A Spicy Perspective

Forbidden Rice (Black Rice Recipe)

Forbidden Black Rice Recipe – You will love this earthy flavorful Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans. It’s a marvelous fall and holiday Black Rice Recipe that adds color and texture to the dinner table. Forbidden rice is a vegetarian dish everyone will enjoy!

black rice recipe

Black Rice Recipe for the Holidays

Usually in the fall, I spend months focusing on apple recipes, Halloween treats, and Thanksgiving side dishes. 

I get super excited about cutesy Halloween goodies, so I tend to get a little carried away.

However, today’s black rice recipe will make a statement on your Halloween table, yet is a bit more sophisticated than some of my earlier offerings.

forbidden rice

What Is Forbidden Rice?

I love forbidden rice. Love. It.

The color is so striking, it immediately draws attention when you serve it. There are two main varieties of black rice:  Wild Rice and Forbidden Rice.

Wild rice comes in different shades of dark brown and black. It stays firm and separated when cooked, and is great for pilafs.

Forbidden rice (sometimes called black sticky rice or purple rice) also comes in various shades of black. It tends to be softer and clump a little when cooked. Although if you rinse it well before cooking it will clump less.

Whether you like the hearty texture of wild rice or the tender texture of forbidden rice, either variety is fine for this dish.

Roasted acorn squash

To this Forbidden Rice, I added roasted acorn squash and toasted pecans for sweetness and nutty crunch.

Roasted acorn squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients. It brings a sweet earthy note to this black rice recipe as well as a festive punch of orange color. If you aren’t crazy about acorn squash, this would be the perfect place to substitute diced butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Both offer the same appeal.

This black rice recipe is for you, grownups.

But don’t worry your kids will love Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans too!

roasted pecans

How to Cook Black Rice

Ingredients You Need

  • Black Rice (wild or forbidden rice)
  • Butter (oil for vegan)
  • Shallots 
  • Pecan Pieces
  • Orange Zest 
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Acorn Squash 
  • Salt and Pepper

The How -To Steps

  1. Saute the butter and shallots in a sauce pot for two minutes then add the rice and toss it to coat in butter. Add salt and water according to the rice package instructions. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it boils, stir and lower the heat to a simmer. Then cover until it is fully cooked. 
  3. Peel and dice the acorn squash and toss in oil then spread over a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, then flip and re-spread the squash to cook for another 10 minutes. 
  4. The last 2-3 minutes of cooking of the squash, add in the pecan pieces so that they can roast as well. 
  5. Toss together the rice and the squash mixture with some orange zest and thyme. Make sure to season to taste and serve warm! 

Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Forbidden Black Rice Recipe.

Fall recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this the day before?

Yes! I would tightly cover it with foil and warm it up in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. 

How long will Forbidden Rice last in the fridge? 

You can keep this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 6 days.

Can I freeze cooked Black Rice?

Yes. Store the rice in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Then thaw at room temperature before rewarming in the oven. 

Other Fall Time Recipes and Dishes:

Black and Orange Forbidden Rice with Roasted Acorn Squash and Pecans | ASpicyPerspecive.com #Halloween #Recipes #Fall
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Forbidden Rice (Black Rice Recipe) with Acorn Squash and Pecans

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A Festive Orange and Black Halloween Rice Dish.
Servings: 8


  • 1 1/2 cups black rice wild or forbidden
  • 2 tablespoons butter oil for vegan
  • 2 shallots peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 acorn squash peeled, seeded, and diced
  • Salt and pepper


  • Set a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the rice and toss to coat in butter. Add the appropriate amount of water as directed on the rice package (from 3-4 cups depending on the variety of rice.) Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, stir, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cooked through—follow time directed on rice package.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the peeled and diced acorn squash in oil and spread over a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn and spread the acorn squash again and roast another 10 minutes. In the last 2-3 minutes sprinkle the pecans over the acorn squash so the pieces can toast.
  • Once the rice and roasted acorn squash are ready, toss together with orange zest and thyme. Then salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature!


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 306kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 352mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 375IU, Vitamin C: 9.4mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1.6mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian
Author: Sommer Collier

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83 comments on “Forbidden Rice (Black Rice Recipe)”

  1. How in the world do you peel an acorn squash. I gave up and improvised without peeling. 

  2. I absolutely loved it! I used sweet potatoes, 3 large ones instead of the acorn squash and added just a little juice form the orange. It was an easy recipe and was soooo good

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  4. We love this dish so much! The pecans make it sooooo amazing!

  5. I have made this several times and it’s delicious!! Do you think I can make this the day before thanksgiving and then heat it up in the microwave?

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  9. This has been one of my family’s favorite holiday recipes for years now. I think I found it about 5 years ago. And I make it every Thanksgiving. I have a niece with tons of food allergies and this one I can change to fit whatever she needs. I’m entering a pumpkin carving and food contest tonight and this is what I’m making. It’s tried-and-true and delicious we love it every time. Fingers crossed I win!

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  13. Hi, Sommer! Just popping in to let you know that I’ve included your forbidden rice recipe in my mini round-up of acorn squash recipes on Taste As You Go! :)

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  18. I was suggested this website by way of my cousin.
    I’m not sure whether or not this publish is written by way
    of him as nobody else know such detailed approximately my trouble.

    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  19. Made this today. It turned out really good and got lots of compliments at a Thanksgiving potluck.

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  24. Not big on orange zest or pecans…thoughts on using pumpkin seeds and lemon zest?

  25. 1 acorn squash, peeled seeded and diced – sounds easy but the quash is as hard as a rock. I’m now baking it unpeeled cut in quarters for a bit and then going to try to cut it up more. Any easier way to do this?

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  31. Making this tomorrow night for my grandmother! Cannot wait!

  32. Sommer…I just purchased some black rice today. Do you have any other black rice recipes?

  33. This is awesome!!! Made it for tonight’s dinner! Thank you so much for the recipe. For all those asking where you can get black rice… I was very surprised to find a large bag at Costco of all places. It was the same price as the tiny bag from whole foods!!!

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  35. This is so stunning and totally my kind of salad. I’ve done something similar with wild rice, bulgar wheat and walnuts and it was amazing.

  36. This looks great. I do cook pumpkin rice with similar method. But cook the pumpkin, rice and the other ingredients all together in rice cooker after stir fry. I like this recipe which roasts the acorn squash and pecans. :)

  37. I don’t see any need for you to apologize — ive been enjoying your creative Halloween grubs!

  38. I lOVE this~~ perfect for the adults!!

  39. I just started eating black rice and I absolutely LOVE it! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  40. It was worth waiting. Your recipe is very original like for a Halloween one. I like it a lot. Plus lovely pictures.

  41. I’ve never actually tried black rice before! Growing up in such a traditional Korean family, we only got to try Korean rice almost every single day! But now I’m broadening my horizons and trying basmati rice, brown rice, arborio rice, and now I have to try this amazing black rice recipe!

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  43. This is a terrific Halloween dish, love the Halloween colors!

  44. Love the striking contrast between the black rice and acorn squash.

  45. This looks like THE perfect fall dish!

  46. this is such a gorgeous dish and I love that it’s gluten-free – very festive!

  47. What a gorgeous and beautiful autumn meal. The colors are just beautiful and I’m sure the taste is out of this world. Thank you for sharing. I’m in the mood for black rice now!

  48. Your photos are simply eat-able, Sommer. Gorgeous dish full of gorgeous ingredients!

  49. What a beautiful plate of food!

  50. Sommer you had me at forbidden ;)
    I have an acorn squash in my cupboard, lucky me. I see a super simple dinner in my very near future.

  51. This would be beautiful served inside the squash as well! Love it.

  52. Sounds wonderful, but wild rice hard to find around here and any idea where to find forbidden rice????

  53. Gorgeous! I love the colors and the flavors for fall!

  54. I love this dish and it is perfect for fall. I just don’t like cleaning and cutting the butternut squash.

  55. What a wonderful creation and so festive. I love forbidden rice because of the nutty flavor and extra bite compared to white rice. This must be super delicious with the squash and pecans!

  56. I love this recipe! It’s beautful and sounds amazing! You made me remember that I have black rice, now I must create a black and orange dish like yours! I love the idea!!

    I wish I got more creative this year with Halloween. It seems everything is always rush, rush, rush that I can’t take as much time or thought into something that I want to do. I guess I can start prepping for Christmas! :)

  57. Forbidden?
    Then I must have it!

  58. I love how dramatic this rice looks! Perfect for the adults!

  59. This is my kind of rice dish – it looks delicious Sommer!

  60. Great recipe. Beautiful presentation. Definitely going to be on my thanksgiving table.
    Where did you get that lovely dish?

  61. Great recipe!!! Beautiful presentation. Definitely going to be for Thanksgiving.
    Where did you get that beautiful dish?

  62. This is my kind of recipe! I know you made this for Halloween, but all I can think when I see this is: THANKSGIVING! And how perfect it would be as an alternative to the typical wild rice side dish my family usually makes.

  63. This is so up my alley, Sommer! I love black rice too, such a nice change of pace. And the squash & pecans – perfect!

  64. What a beautiful dish! This is going to make a great addition to the table at Thanksgiving this year!

  65. A coworker turned me on to black rice and I’ve been a convert ever since. It makes such a dramatic presentation, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely be sharing this lovely recipe!

  66. The colors in this dish are gorgeous and scream Halloween. Yum!

  67. WOWZA – what a stunning dish! i need to find black rice somewhere near me, it’s too beautiful to miss out on!

  68. Oh, wonderful!! I have some cooked (baked) squash AND some cooked black rice on hand just waiting for a recipe. Of course, I may end up cooking more squash.

    Will it make any difference if I don’t cook the other ingredients with the rice, I wonder?

    • Do you mean the shallots that are cooked into the rice?

      It will make a little difference in the depth of flavor. But just saute the shallots and toss them in with the orange zest and thyme, since you’ve got the squash and rice all ready to go.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  69. I’m absolutely loving this festive recipe! The contrast in colors (and then the textures and flavors) is perfect!

  70. I can only imaging this beautiful recipe presented for Thanksgiving ~ or Halloween!

  71. Gorgeous! Love this adult food to eat on Halloween while the kiddos eat candy :)

  72. This looks so fantastic! I love everything about it.

  73. Spooky!! And brilliant – no need to apologize – Halloween is definitely the time to get funky and spooky!!