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Festive Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

Festive Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

Boring rice can't possibly compete for attention, and that's why Lisa created this blaring and bejeweled rice pilaf. A trio of classic fall flavors - sweet roasted butternut squash, crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds, tart dried cranberries - jazz up bland white rice. Fragrant garlic and cumin further gussy things up, to say nothing of the unexpected kick delivered by a smidge of cayenne pepper. Forget politics and religion - everyone is going to be talking about this rousing rice.

Bite Me Bit

"She's been married so many times she has rice marks on her face."

-Henny Youngman


2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
1 small white onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup raw green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp kosher salt


1) In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add butternut squash and onion, cooking 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, continuing to cook 30 seconds. Add rice and stir until well coated. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

2) While the rice is cooking, place pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over low heat. Toast until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3) Once rice has finished cooking, remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir in cranberries, parsley, salt and toasted pumpkin seeds.

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