Photo of Island-style pumpkin rice by WW

Island-style pumpkin rice

Total Time
40 min
15 min
25 min
A mildly spiced side dish, this rice is full of flavor, color, and a healthy dose of vitamins thanks to the butternut squash. In the Caribbean, the term pumpkin refers to calabaza squash (or West Indian pumpkin), not the North American pumpkin. Here we’ve substituted butternut squash, but if you can find calabaza squash in Latin markets, feel free to use it here. It’s often sold precut. To shorten your prep work for this recipe, purchase already peeled, cubed butternut squash from the produce section of your supermarket. If you really like your food spicy, substitute a serrano or habanero chile for the jalapeno.


Olive oil

2 tsp, extra-virgin

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, diced

Jalapeño pepper(s)

1 large, seeded and diced (do not touch seeds with bare hands)


2 medium clove(s), diced

Table salt

2 tsp

Uncooked long grain brown rice

1 cup(s)


2¼ cup(s)

Fresh thyme

4 tsp, about 4 fresh sprigs

Uncooked butternut squash

1 pound(s), diced


  1. Pour oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion, jalapeno, and garlic until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and rice to pan; stir to mix.
  2. Add water and thyme sprigs; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 10 minutes and then add squash to pan (do not stir it in so it will steam). Cook for 10 minutes more, covered, and then stir. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.