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 teaspoons salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, stir, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cooked through—follow time directed on rice package.
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.
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!