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Wild Rice with Butternut Squash

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings


Wild Rice

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice may sub chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (may sub 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried rosemary, ground cumin, pepper

Add Later

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons feta crumbles

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 2 cups butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1/2-3/4” cubes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat (that has a tight fitting lid). Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and rice and cook one additional minute.
  • Add all remaining Wild Rice ingredients to the skillet. Cover and reduce heat to low. Gently simmer 45-60 minutes, or until rice is tender, stirring and replacing lid occasionally towards the end of cooking. Add additional water if rice has absorbed all the liquid and is still not done cooking. Check for doneness at 45 minutes. Once rice is tender, remove from heat (with lid on) and let steam 10 additional minutes (this will make for fluffier rice).
  • While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add butternut squash to a foil lined baking sheet (for easy cleanup). Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss squash until evenly coated then line in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until tender.
  • Once rice is cooked, drain rice in a fine hole strainer if there is excess liquid (don’t rinse) and add to serving bowl. Stir in roasted butternut squash, sliced almonds, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and feta. Toss to evenly combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.


  • Wild Rice Blend:  Take care you are using a wild rice blend and not all wild rice. You can find pre-packaged wild rice blends in your grocery store or in bulk bins.
  • Nonstick Skillet:  We want to use a nonstick skillet because the apple juice tends to make the rice stickier and can burn if you don't use a nonstick skillet.
  • Tight Fitting Lid:  Your skillet needs a tight fitting lid in order for the rice to cook properly.  If your lid does not fit well, then cover your skillet with foil then top with your lid.
  • Liquid:  You don't have to use apple juice and can use all low sodium chicken broth, but I love the flavorful sweetness the apple juice adds to the wild rice.
  • Don't Peak:  Don't peak while your rice is cooking until towards the end of cooking and it looks like the liquid may be all absorbed  - then go ahead and give it a stir.
  • Add-Ins:  This Wild Rice Recipe adds almonds, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and feta which I think is perfect.  You may, however, substitute the sliced almonds for chopped pecans, pistachios or pepitas.   You can substitute the craisins for dried cherries or raisins but I do recommend some sort of dried fruit to add the needed sweetness.
  • Protein:  You can turn this Wild Recipe into a complete meal by adding chicken, sausage or lean ground beef.  I actually cooked up some ground turkey with some beef bouillon and added it to my leftovers- yum!


This Wild Rice recipe reheats beautifully.   If making in advance, then follow cooking instructions up through cooking and draining the rice then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Warm rice and squash then stir in almonds, pomegranate seeds, craisins and feta.