Butternut Squash Wild Rice

It’s been raining here, steadily, for days. We need it, so I shouldn’t complain, but the temperatures have finally started to release their grip on us, and we are aching to spend more time outside.

While my kindergartener could happily splash around in the rain, the baby doesn’t get to experience that for a while yet, unless I want to introduce him to his first cold.

So that means I retreat to the kitchen, cooking up things that try to balance out the gloom. Soup is often a go-to, but when you have kids, there’s only so many meals per week that you can serve just soup. Instead, I try to change out our side dishes to match the season.

squash wild rice

Butternut squash is one of my favorite things to eat, and happily we’ve been getting plenty in our weekly produce delivery. Once diced and roasted, the cubes can be added to everything: tacos, frittata, lasagna, and even cake. (I have been known to eat butternut and black bean tacos every day for a week.)

Adding it to wild rice just makes sense to me. Wild rice screams fall in my mind, perhaps because we always buy bags of it when we visit our relatives in Minnesota at Christmas. Either way, this dish is great alongside a roasted chicken, meatloaf, or even burgers.

I think it will be making an appearance on our Thanksgiving table, too. It’s a hearty and flavorful gluten-free, vegan side for guests who may not partake of the turkey or stuffing.

Butternut Squash Wild Rice

This versatile, vegan side dish is perfect for fall dining. If you don't have butternut squash on hand, you can try this with roasted pumpkin, and almost any green will work in place of the spinach.
4.5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dishes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 136kcal
Author: Megan


  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 medium butternut squash about 10 ounces, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 4 cups torn spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • Cook wild rice according to package. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, preheat oven to 400°F. Reserve about 1/4 cup of water from the cooked rice.
  • Toss squash in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, spread on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Heat remaining oil in a shallow saucepan over medium. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in wild rice, squash, and spinach, and cook until spinach is bright green and wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in balsamic vinegar. Cook an additional 5 minutes and serve.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15165IU | Vitamin C: 32.8mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1.7mg


What’s your favorite way to use butternut squash?

About Megan

Megan Myers is a copyeditor and spatula-wielding mom seeking out the simpler life in Texas. Her blog, Stetted, focuses on her family’s journey from junk food addiction to a diet of local, organic, and whole foods, while exploring the many options farmers provide.

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  1. I like butternut squash almost any way, but lately I’ve been turning it into a creamy sauce for pastas and it is so delicious. I made a vegan butternut squash lasagna the other day and it was so yummy! This wild rice looks like perfect cold weather comfort food – can’t wait to try it.

  2. That looks delicious! 🙂

  3. Megan,
    This is a brilliant combination. I usually have wild rice in the pantry and the farm share is providing squash each week. Very nice to have seasonal sides that work for a variety of diets.
    Thank you!

  4. Yes, I have been enjoying the steady rain here in the hill country as well. My windows are open and the air is making its way indoors.

    I love butternut squash. My favorite thing to prepare is a butternut squash risotto. So worth the time and care found in the preparation. Another fave is butternut squash and andouille soup. MmmmMmmm!

  5. Great rice dish! Love the addition of butternut squash!

  6. Check out “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook and blog for the best Thanksgiving recipes for the month of November. Denise

  7. 5 stars
    I just bookmarked this! I don’t have an oven, so I think I’ll try steaming it instead. I can’t find wild rice in Korea, that I know of at the moment, so I’ll probably mix it up with boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes.

    I love that you actually have simple recipes on your blog! Thank you! Sometimes I search for simple or easy recipes, and they actually have a million complicated ingredients and steps.

  8. Butternut squash is my favorite 🙂 this rice dish looks incredible!!

  9. recipe says to reserve 1/4 cup rice water. why?

  10. Lisa Phegley says

    Megan, I am making this as I speak. So, will have to let you know how it is. I put these ingredients in as my husband and I are trying to loose weight and get healthy. I put this combo in as Dr. Oz says the combo is a stress buster! Thanks

  11. 4 stars

    I used a little less salt and then added 1/2 c. freshly Parmesan cheese to this to add a little depth. I also used baby spinach instead and just mixed it in with the piping hot rice which wilted it in 2 minutes so didn’t need to cook on the stove top.

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