Recipe: Minnesotan Wild Rice with Braised Tempeh, Butternut Squash and Red Onion

One of our favorite fall recipes

(Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

When I ask my friends who grew up in Minnesota what fall crop they remember most from their childhood, they all exclaim "wild rice!" The following dish uses staples of the midwestern fall harvest: wild rice, winter squash, parsnips and onion.

I've used Moroccan spices to highlight the delicious sweet and sour flavor of these ingredients, and dried cranberries give a tangy boost to the wild rice. You can make the tempeh up to a day in advance of the rice. Gently reheat just before serving.

Braised Tempeh, Butternut Squash and Red Onion:

  • 8 oz. tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (try Pacific)
  • Cilantro (for sprinkling)


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Wild Rice:

  • 1 large shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (liquid measure)
  • 1 cup wild rice (dry measure)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Steam tempeh 10 minutes, combine with marinade, cover, and let sit about 1 hour. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is starting to ripple, add tempeh (saving remaining marinade in bowl) and brown, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add butternut squash, parsnip, red onion, remaining marinade (I use a rubber spatula to scrape out every last drop) and broth. Stir gently to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook covered 40 minutes, stirring several times.

To make wild rice, saute shallot in olive oil over medium-high heat in heavy pot, 2 minutes. Add bay leaves and broth. Bring broth to a boil, add wild rice, return to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered 30 minutes. Add cranberries, stir, cover and cook 30 minutes more. Remove from heat and let sit covered 10 minutes.

Spoon wild rice into four shallow bowls, top with tempeh, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serves 4.


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