Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice

This Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice is the perfect side dish for fall. It’s perfectly seasoned and can be ready in under 20 minutes!Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice in a large bowl on top of a red cloth napkin and next to measuring spoons

This wonderfully spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice is a recipe worthy of a Thanksgiving side dish and one that you might want to consider adding to your menu.

It’s a lovely dish that goes well with chicken, fish or even on it’s own served with a salad and bread.  It’s incredibly simple yet so full of wonderful flavors.

I use basmati rice in this recipe and wouldn’t recommend substituting any other rice in it’s place.  Basmati rice is a long grain rice with a lightly sweet, nutty flavor.  This rice actually gets longer as it’s cooking and the grains stay long, separate and firm when it’s cooked.  It’s the ideal rice to use in a recipe like this one.

A large bowl of Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice on top of a red cloth napkin and next to measuring spoons

The rice is cooked along with cubes of lightly sweet butternut squash in an aromatic mixture of finely diced onions and garlic, cumin, cardamom and allspice.  Your kitchen will smell amazing, I promise you.

This dish cooks in under 20 minutes.


This Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice is the perfect side dish for fall. It's perfectly seasoned and can be ready in under 20 minutes! | www.zagleft.com
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5 from 1 vote

Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice

This Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice is the perfect side dish for fall. It's perfectly seasoned and can be ready in under 20 minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • Wash the rice by placing the rice in a large bowl and fill with cool water. Swirl your hand through the water and the rice for about a minute. Pour off the water, taking care not to lose any rice. Repeat this process with new, clean water until the water runs clear. This process usually takes me 3 changes of water. Drain and set aside
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the cumin, cardamom and allspice, stir and cook for a minute longer.
  • Add the rice and the butternut squash and stir to coat with the ingredients.
  • Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and cook over low heat until the squash is tender and the water is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

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About The Author

23 thoughts on “Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice”

  1. Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella)

    What a tasty rice dish! As for flu shots, I always get one and always ask everyone close to me to do so as well. I fall into the high risk category, which really changes the way you look at the shots — and the risk of getting the flu.

  2. Basmati rice is one of my ultimate favorite types of rice to make. I love Indian food so this is right up my alley!

  3. Sheena @Tea and Biscuits

    5 stars
    I love this rice, butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables, it’s so sweet and delicious!

  4. SO glad to hear you are feeling better! Hearing about Joan was such a shocker to me too. May her soul rest in peace.
    i LOVE basmati rice but I have never made it with squash. Such a great idea!

  5. I love Indian spices, butternut squash and basmati rice so this is a winner for me! Keep up the great work!

  6. 5 stars
    I am super jazzed to try this recipe. I never thought to add allspice to rice. Brilliant! Butternut squash is one of my favorites during Fall and Winter, and this recipe looks super unique and tasty. Thank you for sharing with me! p.s. Gorgeous pictures!

  7. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog

    This rice looks delicious, I’m always looking for new ways to use up my butternut squash 🙂
    And I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  8. Joanie! This looks so yummy and I am always looking for interesting side dishes to mix in with our old favorites. Thanks!!

  9. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    Ever since I tried basmati rice, I cannot go back to “plain” rice! This looks wonderful! And I am glad you just went for a check up. Some people are so stubborn or afraid something will be wrong (is that not the point of going?!) that they produce more harm than good by ignoring signs. Sorry for the cold, but I know the same thing would happen to me!

    1. Thank you, Kacey. It had been a LONG time since I went to my general doctor. I make my husband go every year for a physical but I hadn’t had one in years. He was glad I finally broke down and made an appointment 🙂

  10. I never got a flu shot until I got the flu. Will never make that mistake again. I love the pairing of butternut squash and basmati rice.

    1. Thanks, Christie. I’ve had so many people tell me the same thing about the flu shot. Thankfully, we’ve been clear of the flu for a while at my house, hope it stays this way.

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