Recipes, Photography, Musings

Autumn Rice, Two Ways

Rice is one of the most versatile of foods.  It takes on whatever flavors you are in the mood to add to it, and becomes a warm, steaming bowl of nourishment that really hits the spot on a cold evening.  In this post, I am sharing two autumn rice recipes, both similar in that they include diced butternut squash and walnuts, and different from each other in that one is a savory and one is subtly sweet. Both versions are full of flavor and comfort, and are great side dishes for an autumn meal.

autumn rice and dishIn the savory version, the rice is first sautéed in minced garlic for a couple of minutes and then simmered in chicken broth, with the butternut squash cubes, walnuts and herbs added near the end.  The result is an aromatic blend of garlic and thyme mixed in with the tender rice and squash.

autumn rice and steamIn the subtly sweet version, in addition to the butternut squash and walnuts, there are diced apples and a couple tablespoons of honey.  With the rice and the squash acting kind of like chameleons, the dish has a lightness and the flavor of the walnuts is more prominent.  I adapted this recipe from one I found in the wonderful cookbook 100 Best Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles.

It is sometimes a challenge for me to use up all the squash I end up with.  These rice dishes are great for that.  Not only is the diced squash a pretty color to add to the rice, but it’s full of great vitamins and minerals, and it tastes great with all the other ingredients.  And it’s seasonal!  I tend to like the savory version best, but both are delicious and great side dishes.

So this week has been very cold and wet.  All those warm, dry weeks we had this summer and early fall–they are gone for now.  I found myself really needing to adjust to the grey skies and lack of sunshine this week. (I think it’s time to start taking the vitamin D supplements!)  But the colors in the trees continue to be stunning, and in some ways, the vibrant colors show up even more on cloudy, rainy days.  Somehow, all the drama from the dark clouds, gusty winds and gorgeous colors stir up my soul every autumn, and this autumn is no different.

Glen Road 2As I was driving to pick up my son from school yesterday, I pulled over onto a dirt road to take some photos because the view was so pretty.  It was lightly raining, and a gust of wind sent the yellow leaves shimmering through the air.  Later in the afternoon, we bundled up and went out for a wet walk/bike ride.  It was not the most pleasant weather, but I felt so much better after getting outside in the fresh air, the scent of wet leaves and cool mist on my skin.

My heart goes out to everyone in New York City.  I have an old friend who lives very near where the attack occurred earlier this week.  I am so glad she and her family are safe, and also admire that as difficult as it is, she is refusing let fear define her.

On a lighter note, my daughter’s cross country team qualified to run in the state meet this weekend.  They have worked hard to get to this point, and l am really excited for them!

My sweet dog really wanted to be in on the photo shoot today.  I hope you all have a great weekend! I am sharing these recipes over at Fiesta Friday, the virtual potluck full of inspirational bloggers, co-hosted this week by Antonia @ and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.Nick by windowfall flowersautumn rice and pan

Autumn Rice, Two Ways

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

For the savory autumn rice:


  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup of brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
  • 3/4 cup of butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • a pinch of thyme
  • fresh parsley for garnish


Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  Add the rice and minced garlic and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and stir to combine.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer according to the rice package directions, about 30 minutes.  About 10 minutes before the rice is done, add the butternut squash cubes.  Cover again, and simmer until the rice and squash are tender and the broth is absorbed.  You may have to add a bit more broth (or water) as the rice cooks, depending on the rice you use. When everything is tender and the broth is absorbed, stir in the walnuts and thyme.  Serve warm, with parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

For the slightly sweet autumn rice:


  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of water
  • 2/3 cup of brown rice
  • 3/4 cup of butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cups of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish


In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Add the rice to the pan, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the squash cubes to the pan, cover, and continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes.  You may need to add a bit more water, as the rice cooks.  Cook until the rice and the squash are tender and the water is absorbed.  Stir in the apples, walnuts, honey, and salt and cook until heated through. Serve warm and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!




    I love rice and love what you have done with it. Both recipes are worth making this Fall…

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Judi! I love the versatility of rice!

  2. Antonia

    Aww, your dog is gorgeous! I also love the photo you took, it is pure fall! Great recipes, rice is such a versatile food. I love that you went two different directions with it. Thank you for bringing your seasonal dishes to the party! Happy Fiesta Friday! 😀

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Antonia! Thanks for the comment about my dog–he really likes to be around when I am taking photos of food, hoping to get his nose in the dishes. 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting this week!

  3. Jhuls

    Wow! I love the sound of this dish! I am feeling hungry now, I might lick my screen! 😀 Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Jhuls! And thanks for co-hosting FF this week!

  4. Debbie Spivey

    Hi Jenny! Love both of these recipes. Great post! Happy FALL!

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Debbie! Happy Fall to you too!

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