Roasted Pumpkin & Candied Pecans

I don’t know how comfortable you are about including non-traditional dishes, like this one, in your Thanksgiving feast. If you are open to it, then you must try this one. It requires only four ingredients and take about 30 minutes in total to make. I can assure you; it’s something you’ll want to write home about.

However, whether you choose traditional dishes or not, I’d like to offer a word of advice: don’t stuff yourself like a turkey. One of my food philosophies is that how much you eat is as crucial as what you eat. Personally, I feel unwell when I overeat. Just saying.

Last week, I received five boxes packed with a huge variety of produce from Melissa’s Produce, and four days later, another big box arrived from Talley Farms. As a “micro-influencer” on Instagram, I am often offered products in exchange for my content. However, I am selective and only collaborate with brands that I genuinely use and love. I would never promote products I don’t believe in or trust.

Roasted Pumpkin, Basmati Rice & Candied Pecans

Simple and quick side dish for Thanksgiving or everyday.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Healthy, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Shelly


  • 1 small pumpkin or 1/4 large pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • Avocado oil or olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 cups basmati
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • Avocado oil
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Sumac for garnish


  • Soak the rice in cold water.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin (roast them with the pumpkin, if you like to eat them). Carefully peel the pumpkin with a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Then cut it into 1-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet.
  • Peel and slice the onion thick.
  • Drizzle the avocado oil, sprinkle the smoked paprika and salt, and rub the vegetables with them. Roast for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. If your oven is on the hot side, check after 10 minutes to make sure that the vegetables don’t burn.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rice:
  • Drain and rinse the rice under cold water for 1 minute. Put the rice in a medium saucepan. Add 2 + ½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring into a boil. Boil for 1 minute then lower the hit to the lowest. Cover with a lid wrapped in a clean kitchen towel. Cook for 12 minutes. DON’T open the pan while the rice is cooking. If you do, the steam will escape and your rice won’t be cooked properly. After 12 minutes remove from the heat but don’t open yet! Keep it covered for 5 more minutes.
  • To make the candied pecans: line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the pecans on and drizzle a little bit of honey and a few drops of avocado oil over them. Season with salt and cinnamon and toast at 280°F for 5-10 minutes. (You can toast them after the pumpkin is done and the oven is turned off but is still hot).
  • To assemble:
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Depending on how many people eat – about ½ – ¾ cup per person – put it on a serving dish. Arrange the roasted pumpkin, onion over and the pecans. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of sumac and serve.

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