray ceramic bowl.

You really can’t go wrong with this dish. It’s warming, cozy, and delicious. The ginger is subtle, but it brightens everything in the recipe. And while the rice takes a little while to cook, it’s mostly inactive work (roasting and boiling).

Hope you’ll add this to your fall recipe wish list!

xo

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    39 Comments
  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!