This savory vegan Squash and Rice Pudding has all of summer’s best flavors in a bowl. Yellow squash is baked into a creamy rice pudding with herbs like oregano and basil. Vegan, soy-free and just eight ingredients. Can be one-pot.
Desi pointed me to a recipe for a savory squash and rice pudding in the Washington Post, and I became obsessed, the way I sometimes become obsessed with a recipe that sounds totally delicious but doesn’t work for me because it’s not vegan.
The article said the pudding dated back to the early 1900s and had its origins in the South. That fascinated me, along with the fact that the flavors sounded so seasonal and so clean. Other than the two main ingredients, the rice and the yellow squash, there were just a handful of ingredients, mainly herbs — basil and oregano — and seasonings like salt and pepper.
How could something so seemingly plain sound so tasty, I wondered. I just had to solve the mystery.
So I did. And it made me happier than you can imagine.
This squash and rice pudding is a revelation. I had to diverge quite a bit from the recipe in the Post because it used cream and sour cream. I subbed with coconut milk and cashew cream. And I made my version creamier, because I like my pudding creamy.
I also added a bit of garlic, because garlic makes everything better, and I wasn’t wrong.
Another big change I made was to make this recipe one-pot-friendly. That is, if you use a cast iron skillet or any skillet that can go from the stove top into the oven. Because if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to cook their squash in a skillet, then their rice in a pot, then put it all together in a baking dish, and then spend the entire evening doing the dishes, you’re exactly my kinda people.
The name of the recipe, with the pudding and all, seems to lend itself naturally to breakfast, but this dish is perfect anytime eats. It makes a great brunch, lunch or dinner or any other time you care to eat. Plus it feeds an army, so it’s great to make ahead for a few meals during the week, or for a day of good eats with friends and family.
Eight ingredients for Savory Vegan Squash and Rice Pudding:
- Rice. Any long-grain rice like jasmine or basmati is great.
- Yellow squash.
- Coconut milk
- Raw cashews
- Olive oil
- Fresh oregano
- Fresh basil
You will also need salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
How to make this Savory Vegan Squash and Rice Pudding:
- I didn’t make this dish one-pot myself because I wanted to bake everything up in my pretty baking dish, but if you want to, you totally can. Use a cast-iron skillet or any skillet that can go from the stove top to the oven.
- Start out by sauteing your garlic and yellow squash in the skillet. Add the rice, stir it all up, add the coconut milk and water, put the cover on, and let the rice cook until it’s perfectly tender.
- Blitz the cashews with water to make a thick cream, then stir it into the rice and squash along with the herbs.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil (if you’re using a skillet and have an oven-safe lid, use that by all means). Put it all into a 350-degree oven and bake for 20 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered.
I can certify this recipe as kid-friendly because Jay loved it, and asked for seconds. Try it, and if you do, be sure to come back and let me know in the comments below.
Try these vegan breakfast recipes next:
Savory Vegan Squash and Rice Pudding recipe:
Savory Vegan Squash and Rice Pudding
- Cast iron or other oven-safe skillet OR a skillet and a baking dish (mine is approx 11 inches by 9 inches.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- 3 medium yellow squashes (approx 1.25 pounds. Cut them crosswise into rounds about quarter inch thick)
- 1 1/2 cups rice (any long grain, like jasmine or basmati)
- 2.5 cups coconut milk (I used the kind that comes in a carton, not a can, and has 50 calories per cup)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp basil (chopped)
- 1 tbsp oregano (chopped)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the yellow squash. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about two to three minutes until the squash starts to soften.
- Add the rice and herbs to the skillet and stir to mix everything. Add the coconut milk, let it cook until the liquid begins to bubble at the corners, then place a tight lid on the skillet and cook 20 minutes without disturbing.
- While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also blend the cashews with 1 1/2 cups water (or, for a creamier consistency, you can also use any nondairy milk)
- Once the rice is done, stir in the herbs along with the cashew cream and add more salt and ground black pepper if you wish. If you are using a baking dish, at this point transfer the whole thing into the baking dish.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil (or an oven-safe lid) and bake 20 minutes. Then remove the foil or lid and continue cooking another 15 minutes.
- Serve hot or warm.