This maple-roasted squash with crispy rice is a really easy recipe and you only need a few ingredients. It’s also perfect if you need an idea for how to use leftover rice!
Look at that gorgeous crispy leftover rice? The secret lies in this simple leftover rice recipe. Don’t have leftover rice? No worries, you can mimic it!
First, let’s talk about the components of this recipe. The squash is tender and glazed and you’ll be left with just a touch of the thickened marinade to drizzle over the rice at the end. You can use any squash variety you like. Try it with butternut, acorn, or even sweet potatoes.
The rice is extra, extra crispy thanks to using leftover rice (or a mimic of it). Similar to fried rice, using leftover rice yields the best result because the rice has had time to dry out. If you use rice fresh from the pot, it’ll have too much moisture in it.
No leftover rice? No worries, you can still make a leftover rice recipe without it! First, make a fresh pot of rice and then pour it into a bowl. I use a wooden spoon to press the rice up into the edges of the bowl in an even layer so you don’t have a mound of hot rice in the middle. Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes. This helps to quickly remove the moisture from the rice and creates a texture similar to day-old rice. That’s it!
How to make this maple-roasted squash with crispy rice:
First, prepare the sauce for the squash. Whisk together your favorite vinegar–I use a mushroom vinegar–along with maple syrup, chili powder, and salt. Add the squash and toss to coat. Transfer everything to a lined baking sheet and then bake for 25–30 minutes. Check the squash after 15 minutes and flip gently. Continue cooking until fork tender. You want the sauce to thicken but not completely burn up!
Next, prepare the rice. If using fresh rice, make a pot of it and then pop it in the freezer. If using day-old rice, proceed with frying! Simply heat oil over high heat until super hot. Add the rice and use a spoon to flatten it into an even layer. Cook without moving for 4–5 minutes until the bottom becomes golden and crispy. Take a peek after 3–4 or so minutes to make sure it’s not burning (simply lift up a small section of the rice, and if it’s not brown enough, pat it back into place and continue cooking). Once the rice is golden-brown on the bottom, use a spatula to flip it and begin breaking it up. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. You want a mixture of some crispy rice pieces and some soft, fluffy pieces.
That’s it! Once everything is done, simply divide the rice between plates and spoon the cooked squash on top. Drizzle with a bit of the thickened sauce from the sheet pan and garnish with microgreens if you like!
Maple-Roasted Squash with Crispy Rice
- 1 tablespoon mushroom vinegar or use red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup plus more to taste if you like
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 delicata squash seeds removed and squash sliced into 1/2″ thick half-moons
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 3 cups day-old rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Microgreens optional, for serving
Prepare the squash:
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and chili powder—taste and season with salt and pepper. Adjust the profile of the sauce to your preferences. If you like it sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup. If you want a bit of heat, add more chili powder and crushed red pepper to taste.
- Add the squash and toss to coat. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, and then gently turn the squash. Continue cooking for 10–15 minutes until the squash is fork-tender. Turn off the oven.
Cook the rice:
- Heat the neutral oil in a skillet over high heat. Once shimmering and hot, add the rice and use a spoon to flatten it into an even layer. Cook without moving for 4–5 minutes. Check the rice by using a fork to gently lift a piece of the rice. If it’s not golden enough, pat it back into place and continue cooking.
- Once the rice is golden-brown and crispy, use a spatula to flip and gently break it up. Continue cooking for 3–4 minutes. You want to have rice with a mixture of crispy and soft fluffy pieces. Turn off the heat and season with salt.
- Divide the crispy rice between plates and spoon the cooked squash on top. Drizzle a bit of the thickened sauce on top. Garnish with microgreens, if you like. Enjoy!
Looking for more vegan recipes? Check my archives!
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