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Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

Black rice, bejeweled with mushrooms, delicata squash and sausage, stands in for the classic bready stovetop stuffing recipe. Did we mention it’s gluten-free?


Forbidden rice stuffing with delicata squash in a serving dish

More delicious side dishes for your Thanksgiving table.

Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms and Squash

The contrasting textures of this squash and mushroom stuffing are striking against a backdrop of conventional Thanksgiving standbys. Even so, its flavor makes a natural pairing for turkey and all the trimmings. Nutty black rice mingles with roasted delicata squash, golden mushrooms and sausage for a rice dressing that is just as rich and savory as any Classic Sausage Stuffing recipe. Serve alongside our favorite Thanksgiving appetizers like Stuffed Mushrooms or Baked Brie. Be sure to check out our 40 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes for more inspo!

forbidden black rice poured out on the counter
slices of roasted delicata squash on a baking sheet

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But Wait—is it Rice Stuffing? Or Dressing?

We cook this forbidden rice mushroom on the stovetop and therefore outside the bird, which might have purists arguing that this is technically a dressing recipe. While it’s true that *technically* this is a dressing, because it’s not ‘stuffed” inside the bird, to us the word “stuffing is so synonymous with Thanksgiving that it’s the one we like to use. Cooking this rice stuffing on the stovetop leaves room in the oven for rolls! Try out Parker House Rolls or our Herby Rhodes Rolls.

a large pan of forbidden rice Thanksgiving Turkey dressing made with delicata squash and sausage

What is Forbidden Rice?

Forbidden rice is a non-glutinous heirloom rice grain colored a deep, dark purple with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. And it’s not just another pretty face—it has more fiber and protein than brown rice, too! We love that it cooks quickly and love how dramatic it looks on the table.

Forbidden rice stuffing with delicata squash in a serving dish

Let’s Make Thanksgiving Rice Dressing

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can roast the squash and brown the mushrooms a day or two ahead so all you have to do is make the rice. When it comes to one of the biggest cooking days of the year, being prepared is the name of the game.

  1. Start with squash—slice, season & roast!
  2. And next, the mushrooms. Just a quick sauté mushrooms.
  3. Brown the sausage. Drain off excess grease.
  4. Sauté the shallots, celery, and garlic and stir in the sausage, rice and liquid for about 40 minutes—just the right amount of time to take a break and “sample” the pumpkin pie.
  5. Ring the dinner bell! The rice stuffing recipe is ready. Place in a serving dish and layer with mushrooms and squash on top.
a plate of rice stuffing next to a pan of roasted squash Thanksgiving stuffing.

Tools You’ll Need

Other Showstopping Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Rice stuffing for Thanksgiving is only one part of the delicious puzzle. Round out your turkey with side dishes that you would be proud to serve any time of the year.

a plate of rice stuffing next to a pan of roasted squash Thanksgiving stuffing.

Sausage-Rice Stuffing: Second Helpings Encouraged

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Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 487


  • 2 medium delicata squash, seeded and sliced into 1-inch rings
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 medium shallots, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cups forbidden rice
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Place the squash on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the shallots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 1 minute more.

  4. Transfer the vegetables to a medium bowl, and reduce the heat under the saucepan to medium. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Return the vegetables to the saucepan, then stir in the thyme, rice, chicken stock, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and 1½ cups water.

  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.

  7. Transfer the rice to a serving dish and top with the squash and mushrooms. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories487
  • Protein18 g
  • Carbohydrates62 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol32 mg
  • sodium949 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Anne Cavanaugh

    Can you suggest substitutes for the delicata squash and the chanterelle mushrooms?

    I'm nit sure if you are trying to avoid squash and mushrooms all together, but if you aren't, you could substitute with another type of squash (1 inch cubed) or another mushroom sliced. If you are trying to avoid all together you can just leave them out. But you would be missing out on a lot of what makes this dish so wonderful.

  • Alisa Leahy

    My daughter served this with dinner for Christmas. She introduced me to your recipes this fall, they are wonderful! This dish was excellent!!! I used your recipe for turkey gravy at Thanksgiving-best I’ve ever made. Keep up the great work!

    Thank you so much Alisa!

  • jenn

    This was incredibly delicious!

    Thanks Jenn!