Butternut Squash Pilaf

Butternut Squash Pilaf

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2008

Grated butternut squash adds color and nutrients to this brown rice pilaf. This is a riff on a traditional Greek dish that calls for Greek pilaf rice and pumpkin; here we've substituted instant brown rice and butternut squash.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup instant or parboiled brown rice
  • 1¾ cups water, or 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chopped fennel fronds, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Grate the squash through the large holes of a box grater.
  2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons water and tomato paste in a small bowl and stir it into the pan. Add rice and stir to coat. Add the squash, in batches if necessary, and stir until it has reduced in volume enough so that you can cover the pan.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in 1¾ cups water (or broth) and wine, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Add fennel fronds, oregano, salt, cinnamon and pepper; gently stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  • Ingredient note: Fennel “fronds” are the feathery tops on fennel bulbs. Look for fresh fennel bulbs—with their fronds still attached—in the produce section. The fronds look similar to fresh dill and have a mild licorice flavor. You'll need to buy one large or two smaller bulbs of fennel to have enough fronds to make ½ cup chopped.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about ¾ cup
  • Per serving: 151 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 4 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 23 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 10,847 IU vitamin A; 17 mg vitamin C; 53 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 302 mg sodium; 332 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (217% daily value), Vitamin C (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 fat

Reviews 4

December 30, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Terrible! This was terrible, way to much squash, not enough rice incredibly bland! Had to throw the whole thing away. Would never make again, waste of time and effort. Pros: None Cons: Everything
November 04, 2011
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By: shawneegirl
Really Great! We had this tonight; it was really great! I used parboiled brown rice and followed the recipe exactly. This recipe was so easy and yielded great results! My husband had never had butternut squash before and this was a super way to introduce it to him - he loved it as much as I did! Definately a keeper!! Pros: Flavorful, easy, healthy!
July 29, 2010
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By: Ttoolen
Loved this!!
March 07, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This wasn't bad. My boyfriend really liked it, but although I love butternut squash, I felt there was too much in the recipe. I would cut it in half if I make it again. Too much squash gave it a mushy texture that I just didn't care for.
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