Squash and Wild Rice

Original recipe courtesy Cooking Matters by Share Our Strength, adapted with support from the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

The nutty flavor of wild rice combined with sweet maple syrup and winter squash make this a tasty and nutritious side dish.

Wild rice and winter squash

Number of Servings: 6 servings

Calories per Serving: 160


  • 1 large winter squash (such as butternut or acorn)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup wild rice
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Squash and Wild Rice

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Rinse wild rice. Add to pot with 1 and 1/3 cups of water.
  3. Cook for 45-50 minutes until all water evaporates. Drain in a colander and transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat well.
  5. Rinse and cut squash in half. Remove seeds.
  6. If using fresh rosemary, rinse and chop now.
  7. Drizzle 1 teaspoon maple syrup over the cut side of each squash half. Sprinkle each with red pepper flakes and cayenne. If using rosemary, add now.
  8. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash halves on the baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork, about 30–35 minutes. Remove from oven. Keep squash loosely covered with foil.
  9. Cut each squash half into thirds. Remove skin from squash. Serve one piece of squash over each portion of wild rice. If using grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle over squash and wild rice now.

Cooking tips:

  • Wild rice may be substituted for any rice variety or orzo. Adjust cooking time as needed.
  • To save time, try using pre-cubed frozen squash. Adjust baking time as needed. 

Photo credit: Jane Sherry, MSU Extension