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Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole

This easy Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole is a healthy & delicious vegetarian side dish. It’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or as a simple side you can enjoy any day of the week!

Looking for more butternut squash recipes? Try my Honey Roasted Butternut Squash, or this Maple Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash with Brussel Sprouts!

squash and rice


Butternut Squash Rice Casserole is a warm and cozy Fall meal that’s very easy to make and it’s packed full of flavor and texture. It’s a great dish to serve to a crowd, and you can choose to serve it as a main course or a side dish.

There’s nothing better than a warm and rich casserole for dinner ESPECIALLY when said casserole is prepared with arborio rice plus butternut squash and a sprinkle of cheese. eeek! 😋 

I’m always in danger of turning into my Mother, especially around the kitchen. There’s not one recipe of hers that I do not love, and, with a few modifications, this recipe is no exception.

Wednesdays and Fridays were always meatless at our house, and if Mom couldn’t top her rice casseroles with chicken thighs, veggies were the next choice. But, it was never squash. In fact, growing up, squash was something we enjoyed roasted and sprinkled with lots of sugar — and in the Fall.

Well, now that it’s 2019 and not 1999, I am in charge of this kitchen and lemme tell you; a squash’s bestie should always include rice. Hands down. Don’t fight me, I’m convinced.

butternut squash in a dutch oven.


Similar to risotto, but not quite a risotto since you don’t have to stir endlessly, this hearty casserole provides a nice alternative to plain rice side dishes and is way healthier than those pre-packaged rice mixes.

To make it, you’ll need arborio rice, chicken broth, butternut squash, garlic and some herbs.

  1. First, get your beautiful Dutch Oven out and fry up some onions, cubed butternut squash, and garlic in it. 
  2. Stir in some rice and thyme; cook for few minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and bake in the oven at 400˚F for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, add cheese, give it a stir, and serve!

butternut squash and rice

This is a rice dish cooked mostly in the oven, but the texture is close to a risotto. It’s not mushy, but it is a soft, fluffy, and textured casserole allowing us to taste each of the flavors separately.

The butternut squash adds a sweet flavor to the dish and is bountiful this time of year. In the Fall, grocery stores often carry pre-cut butternut squash cubes, which saves significant prep time. However, I prefer to buy a whole squash and make my husband chop it up for me. 😀 

Butternut squash and rice in a Dutch oven.

You can serve this casserole as a side dish to chicken, pork, or turkey, but can also be served as a hearty vegetarian main dish. 



squash and rice

Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole

Katerina | Diethood
Healthy, vegetarian, gluten free and delicious, this casserole is the perfect meal, or even side dish, to throw together for any day of the week.
5 from 17 votes
Servings : 6 serves
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (you'll need about 4 cups diced squash)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • grated parmesan, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Add butter and olive oil to a Dutch Oven or heavy ovenproof pot and set over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and cut up squash to the hot oil; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the garlic and thyme; continue to cook for 20 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add rice, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in broth and bring to a boil.
  • Cover with a lid and bake for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from oven and give it a stir.
  • Add grated parmesan cheese and serve.



Serves 4 as a main dish, and up to 8 as a side dish. 


Calories: 282 kcal | Carbohydrates: 57 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 5 mg | Sodium: 649 mg | Potassium: 460 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 12462 IU | Vitamin C: 26 mg | Calcium: 60 mg | Iron: 3 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash recipe, rice casserole, rice recipes, side dish recipe, thanksgiving side dish
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*Originally published on November 13th, 2015. Updated on September 23, 2019.

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