This beautiful, golden Butternut Squash Saffron Rice is an easy rice side dish recipe that is a blend of saffron, roasted butternut squash, almonds, and dried cranberries.

basmati rice with saffron


One of my favorite fall vegetables (or is it a fruit?!) is butternut squash. I love it roasted until the edges get slightly browned and the squash is tender. Butternut squash has a similar sweetness to a sweet potato but it is lighter and I prefer it. My guy recently visited Dubai and while he was there he went to the spice market and brought me back all sorts of fragrant spices including a large portion of saffron.

Since then I’ve been playing around with different flavors and this Butternut Squash Saffron Rice is my most recent creation. It is rice cooked in almond milk and tossed with roasted butternut squash and sprinkled with thinly sliced almonds and dried cranberries. It is a rich, fragrant rice dish that is perfect for fall.

saffron rice with almonds

This rice is packed full of flavor starting with the almond milk it is cooked it. I mixed vegetable broth and almond milk together and added the rice to it bringing it to a boil and then adding a healthy pinch of saffron. You only need a few threads to give the rice a beautiful, rich golden color, brighter than the yellow of my turmeric spiced quinoa and the flavor is less earthy and more floral and sweet. I placed the lid on the pot and reduced it to a simmer to let the rice cook through.

saffron rice with cranberries

While the rice cooks you roast the butternut squash. I diced mine up into 1/2 inch cubes and tossed them in a little olive oil and salt. Then I placed them on a baking sheet and roasted them at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. The rice and the butternut squash finish cooking at about the same time and you toss them together along with dried cranberries and slivers of almonds. The sweet butternut squash, slightly tart cranberries, crunchy almonds, and fragrant saffron rice come together to make an impressive side dish or a delicious weeknight dinner.

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Butternut Squash Saffron Rice

This fragrant Butternut Squash Saffron Rice is bursting with flavors and textures. It makes an impressive side dish for holidays!
basmati rice with saffron
Print Recipe
No ratings yet


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt, divided
  • 3 c Butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 c. Vegetable broth
  • 2 c. Almond milk
  • 8 oz. Vegan butter, you can use butter if you prefer
  • 1/4 c. Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Saffron threads
  • 2 c. Basmati rice
  • 1/4 c. Dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. Almonds, slivered


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Toss diced butternut squash in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on baking sheet and put in oven to roast for 20-30 minutes or until squash is soft.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium high heat add vegan butter and onion. Cook until onion turns translucent.
  • Stir in rice and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add vegetable broth, almond milk, and saffron and bring to a boil.
  • Cover pot and reduce to a simmer cooking for about 20 minutes more or until rice is tender.
  • Once rice and butternut squash are ready combine them, tossing gently. Then add dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 372kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 635mg, Potassium: 252mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 5430IU, Vitamin C: 9.2mg, Calcium: 109mg, Iron: 0.9mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Course: Side