Roasted Butternut Squash and Root Vegetable Rice (Halloween Rice)

That day of the year when all of a sudden we seem to be surrounded by two very contrasting colours; orange and black. Orange representing warmth, celebrating life and the bounty of autumn and black representing cold and winter and darkness.

Yes, its Halloween!

My little girl who is currently obsessed with Harry Potter (which definitely deserves a separate and a very long post) has decided to be Bellatrix Lestrange this evening. Powerful and Terrifying, she says. Any Potterheads, reading this post?

So while she is crafting her black costume and figuring out how to make her long and straight hair both curly and frizzy, I decided to keep myself busy by adding a little bit of orange to complete today’s orange and black colour scheme through a really simple and fragrant roasted butternut and root vegetable pilaf. Sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash; all of them with their gorgeous orangey colour and that lovely scent of sage, cinnamon and smoked paprika.

A huge bowl of this “Halloween Rice” on our table tonight (Recipe at the end of the post).

There’s going to be an “orange” dessert too 🙂

I hope you have fun making this “frightfully” simple and healthy recipe and if you are still on the hunt for some ideas to host a Halloween party this weekend or can’t decide what to hand over for trick and treat this evening or want some ideas for Halloween snacks for afterschool or for the lunch box, there are loads of spooky recipes on the blog that I am confident that your little monsters will appreciate.

Happy & Healthy Halloween Treats For Children

A spook-tacular Halloween snack box

Trick or treat with these “pumpkins”

Halloween Rice (Roasted Butternut Squash and Root Vegetable Pilaf)


  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tsp dry sage (double the quantity if using fresh)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel and chop the carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash and onion of roughly the same size.
  3. In a large baking dish, combine all the chopped vegetables with the sage, cinnamon, paprika and salt. Mix well.
  4. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil and mix again. Grill for about 35 minutes.
  5. In a large pan (large enough to cook the rice in), take 1 tbsp of olive oil and add a cinnamon stick. After about 2 seconds, add the rice and make sure that each grain is well coated with the oil. Cook on low heat till the grains begin to look translucent.
  6. Add the vegetable stock and cook until all of it has been absorbed and the rice is done (about 15 minutes).
  7. Allow the rice to cool and then combine it with the vegetables. Fluff it up with a fork.
  8. Sprinkle loads of nuts (if using) and serve. You can add a protein of your choice on the side if you like. We love it with some grilled juicy sausages.

Please note: For this particular recipe, I recommend cooking the rice separately. It is simply because we love the flavour and the depth that one gets from grilling the vegetables separately (sweet and caramel like) and like to still “see”the vegetables individually. If you like, you can cook the rice in the baking dish along with all the vegetables by adding both the vegetable stock and the rice. Cover with foil and bake for about 50-60 minutes.

Happy Halloween People!

Images & Disclaimer: Personal album. If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission. Just ask!  

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