Creamy butternut squash brown rice uses a side dish to make this a cinch for a weeknight side dish! Plus, check out my sweet and savory ideas for variations.
I’m a sucker for a winter squash. I don’t discriminate either, I love them all! So hearty, so warm and filling, and yet light and nutritious. What’s not to love?
Umm... the cutting. The feeling that I may lose a finger or a hand every time I wield a knife near a spaghetti squash or butternut squash or acorn squash. Now, it certainly can be worth it. I have a kale and acorn squash salad coming your way soon that’s seriously delicious. (Sign up for my free email newsletter here so you don't miss it!)
And I love my light and healthy spaghetti squash dinners, like my sausage and kale stuffed spaghetti squash and my spaghetti squash with pesto, peas and shrimp.
But some nights, if my little ones are running around the kitchen like wild maniacs, and I’m distracted by screaming voices and work emails and a hungry dog and the pressing need to cook dinner, well, I don’t really want to press my luck and try to cut up a huge squash.
So I cheat. I buy frozen pureed butternut squash. (Mine is labeled "cooked winter squash.") It’s right there in your freezer section and it makes this dish so creamy and so easy.
I first discovered this little gem when I was making my own homemade baby food. It has nothing added to it, so it’s completely clean, but it saves me all of the work of peeling, cutting, cooking and pureeing a butternut squash. Such a life saver!
(Though of course you can absolutely buy a whole squash, roast and puree it to use for this recipe.)
J still loves his frozen butternut squash puree. He’s 2 now and I swear, would eat the entire 10 oz. package if I let him.
This butternut squash brown rice recipe, though, is rounded out with some brown rice that’s cooked in a flavorful broth and a pinch of nutmeg to give it an undertone of warmth and spice. Very subtle, but very tasty. And oh so creamy!
It's great for a weeknight side dish any time, but it's also a lovely addition to a Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday spread.
2 variations for butternut squash brown rice:
- Make it sweet: Stir 1 tablespoon maple syrup into the butternut squash puree before adding it to the rice mixture.
- Make it savory: Top each serving of rice with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley.
It’s delicious any way you decide to serve it and perfect for the cooler months.
Creamy butternut squash brown rice
Creamy brown rice with butternut squash is an easy, delicious side dish!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups brown rice
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (10-oz.) package of frozen butternut (or winter) squash puree
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, plus extra, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
- Add rice and stir to get it coated in the oil and mixed with the onion.
- Stir in 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil (I crank the heat up to high to make this happen faster), reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 30-35 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, defrost frozen butternut squash in the microwave, according to package directions. (Mine takes 5 minutes, covered in a microwave-safe bowl).
- Let it rest for a minute, then remove carefully (it will be HOT!) and stir in nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
- Once rice is cooked, season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in butternut squash mixture and combine.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Try these two variations:
* Make it sweet: Stir 1 tablespoon maple syrup into the butternut squash puree before adding it to the rice mixture.
* Make it savory: Top each serving of rice with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g
Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life
Yum! I've made butternut squash risotto before (I use leftover soup) but I've never tried it without brown rice. I'll definitely try this!
Thanks Michelle! I hope you love it!
This looks amazing! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!
Thanks Karly! And thanks for hosting such a yummy party!
Meaghan @ 4 Sons 'R' Us
This is going on my must-try list, like asap! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Throwback Thursday link party 🙂
Thanks so much, Meaghan! Hope you love it!
This sounds amazing! I didn't even know they sold Winter squash pureed and frozen like that! Thanks for sharing. I'm stopping by today from Happiness is Homemade linkup.
It's such a life saver! I love that stuff and always have some in my freezer. (My 2-year-old even just loves it plain, straight from the microwave!)
I love this!!! The combinations of the butternut squash and rice is BRILLIANT!!!! I am drooling over this. My "teenager" Child all the sudden is running from veggies. She always ate good until recently. She just wants junk food 24/7…It is driving me nuts. I so miss the toddler stage!!
Thanks Katie 🙂 It's so creamy and dreamy, she's sure to love it! (And yes, I'm enjoying this stage where I have total control over what they eat!!)
I am no flop in the kitchen. I prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. I love experimenting and have used butternut with pasta to make cream sauce and my husband and I love it. I was wanting to do something different and did a search on butternut and rice and found this. I was VERY hopeful. Followed the recipe to the letter. As I always do. I cooked and cooked it for over an hour and the rice never really cooked through. It was "crunchy". I was so sad. I still ate it because the flavor was still amazing. It was just a little chewier than I like my rice. I am not sure what went wrong. Maybe my brand of rice was just not willing to cooperate??? Who knows.
Hi Kim, I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm not sure what went wrong with your rice - have you ever had that happen before? I make brown rice ALL the time and it's always done in 30-35 minutes. Never more than 40 even with other ingredients and mix-ins. Maybe it was a bad bag? Glad you loved the flavor at least - maybe it'll turn out more tender next time!
This is absolutely delicious! Next time though I think I'll use my rice cooker to cook the rice instead of doing it on the stovetop.
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it Felicia! 😊
I had a butternut squash half i had roasted and was looking to use it in a different way. I blended it with my immersion blender - using that instead of frozen- and followed the rest of your recipe. Delicious! Everyone loved it. Topped it with walnuts & parmesan cheese.....( didn't have fresh parsley) . Great , easy, healthy side. Thanks!!
YUM! So happy to hear you enjoyed it Ana - thanks so much for sharing!! 😊
I just throw a whole squash into the oven and cook it. Then once it is cooked and softened I scrape out the seeds. The flesh scrapes easily away from the peel. This way I don't have to cut a hard, huge squash. If I want chunks rather than softer flesh, I just don't cook it as long and can cut it easily away from the peel and scrape out seeds. Then I cube it and can sauté or add to whatever dish.
Good tips, thanks!