Butternut squash & apple rice bake

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Short holiday weeks make me lazy. Knowing Thanksgiving and utter gluttony is two days away, I have no desire to make anything elaborate for dinner. Part of me feels like I should actually be fasting in preparation for the day but unfortunately my stomach doesn’t understand that concept.

This is my compromise.

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One day of cooking. Well actually, one hour of cooking. Meals for three days.

We might be sick of it by the time it’s finished but at least dinner doesn’t have to occupy my mind from now until turkey day and I can instead focus on making the three sides I’m bringing to my parents’ house.

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So what is it? Butternut squash, apples, rice, beans, sautéed onions and some other goodies. Basically, fall in the form of a rice bake. Topped with parsley because my plant seems to think it’s spring with all the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having and is rising from the dead on my front steps. My laziness in “winterizing” the pots around the house paid off, fresh herbs on November 21st, three weeks after 16 inches of snow, go figure.

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Want to know what else would be amazing crumbled on top?


I didn’t do this at first and honestly, I can’t even take full credit because let me quickly recap how this idea just came to me.

…writing, writing, writing, ADD kicks in (ok, not really, but sometimes I get bored and need to take a break) check twitter, check facebook, check instagram, see a picture of bacon by someone (shocker Winking smile)…

Light bulb!

What would we do without social media?

butternut apple bake 6 v3

Probably eat less bacon.


Butternut Squash & Apple

Rice Bake

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons pepitas
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 medium-large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 apples, cored & chopped
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Combine cubed butternut squash and pepitas in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, melted butter,1 tablespoon maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes tossing a couple of times.

While butternut squash is roasting, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add sliced onions and sauté for about 10-12 minutes, until softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat.

Combine rice, apples, beans, dried cherries, apple cider vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix together. When butternut squash is done, add to bowl and stir to combine everything.

Lower oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking dish and pour mixture into it. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve with brown sugar and/or maple syrup and parsley or bacon on top if desired.

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  1. 3


    I know what you mean about feeling like I should be going easy on the food during the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Lots of fresh juices, salads, soups…and then I go to town on eggnog (made with coconut milk!) and pumpkin custard. Meh. You win some you lose some. :)

    Your rice bake sounds really tasty. Love the addition of the maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

  2. 8

    Ulysses says

    “…writing, writing, writing, ADD kicks in (ok, not really, but sometimes I get bored and need to take a break) check twitter, check facebook, check instagram”

    HAHAHA this makes me laugh…I think it’s a great summary of 90% your day.


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