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This fragrant Warm Red Rice Salad with Roasted Squash and Cinnamon is laced with sweet spice and has a subtle nuttiness thanks to red rice.
Every year around the holidays I do a little scouting around for recipe inspiration.
The turkey doesn’t really change much; I brine it for 24 hours, slather it in butter and season it with salt and pepper, and then cook it low and slow. However, the side dishes are another story!
There are a few holiday side dishes that don’t change in my house, like cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes. But I also like to mix things up and make a couple new side dishes each holiday!
Sometimes macaroni and cheese is on the menu. Some years I enjoy a classic green bean casserole, and other years I make green beans another way. And there’s usually some type of winter squash on the menu.
Rice is another delicious side dish for the holidays! This Warm Red Rice Salad with Roasted Squash and Cinnamon has a festive feel to it, but it’s also perfect for any fall or winter supper.
And Ralston Family Farms™ makes sure their rice products are full of nutrition, making this a great dish to promote healthy dietary habits as we head into the holiday season!
Warm Red Rice Salad Recipe
This red rice salad is as easy as cooking rice and roasting squash. But when it comes together it really feels like something unique.
Red rice is truly special and enticing with its nutty aroma, pretty color, and unique flavor. I like to toast my rice in a little olive oil before cooking to bring out its flavor and aroma even more.
The earthy sweetness of roasted delicata squash is a wonderful pairing with nutty red rice in this recipe. Savory components like onion and chicken stock add richness. Gorgeous jumbo raisins add sweetness and plump as you cook them. And just a hint of cinnamon adds complexity to this Warm Red Rice Salad recipe.
It’s a delicious side dish for your holiday turkey dinner, but it also pairs well with any number of things, such as roast chicken or pot roast.
In addition to different kinds of white rice, I also like brown rice and other types of rice. Red rice is not only delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrition. Red rice contains the same antioxidants as dark chocolate, which are known as “proanthocyanidin”.
I like to use Ralston Family Farms™ Red Rice, which provides 100% traceability of their products from seed to shelf. All of their rice varieties are sustainably grown, milled, and packaged on their three generation family farm in the United States. And every time you buy a Ralston Farms product, it helps the Ralston Family Farms Charitable Outreach and Partnership with Feeding America.
You can find the full line of Ralston Family Farms products at Sprouts, including Purple Rice and Nature’s Blend.
How Do You Cook Red Rice?
You cook red rice the same way you cook white rice, with water in a covered saucepan over low heat.
The difference between cooking white rice and red rice is that red rice takes longer to cook. White rice usually cooks in less than 20 minutes, and red rice takes about 45 minutes to cook.
More Side Dishes for Your Holiday Table to Enjoy All Season Long:
- Butternut Squash Puree with Fontina Cheese, Fresh Thyme, and Brown Butter
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage
- Garlic Green Beans with Parmesan
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Brown Butter, Sage, and Pecan Topping
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Warm Red Rice Salad with Roasted Squash and Cinnamon
- Fresh herbs such as thyme
- Cinnamon sticks
For the Red Rice:
- Add the oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and cook until it smells fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the raisins, chicken stock, salt, cinnamon, and black pepper.
- Bring up to a boil, and then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let the rice sit (covered) for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
For the Roasted Squash:
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Trim off the ends and slice each half into 1/4-inch thick half-moons.
- Toss the squash with the oil, salt, and black pepper. Spread it out in an even layer on a large baking tray.
- Bake the squash until it’s tender and golden in spots on both sides, about 30 to 40 minutes, flipping the squash once halfway through.
- Spoon the rice onto a serving platter and top with the roasted squash.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and cinnamon sticks if desired.
- Serve warm.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!