Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans

Earthy flavorful Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans. A marvelous fall and holiday dish that adds color and texture to the dinner table. It’s a black rice recipe everyone will enjoy!

Black Rice Recipe with Roasted Acorn Squash and Pecans | #Halloween #Recipes #Fall #Thanksgiving

I’ve spent a month focusing on Halloween treats for the little guys. Are you feeling left out?

My apologies. Halloween is just about the only time of year I get all cutesy with my recipes and stalk the candy aisles, so I tend to get a little carried away.


Today’s black rice recipe will make a statement on your Halloween table, yet is a bit more sophisticated than some of my earlier offerings.

Black and Orange Forbidden Rice with Roasted Acorn Squash and Pecans | #Halloween #Recipes #Fall

I love forbidden rice.

The color is so striking, it immediately draws attention when you serve it. There are two main varieties of black rice:  Wild Rice and Forbidden Rice. Wild rice come in different shades of dark brown and black. It stays firm and separated when cooked, and is great for pilafs.

Black Rice | #Halloween #Recipes #Fall

Forbidden rice (sometimes called black sticky rice or purple rice) also comes in various shades of black. It tends to be softer and clump when cooked.

Whether you like the hearty texture of wild rice or the tender texture of forbidden rice, either variety is fine for this dish.

Roasted Acorn Squash | #Halloween #Recipes #Fall

To this Forbidden Rice, I added roasted acorn squash and toasted pecans for sweetness and nutty crunch.

Roasted acorn squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients. It brings a sweet earthy note to this black rice recipe as well as a festive punch of orange color. If you aren’t crazy about acorn squash, this would be the perfect place to substitute butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Both offer the same appeal.

Black Forbidden Rice with Roasted Acorn Squash | #Halloween #Recipes #Fall

While the acorn squash is roasting, I simply cook the rice and get all my ingredients together. Then all it needs is a quick toss at the end and the forbidden rice is ready to serve.

This black rice recipe is for you, grownups.

But don’t worry your kids will love Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans too!

Other Great Butternut Squash  Dishes:

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto ~ Just a Taste

Butternut Squash Soup ~ Inspiring the Everyday

Butternut Squash Cakes ~ The Bite House

Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time:20 minutes

Cook Time:40 minutes

5 / 5 (1 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »
A Festive Orange and Black Halloween Rice Dish


  • 1 1/2 cups black rice (wild or forbidden)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (oil for Vegan)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled seeded and diced
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Set a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the rice and toss to coat in butter. Add the appropriate amount of water as directed on the rice package (from 3-4 cups depending on the variety of rice.) Add 1 1/2 tsp salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, stir, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cooked through--follow time directed on rice package.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the peeled and diced acorn squash in oil and spread over a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn and spread the acorn squash again and roast another 10 minutes. In the last 2-3 minutes sprinkle the pecans over the acorn squash so the pieces can toast.
  4. Once the rice and roasted acorn squash are ready, toss together with orange zest and thyme. Then salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature!
All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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76 comments on “Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted October 18, 2012 at 5:05 am Reply

    Spooky!! And brilliant – no need to apologize – Halloween is definitely the time to get funky and spooky!!

  2. Rachel Cooksposted October 18, 2012 at 5:52 am Reply

    This looks so fantastic! I love everything about it.

  3. DessertForTwoposted October 18, 2012 at 6:03 am Reply

    Gorgeous! Love this adult food to eat on Halloween while the kiddos eat candy :)

  4. marlaposted October 18, 2012 at 6:22 am Reply

    I can only imaging this beautiful recipe presented for Thanksgiving ~ or Halloween!

  5. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted October 18, 2012 at 6:34 am Reply

    I’m absolutely loving this festive recipe! The contrast in colors (and then the textures and flavors) is perfect!

  6. C.M. Coleposted October 18, 2012 at 7:00 am Reply

    Oh, wonderful!! I have some cooked (baked) squash AND some cooked black rice on hand just waiting for a recipe. Of course, I may end up cooking more squash.

    Will it make any difference if I don’t cook the other ingredients with the rice, I wonder?

    • Sommerposted October 18, 2012 at 7:39 am Reply

      Do you mean the shallots that are cooked into the rice?

      It will make a little difference in the depth of flavor. But just saute the shallots and toss them in with the orange zest and thyme, since you’ve got the squash and rice all ready to go.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  7. Heather (Heather's Dish)posted October 18, 2012 at 7:03 am Reply

    WOWZA – what a stunning dish! i need to find black rice somewhere near me, it’s too beautiful to miss out on!

  8. Christine (Cook the Story)posted October 18, 2012 at 7:35 am Reply

    The colors in this dish are gorgeous and scream Halloween. Yum!

  9. Kristi Rimkusposted October 18, 2012 at 7:36 am Reply

    A coworker turned me on to black rice and I’ve been a convert ever since. It makes such a dramatic presentation, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely be sharing this lovely recipe!

  10. Kelli @ The Corner KItchenposted October 18, 2012 at 7:40 am Reply

    What a beautiful dish! This is going to make a great addition to the table at Thanksgiving this year!

  11. Cassieposted October 18, 2012 at 9:11 am Reply

    This is so up my alley, Sommer! I love black rice too, such a nice change of pace. And the squash & pecans – perfect!

  12. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted October 18, 2012 at 10:05 am Reply

    This is my kind of recipe! I know you made this for Halloween, but all I can think when I see this is: THANKSGIVING! And how perfect it would be as an alternative to the typical wild rice side dish my family usually makes.

  13. J landposted October 18, 2012 at 11:40 am Reply

    Great recipe!!! Beautiful presentation. Definitely going to be for Thanksgiving.
    Where did you get that beautiful dish?

  14. J landposted October 18, 2012 at 11:42 am Reply

    Great recipe. Beautiful presentation. Definitely going to be on my thanksgiving table.
    Where did you get that lovely dish?

    • Sommerposted October 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm Reply

      They are from my favorite dish company, Villeroy & Boch! Pretty, huh?

  15. Aggieposted October 18, 2012 at 11:54 am Reply

    This is my kind of rice dish – it looks delicious Sommer!

  16. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted October 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm Reply

    I love how dramatic this rice looks! Perfect for the adults!

  17. Coletteposted October 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Then I must have it!

  18. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm Reply

    I love this recipe! It’s beautful and sounds amazing! You made me remember that I have black rice, now I must create a black and orange dish like yours! I love the idea!!

    I wish I got more creative this year with Halloween. It seems everything is always rush, rush, rush that I can’t take as much time or thought into something that I want to do. I guess I can start prepping for Christmas! :)

  19. Amy Tongposted October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm Reply

    What a wonderful creation and so festive. I love forbidden rice because of the nutty flavor and extra bite compared to white rice. This must be super delicious with the squash and pecans!

  20. Jersey Girl Cooksposted October 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm Reply

    I love this dish and it is perfect for fall. I just don’t like cleaning and cutting the butternut squash.

  21. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted October 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the colors and the flavors for fall!

  22. Angieposted October 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm Reply

    How beautiful!

  23. Nancy Longposted October 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm Reply

    Sounds wonderful, but wild rice hard to find around here and any idea where to find forbidden rice????

    • Sommerposted October 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm Reply

      You can definitely get it at an Asian market, and usually at a “healthy” grocery store like Whole Foods.

      • Ruthposted October 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        THey have it at Trader Joe’s also.

  24. Paula - bell'alimentoposted October 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm Reply

    This would be beautiful served inside the squash as well! Love it.

    • Sommerposted October 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm Reply

      Paula, You are so creative! :)

  25. Gwenposted October 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm Reply

    Sommer you had me at forbidden ;)
    I have an acorn squash in my cupboard, lucky me. I see a super simple dinner in my very near future.

  26. Jen @ Savory SImpleposted October 19, 2012 at 5:39 am Reply

    What a beautiful plate of food!

  27. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted October 19, 2012 at 8:05 am Reply

    Your photos are simply eat-able, Sommer. Gorgeous dish full of gorgeous ingredients!

  28. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted October 19, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

    Whoa! This looks amazing.

  29. Monetposted October 19, 2012 at 8:49 am Reply

    What a gorgeous and beautiful autumn meal. The colors are just beautiful and I’m sure the taste is out of this world. Thank you for sharing. I’m in the mood for black rice now!

  30. Lisa | With Style and Graceposted October 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm Reply

    this is such a gorgeous dish and I love that it’s gluten-free – very festive!

  31. Breeposted October 20, 2012 at 9:04 am Reply

    This looks like THE perfect fall dish!

  32. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Love the striking contrast between the black rice and acorn squash.

  33. [email protected] and Dishesposted October 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm Reply

    This is a terrific Halloween dish, love the Halloween colors!

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  35. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted October 21, 2012 at 2:16 am Reply

    I’ve never actually tried black rice before! Growing up in such a traditional Korean family, we only got to try Korean rice almost every single day! But now I’m broadening my horizons and trying basmati rice, brown rice, arborio rice, and now I have to try this amazing black rice recipe!

  36. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast todayposted October 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm Reply

    It was worth waiting. Your recipe is very original like for a Halloween one. I like it a lot. Plus lovely pictures.

  37. Amy @ Gastronome Tartposted October 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm Reply

    I just started eating black rice and I absolutely LOVE it! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  38. vianneyposted October 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm Reply

    I lOVE this~~ perfect for the adults!!

  39. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted October 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm Reply

    I don’t see any need for you to apologize — ive been enjoying your creative Halloween grubs!

  40. love cookingposted October 25, 2012 at 7:48 am Reply

    This looks great. I do cook pumpkin rice with similar method. But cook the pumpkin, rice and the other ingredients all together in rice cooker after stir fry. I like this recipe which roasts the acorn squash and pecans. :)

  41. Anita at Hungry Coupleposted October 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm Reply

    This is so stunning and totally my kind of salad. I’ve done something similar with wild rice, bulgar wheat and walnuts and it was amazing.

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  43. Amyposted January 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm Reply

    This is awesome!!! Made it for tonight’s dinner! Thank you so much for the recipe. For all those asking where you can get black rice… I was very surprised to find a large bag at Costco of all places. It was the same price as the tiny bag from whole foods!!!

  44. Roxanne @The ROXX Boxposted April 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply

    Sommer…I just purchased some black rice today. Do you have any other black rice recipes?

  45. Laceyposted October 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm Reply

    Making this tomorrow night for my grandmother! Cannot wait!

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  51. Ruthposted October 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm Reply

    1 acorn squash, peeled seeded and diced – sounds easy but the quash is as hard as a rock. I’m now baking it unpeeled cut in quarters for a bit and then going to try to cut it up more. Any easier way to do this?

  52. Lanaposted November 2, 2014 at 12:25 am Reply

    Not big on orange zest or pecans…thoughts on using pumpkin seeds and lemon zest?

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  57. Sue Macposted November 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Made this today. It turned out really good and got lots of compliments at a Thanksgiving potluck.

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  63. Michelle @ Taste As You Goposted March 30, 2016 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Hi, Sommer! Just popping in to let you know that I’ve included your forbidden rice recipe in my mini round-up of acorn squash recipes on Taste As You Go! :)

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  67. Lynsey Prattposted October 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm Reply

    This has been one of my family’s favorite holiday recipes for years now. I think I found it about 5 years ago. And I make it every Thanksgiving. I have a niece with tons of food allergies and this one I can change to fit whatever she needs. I’m entering a pumpkin carving and food contest tonight and this is what I’m making. It’s tried-and-true and delicious we love it every time. Fingers crossed I win!

    Rating: 5
    • Sommerposted November 6, 2017 at 9:16 am Reply

      Hi Lynsey,

      YAY!! Thanks so much for sharing. I love hearing when one of our recipes becomes a family favorite. :)

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