This honeynut squash rice pilaf is the perfect balance of nutty and sweet, with a bright herby finish. It's an easy, seasonal, and nutritious recipe that's perfect on it's own for lunch, or paired with your favorite protein for dinner.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise and trim the tops. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, then peel the skin from the squash using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Cube the squash into ½” pieces.
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the red onion and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the squash, toss to combine in the oil and saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the squash is lightly browned, 6-7 minutes.
Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine. Sautee the dry rice over medium high heat, stirring continuously, until the rice is toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine and orange juice to deglaze the pan, stirring continuously until the liquid stops bubbling. Then add the broth or water, and give everything a good stir. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil; then reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer over low heat until the rice is fully cooked through, 35-40 minutes.
Stir in the orange zest, parsley, pecans, and salt and a pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature. This serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Ingredient Notes I used a hybrid, Honeynut Butternut Squash, sourced from The Common Market, our local coop in Frederick, MD. Honeynut is a hybrid variety of butternut and buttercup, developed at Cornell University. It's flavor is much sweeter and nuttier than a traditional butternut squash. You can substitute the traditional variety if you cannot source honeynut.Make it Vegan or Vegetarian Use vegetable broth or waterMake it Nut-Free Substitute roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds for the pecans