Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

Submitted by:

American Pecan Council | Emily Caruso, Jelly Toast

Pecans, butternut squash, apples, rice in this comforting side dish that boasts the flavors of fall.


  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried currants


  1. Bring stock, water, nutmeg, ginger, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cloves, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a medium size saucepan. Add rice and bring back up to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and half cover with a lid. Allow rice to simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove and discard cinnamon stick.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat olive or pecan oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent; about 4 minutes. Add butternut squash and cook, stirring often, until squash is tender and beginning to caramelize at the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add apples and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until apples soften. Season mixture with salt, pepper, thyme, and ground cinnamon. Stir in chopped pecans and currants and cook until pecans are slightly golden and fragrant. Remove mixture from heat.
  3. Stir butternut squash mixture with cooked rice and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm or room temperature. Serves 12.

Note: If you don’t have butternut squash try acorn squash or try swapping pears for the apples.

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