Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Rice with Hemp-Miso Dressing (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I would like to confess that this is not the first time I made winter squash this year, but it is the first success. The first time was with a kabocha pumpkin. I bought it at the farmer’s market and was so excited to make it. I cut it, oiled it, and popped it in the oven while I made a wonderful sauteed garlic and kale base to serve it on.

Close up of a white ceramic plate full of roasted butternut squash, black rice, and a miso hemp seed dressing.
When it was done, I took some pictures and served it up to AJ all excited to try it. It was…. less than ideal. In AJ’s words, the squash tasted like eating a sock. So dry! So horrible! I fed some to the dog (she actually really liked it) and gave the rest as a sacrifice to the compost pile.

Top down view of roasted cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet.

But this time, I won. I used a squash that I knew didn’t taste like a sock, and roasted it up all tasty for you. Woot!

Close up oblique view of a roasted butternut squash and black rice dish with a hemp miso dressing applied over the top.

So, I’m not gonna lie. Butternut squash is a pain in the butt to prep. But all you need is some elbow grease, a big sharp knife, and a little bit of time. Once you get beyond the peeling part, cutting it into chunks is really pretty easy. Here’s what I’ve found is the easiest way to get the job done:

  1. Cut the butternut in half crosswise into two shorter pieces. Cut the stem off the top portion, then set it upright on the cutting board.
  2. Use your knife to carefully cut the skin away from the flesh. You don’t have to be too crazy about not getting any of the flesh, but try not to cut too much off.
  3. Take the bottom half and peel as you did the top half. Depending on the shape of the squash, sometimes I’ve found it easier to cut it in half again and set it flesh-side down on the counter and peel that way. Either way, when you are done peeling the bottom, scrape out the bottom and chop!

Top down view of a white ceramic plate full of roasted butternut squash and black rice with a dressing made of miso and hemp seeds. A rectangular platter for of more cubed roasted squash sits and the top of the image.

Ok, done with that? Now you just toss with some olive oil, cinnamon (totally weird, but so delicious!), and dried thyme, then roast away for just 30-35 minutes. Ta-da! While the squash is cooking you cook your black rice and make the dressing.

A square white platter fulled of cubed and roasted butternut squash.

And oh man, the dressing. I am a big fan of it. The miso makes it salty, but that saltiness pairs oh so well with the sweet squash. You are going to love it. It’s also made with hemp seeds, which give it a great nutty flavor and also a hefty nutritional profile.

A close up of a wooden bowl full of hemp seed.

They’re expensive, but they’re the world’s new favorite superfood and they’re mighty tasty. So I say shell out the $15 for a bag and it’ll last you quite a while. And then you can make all the hemp seed dressings you could ever want!

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Close up of a roasted butternut squash with black rice and hemp seed and miso dressing.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Rice with Hemp-Miso Dressing (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 as a meal or 4 as a side 1x


Are you looking for a tasty and nutritious vegan winter meal that’s a little bit off the mainstream? If so, try this Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Rice with Hemp-Miso Dressing recipe. The miso adds a salty kick that pairs oh so well with the sweet flavors of the squash. Hemp seeds add a nutty flavor along with lots of nutrients and vitamins



For the Roasted Squash:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup uncooked black rice

For the Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp yellow miso*
  • 2 Tbsp melted margarine or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)


  1. Heat the oven to 400F. Generously grease a sheet pan and set aside.
  2. Cook the rice according to package directions – usually 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Or use a good quality rice cooker on the black rice setting.
  3. Peel the squash according to the directions in the text, then cut the flesh into small 1/2″ pieces. Toss with the oil, then sprinkle the cinnamon, thyme, salt, and pepper on top. Toss again to distribute the spices, then spread evenly on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a fork – if it pierces easily then it is ready.
  5. While the squash roasts, make the dressing, Combine all the dressing ingredients in a countertop blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, until very smooth. Blend more if necessary.
  6. Serve the black rice, top with some squash, and drizzle dressing on top. Eat immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: butternut squash, black rice, hemp seeds, miso, gluten-free, vegan, fall, winter

What about you? How do you like to prepare this tasty fall and winter fruit? If you’ve made this recipe and love it, let us know your thoughts in the comments below and please give it a rating!

Looking for more tasty butternut squash recipes? Try these tasty options:

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published October 17th, 2014. Last updated November 16th, 2018.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

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