This pumpkin rice recipe is a delicious and easy comfort food that is perfect to enjoy all year round.
This tasty dish combines the earthy sweetness of pumpkin with aromatic spices, to make a dish that is sure to impress.
Whether you're planning a cozy dinner party, a lazy Sunday brunch, or simply seeking a dish that is comforting and full of goodness after a long day, this pumpkin rice recipe is here to be a hit. Its vibrant orange hues and enticing aroma will instantly transport you to food heaven.
Pumpkin rice makes for a delightful main course or a side dish. Pair it with roasted chicken, grilled vegetables, or even enjoy it as a standalone vegetarian meal.
This dish is also great to serve for special occasions like Halloween, and pot lucks.
What type of pumpkin do I use?
The best type of pumpkin to use for pumpkin rice is a sweet flavorful one. You could use a small sugar pumpkin or a pie pumpkin.
These varieties have a sweeter and smoother flesh, which lends itself well to cooking and pureeing.
Their texture is ideal for creating a creamy consistency in the rice dish.
Carving pumpkins, on the other hand, are typically larger and have a stringier texture, which may not give you the desired results in terms of flavor and texture.
You could also use butternut squash for this recipe.
Butternut squash has a sweet and nutty flavor that complements rice dishes beautifully. Its smooth texture and vibrant orange color make it a fantastic substitute for pumpkin in recipes like pumpkin rice.
Great for Meal Prep
This recipe for pumpkin rice is great for meal prepping. You can easily prepare this dish in advance and enjoy it throughout the week.
Make a large batch of this dish and portion it into individual containers. This allows for easy grab-and-go conveniences when it’s time to enjoy your meals.
You could also add some proteins and veggies to your meal prep rice.
This dish can also be frozen and then reheated when you are ready to enjoy it.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Pumpkin rice offers a delightful combination of earthy sweetness from the pumpkin, warm spices, and aromatic herbs. Each bite is a cozy and comforting experience that can instantly uplift your mood.
- Making pumpkin rice allows you to embrace the flavors and spirit of fall. It's a perfect dish to celebrate the season and indulge in the warm and inviting vibes that fall brings.
- Pumpkin rice is incredibly customizable and can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and taste preferences. You can customize the spices, add extra ingredients, or pair it with different proteins and vegetables, making it a recipe that can be tailored to your liking.
- This recipe is easy to make simple and doesn't require any advanced culinary skills. With basic cooking techniques, you can whip up a batch of delicious pumpkin rice in no time, even if you're a beginner in the kitchen.
- Perfect for Meal Prep: Pumpkin rice is an excellent choice for meal prepping. You can prepare a larger batch and portion it into individual containers, ensuring you have convenient and nourishing meals ready to enjoy throughout the week.
- Family-Friendly: This pumpkin with rice recipe is a dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Its mild sweetness and comforting flavors make it appealing to both kids and adults.
- This pumpkin rice recipe is gluten free, vegan friendly, and vegetarian.
Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $4.50 or $1.12 a serve
Please note that below is a guide for some of the ingredients we used in the recipe. The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
- Pumpkin: You could use sugar pumpkin, pie pumpkin, or butternut squash. You could also use canned pumpkin if you are not able to get fresh pumpkin.
- Vegetable oil
- Small brown onion, finely chopped
- Bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
- Minced garlic
- Green (spring) onions
- Basmati rice: Before cooking make sure you rinse, drain, and then soak your rice in room temperature water. This will help make your rice have a soft, fluffy, and tender texture once cooked.
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground ginger, optional
- Stock: You could use any stock you prefer such as vegetable broth or chicken stock.
- Coconut Milk
- Salt to taste
This recipe for pumpkin rice serves 4. The ingredient quantities can easily by adjusted to suit how many serves you need to make.
Step One: In a small bowl, rinse and then soak the basmati rice in water for at least 20 minutes. Completely drain the rice after soaking. Set aside.
Step Two:Wash and dry the pumpkin. Peel the skin off the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Weigh the amount of pumpkin required, and cut pumpkin into small cubes. Set aside. Skip this step if using canned pumpkin.
Step Three: In a medium sized saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and then add the finely chopped brown onion, bell peppers (capsicum), and cubed pumpkin. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the pumpkin is slightly tender.
Step Four: Add the minced garlic and green onions. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often.
Step Five: Add the soaked and drained basmati rice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger (if using) and saute until the rice is lightly browned. This may take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Step Six: Next, add the stock and coconut milk, and stir through. Add the salt to taste, stir through and taste for seasoning. If you’d like to add more seasoning, do it now.
Step Seven: Bring the liquid to the boil. Once at a boil, gently stir the rice, then reduce heat to low heat to bring the liquid to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook, covered for 25 minutes (or until the rice is soft and tender).
Step Eight: Turn off heat and allow rice to rest for a further 10 minutes before fluffing (gently stirring) the rice and serving.
Substitutions / Variations
While cinnamon and nutmeg are traditional spices used in pumpkin rice, don't be afraid to get creative!
Try adding a pinch of ginger, cloves, or allspice to enhance the warm and aromatic flavors.
Adjust the spice quantities according to your taste preferences.
Here are some of our go to dishes to serve with pumpkin rice:
- Roasted Chicken
- Grilled Vegetables: Pair the pumpkin rice with a side of colorful grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. The charred flavors of the veggies add a delightful contrast to the creamy rice.
- Baked Salmon
- Maple-Glazed Pork Chops: The sweetness of the maple glaze and the savory pork will create a mouthwatering combination.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use the pumpkin rice as a delicious stuffing for roasted bell peppers. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture, top with cheese, and bake until the peppers are tender. It's a satisfying vegetarian option that's bursting with flavors.
- Roasted Fall Vegetables: Enhance the autumnal experience by serving pumpkin rice with a medley of roasted fall vegetables. Think butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and parsnips. The earthy flavors of the vegetables will harmonize beautifully with the rice.
Any leftover pumpkin rice you may have can be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge for up to 3 – 4 days.
This recipe can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy the stored pumpkin rice, you can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can reheat the frozen rice directly.
For refrigerated rice, reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or broth to moisten it if needed.
If reheating frozen pumpkin rice, place it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave it in short intervals, stirring occasionally until heated through. You can also reheat it on the stovetop by adding a little oil or butter to a pan, and gently warming the rice over medium heat while stirring.
Made this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments below! We'd love to hear how it turned out.
Pumpkin Rice Recipe
- 1 cup (200 grams, 7.05 ounces) basmati rice
- 1 ¼ cup (190 grams, 6.70 ounces) pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 90 grams (3.17 ounces) small brown onion, finely chopped
- ¾ cup (100 grams, 3.53 ounces) bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup (40 grams, 1.41 ounces) green (spring) onions
- Pinch of ground cinnamon or to taste
- Pinch of ground nutmeg or to taste
- Pinch of ground ginger or to taste (optional)
- 1 ¼ cup stock vegetable or chicken stock
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
- In a small bowl, rinse and then soak the basmati rice in water for at least 20 minutes. Completely drain the rice after soaking. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the pumpkin. Peel the skin off the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Weigh the amount of pumpkin required, and cut pumpkin into small cubes. Set aside. See note 1.
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and then add the finely chopped brown onion, bell peppers (capsicum), and cubed pumpkin over medium to high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the pumpkin is slightly tender. See note 2.
- Add the minced garlic and green onions. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the soaked and drained basmati rice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger (if using) and saute until the rice is lightly browned. This may take about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Next, add the stock and coconut milk, and stir through. Add the salt to taste, stir through and taste for seasoning. If you’d like to add more seasoning, do it now.
- Bring the liquid to the boil. Once at a boil, gently stir the rice and reduce the heat to low to bring the liquid to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook, covered for 25 minutes (or until the rice is soft and tender). See note 3.
- Turn off heat and allow rice to rest, covered, for a further 10 minutes before fluffing (gently stirring) the rice and serving.
- Skip this step if using canned pumpkins.
- If you are using canned pumpkins, just cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Make sure you don’t have any ingredients stuck on the bottom of the pan or it may burn when the rice cooks.