wild rice pilaf with butternut squash, cranberries & pecans

Wild rice pilaf is a colorful, healthy and delicious food. Adding heart healthy vegetables make this recipe a compliment any holiday table. Did you know that wild rice (which is actually a grass) is vegan, gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, and low in fat?  I also learned that it is harvested by hand from lakes in Minnesota and Canada!


To Healthy Eating,


Wild Rice Pilaf With Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans

A flavorful & healthy dish that will be a real crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 34 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine All American
Servings 8


  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups wild rice rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock boxed or bullion cubes. You can also use half water, half stock
  • 3/4 cup pecans toasted & chopped, you can use walnuts if you prefer
  • 1 medium Onion chopped, or pre-cut
  • 1 cup Cranberries dried OR you can use fresh cranberries which reduces the sweetness of the dish
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Italian parsley chopped
  • 1/4 + 2 cup/tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 zest lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/4 cup squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on two baking sheets. Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes (check earlier if your pieces are very small).
  • Place the wild rice and stock in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until some of the grains start to split. The rice should still be quite chewy. Drain thoroughly and place in a large bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes.
  • Place the dried cranberries in a bowl with the warm water and vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, orange juice, lemon juice and fresh ginger.
  • Add the onions and garlic, cranberries, parsley, pecans and dressing to the wild rice and stir.
  • Gently mix in the roasted squash. Serve warm if possible, or at room temperature.


Cooks Notes: You can save some time using pre-cut butternut squash & onions.
Nutritional Facts: 245 Calories; 7g Fat, 40g Carbohydrates with 6g of Dietary Fiber,7g Protein.
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