Recipe: Wild Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Veggies, nuts, grains, & dressing makes me a happy eater.

You’ll have to forgive me, or rather, let me re-phrase that, I hope you’ll all forgive me. I am having a salad moment (or three or seven).

Ask my kids at any given moment what mom eats, the answer is always the same. Salad. But don’t you worry, because that is where the sameness ends, because when it comes to salads, the chances for finding new and satisfying combos are as limited as your (or my) imagination.

Green Salad. Greek Salad. Bean Salad. Wheat Salad. There are endless grain, bean, nut, veggie, and dressing combos out there and honestly, I do live on salads pretty much 365 days of the year. Today’s salad can (like my last post) be served warm, cold or room temperature, and tastes great days after preparation.

Here, wild rice is cooked and tossed with roasted cubes of butternut squash & more of those wonderful white cannellini beans to make a nutritious and filling meal. Toss it all up with a few herbs & flavoring and you are set.

The Less:

Less every day grains means a new food to discover. Fewer bread-based lunch ideas means more heart for less heft. Less boring, basic salad dishes means less boredom in your tupperware, so packing a flavor-filled lunch or meal-on-the-go is a joy.

The More:

More tasty alternative grains means more variety and spice in your diet (and life). More plant-based hearty proteins means more easy & affordable flavor. More clean simple cooking means more energy to focus elsewhere, so your fuel is ready to fill you as needed.

Wild Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad:

  • (1/2) cup dry wild rice
  • (1.5) cups water for cooking
  • (1) cup cooked cannellini beans (white kidneys)
  • (4) cups peeled & chopped butternut squash
  • (2) tbsp olive oil for roasting squash
  • (1/2) tsp salt for roasting squash
  • (3) tbsp mixed chopped herbs: fresh parsley, chives & thyme
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (2) tbsp olive oil
  • (2) tbsp balsamic vinegar

Start by combining the rice and water in a small- medium saucepan. Put the rice up to boil with the lid on and once boiling, turn the heat down and cook, covered for 45-50 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are using a large butternut squash, you might get the right amount of squash simply from the top part (I call it the snout). Simply chop the top piece off the squash and peel it with a veggie peeler. Cube the squash with a sharp knife into 1-1.5 inch cubes.

Toss the squash in a bowl with the salt and oil for roasting, and lay it flat on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, scraping and turning with a flipper at about the 20 minute mark.

While the rice and squash do their magic thing, prepare the beans and chopped herbs and set aside. Once the rice is cooked, drain it in a colander and let sit for a minute or two to cool and drain (it’s okay if the water isn’t all absorbed, the rice should be chewy but cooked). Once the squash is nicely browned and soft-ish remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Combine the rice with the herbs and beans. Add the squash once it cools for 10 minutes or so and toss with the oil, salt & vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy!

This salad will keep well in the fridge for well up to a week and also heats up beautifully. I enjoyed it served over chopped romaine hearts with an avocado lovingly piled on top.

It was all my co-workers could do to not attack my lunch bowl, but I did promise I would post the recipe soon.

Just in case anyone ever doubts my word 🙂

I know folks all over the US are celebrating Thanksgiving today, and judging by the posts I have seen from those whose blogs I follow, it feels good to read the words of gratitude, love & thanks from all of you who are part of this lovely community of bloggers.

Wishing all of my south of the border friends & readers a wonderful holiday weekend!

  • Are you a fan of wild rice?
  • What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving this year?

With love & thanks & many continued blessings.

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

52 responses to “Recipe: Wild Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

  1. I love wild rice, and I love everything else thrown into this amazing bowl!! Great fall salad. Have a wonderful Thursday!!

  2. That looks absolutely divine – autumn in a bowl! I love the wild rice, Shira 😀

  3. Ji

    Maybe you’re bringing some to the meeting today…?

    Just askin’! 😉

  4. What a fabulous combination Shira!!

  5. I do believe we have covered my love of roasted veg before. Pumpkin of any kind is no exception (try it cubed with olive oil and finely chopped rosemary, roast away, and then add a splash of verjuice for the final 10 minutes – yummo!)

    This salad looks like a winner, Shira. All golden and autumnal…

  6. “I think there are too many salad recipes” said NO BLOGGER EVER!! I love this series of recipes.. can’t wait to try this one too.. scrumptious with the buttery chunks of roasted squash.. the nuttiness of the rice.. heaven:)

  7. Maybe my imagination, but looks like you kicked up the photos a notch. Nice work. Ken

  8. I’m thankful for your salad! 🙂 I’m always looking for new salad ideas. But when my daughter (3) was asked by her preschool about her Mom’s favorite food, she said lentils. Which isn’t true–but almost. 🙂

    By the way, I had a great cappuccino at JJ Bean, thank you for the recommendation! And when are you going to teach us to make their vegan chocolate cookies? Yum!! 🙂

    • Lentils! I love it! The things kids say…and think, I always get a laugh!
      So glad you enjoyed the JJ! It’s my first reco for a reason and I know I am paid to say it, but really, best coffee ever right?! 😉
      Happy you enjoyed your time here…I’ll see about that vegan cookie recipe….! Thanks Emmy!

  9. Still recovering from the feasting, Shira – but I know a good salad when I see it! Tucking this recipe away for later.

  10. Liz

    Beautiful salad!

    About Thanksgiving. I read a Synergy article by your mother about mindful eating and it inspired me to be mindful not only in my eating but also in the simple moments of my life – to be conscious of joy, of all that goes into getting both food and “stuff” to me and of the primary source of all Joy: our Creator. The exercise of being mindful – for me – creates peace, gratitude and compassion – especially helpful as we start this busy time of year.

    Also, I am so happy and grateful to have discovered your blog. It is been inspirational to me in more than just food.

    • Thank you Liz! What a wonderful note & reminder, I am so glad to have you here as well to share in the quest for peace, gratitude & compassion as you so eloquently say. My mom has been writing now for a few years and I can safely say my parents are an inspiration to me in the living with less quest ~ she would be very happy to know her words had an effect!
      I am grateful for your support ~ thank you for all of your encouragement and kindness 🙂

  11. Beautiful as always, Shira–I wish I could eat the photos! A wonderful combination perfect for this time of year. 🙂

  12. Shira I have been SO full from Thanksgiving but then I see your recipe and my stomach is like “OH! I WANT THAT!” 😉

  13. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are in the midst of a great Thanksgiving weekend!

  14. This recipe is beautiful! I’m going to have to try this soon, I just so happen to have 1/2 a cup of wild rice waiting along with a pumpkin that will sub nicely. Feels like you are raiding my kitchen lately my dear 😉

  15. magentmama

    Well, here in Sicily we don’t really eat much rice (unlike the Polentoni…northern Italians:) We use rice mostly to make arancini, stuffed rice balls with meat sauce. I bought wild rice though and I still have it because I didn’t know what to do with it. Now I found your recipe and I will try it. Thanksgiving is not known here but I celebrate it because I grew up in New York so I love to keep up the tradition. The only problem is that cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes are not available.

  16. What a tasty & truly appetizing salad! So colourful too! Yummmm!

  17. Susan

    I made this tonight and it was awesome. Dinnertime at my house has quickly become dominated by your recipes since I found you a few weeks ago! Next is the roasted Brussels Sprouts…my all time fave veggie. I usually roast them with a bunch of garlic that carmelizes…which I love…but a new twist on BSs is always welcome!

    Thank you for being so creative and willing to share.


    • Wow Susan – thank you! That is the highest compliment I could receive, knowing the recipes are being enjoyed 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing! XO

  18. I’ve got some red rice which would go really well with this – fantastic recipe – beautiful images of simple comfort food.

  19. Susan

    I am only slightly embarrassed to say that I ate the leftovers for breakfast 😉

  20. i love wild rice.. we tried to finish everything up by lunch the next day and thankfully most of it was over.
    this bowl with the gorgeous squash and the delicate rice looks amazing!

  21. Now that looks like an absolutely incredible salad! I always think salads need to contain greenery, I need to move on! xx

    • Yes! It’s funny how letting go of the greens idea takes the concept of salad to a whole new level..though nothing really beats a perfect green salad though at the right time! Ever! 🙂 xx

  22. Beautiful Salad! You are so right, the possibilities and flavor combinations are really endless – i love the thought of topping a nice pile of greens with this salad – YUM! haha the snout, I never thought of it that way 🙂

  23. Pingback: High Five Fridays: Weekly Meal Plan, Squash It

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  25. Well, how did I miss THIS good bowlful? This is SUCH my kind of eats, Shira! Salad in its every permutation I think! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and thank the fates that it wasn’t lost from me forever! a warm winter hug for friend! xx

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