View of bowl of butternut squash and rice on a wooden block.

This recipe is a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table, and a welcomed riff off of the traditional ultra-rich dishes. Wild rice, squash, berries, and greens were all present at the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, making this recipe an excellent way to celebrate the season.

Wild rice is rich in protein and fiber, and contains zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. These vitamins are known to boost your immune system and lower stress- ideal for the holiday season! Butternut squash boasts high levels of vitamin A which aids in eye and skin health, and kale contains calcium and iron, boosting bone health. You can prepare this dish the day before and reheat in a low oven, or even serve it at room temperature. 

Serves: 4-6 (easily doubled)

Total Time: 55 minutes (20 minutes active time)


  • 2 cups long grain wild rice mix
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • 2 cups diced and peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened cherries or cranberries 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Bowl of rice and butternut squash with a turquoise spoon on wooden table.


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a tall saucepan. Add rice, sir, reduce heat, and cook covered for 50 minutes. Remove pan from heat and fluff rice with a fork. Set aside. 
  3. While the rice cooks, toss the butternut squash with maple syrup, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Spread into a single layer, and roast for 25-25 minutes, until tender and starting to caramelize. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Trim the bottom ½ inch off the kale leaves, then cut them into ¼ inch thin strips. Heat a small pan over medium with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add the kale along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside. 
  5. When all the components are prepared, mix them together in a large bowl with the dried cherries, apple cider vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! 

About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website:

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