Black Rice Recipe (Forbidden Rice) - A Spicy Perspective (2024)

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Forbidden Black Rice Recipe – You will love this earthy flavorful Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans. It’s a marvelous fall and holiday Black Rice Recipe that adds color and texture to the dinner table. Forbidden rice is a vegetarian dish everyone will enjoy!

Black Rice Recipe (Forbidden Rice) - A Spicy Perspective (1)

Black Rice Recipe for the Holidays

Usually in the fall, I spend months focusing on apple recipes, Halloween treats, and Thanksgiving side dishes.

I get super excited about cutesy Halloween goodies, so I tend to get a little carried away.

However, today’s black rice recipe will make a statement on your holiday table, yet is a bit more sophisticated than some of my earlier offerings.

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What Is Forbidden Rice?

I love forbidden rice. Love. It.

The color is so striking, it immediately draws attention when you serve it. There are two main varieties of whole-grain black rice: Forbidden Rice and Wild Rice.

Forbidden rice (sometimes called black sticky rice, purple rice, or emperor’s rice) comes in various shades of black. As a glutinous rice, it tends to be softer and clump a little when cooked. It has a light nutty flavor and chewy texture. If you rinse it well before cooking it will clump less.

Forbidden rice is great to use in dishes in which you might normally use long-grain or short-grain white rice varieties, such as rice pudding, rice porridge, or stir fried rice dishes.

Wild rice comes in different shades of dark brown and black. It stays firm and separated when cooked, similar the brown rice. It is great for pilafs because the grains offer chewiness and fluff easily.

Whether you like the hearty texture of wild rice or the tender texture of forbidden rice, either variety is fine for this black rice pilaf.

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To this Forbidden Rice, I added roasted acorn squash and toasted pecans for sweetness and nutty crunch.

Roasted acorn squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients. It brings a sweet earthy note to this black rice recipe as well as a festive punch of orange color. If you aren’t crazy about acorn squash, this would be the perfect place to substitute diced butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Both offer the same appeal.

This black rice recipe is for you, grownups.

But don’t worry your kids will love Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash and Pecans too!

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How to Cook Black Rice

Ingredients You Need

  • Black Rice (forbidden rice or black wild rice)
  • Butter (oil for vegan)
  • Shallots
  • Pecan Pieces (or cashews, walnuts, or almonds)
  • Orange Zest
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Acorn Squash(or butternut squash)
  • Salt and Pepper

Pilaf Method Steps

  1. Saute the butter and shallots in a saucepan for two minutes then add the rice and toss it to coat in butter. Add salt and water according to the rice package instructions. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it boils, stir and lower the heat to a simmer. Then cover until it is fully cooked.
  3. Peel and dice the acorn squash and toss in oil then spread over a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, then flip and re-spread the squash to cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. The last 2-3 minutes of cooking of the squash, add in the pecan pieces so that they can roast as well.
  5. Toss together the rice and the squash mixture with some orange zest and thyme. Make sure to season to taste and serve warm!

Get The Full Printable Black Rice Recipe (Forbidden Rice) Below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Forbidden Rice Gluten Free?

Yes, all rice is gluten-free, unless you add ingredients to it that contain gluten. This recipe is completely gluten-free.

Can I Cook Chinese Black Rice in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can! Rinse the black rice several times to remove some of the starches. Place the rice in the Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups water. Pressure Cook on HIGH for 18 minutes, then perform a natural release for 9-12 minutes.

Can I make forbidden rice the day before?

Yes! I would tightly cover the cooked black rice with foil and warm it up in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

How long will Forbidden Rice last in the fridge?

You can keep this black rice recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 6 days.

Can I freeze cooked Black Rice?

Yes. Store the rice in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Then thaw at room temperature before rewarming in the oven.

Other Holiday Recipes and Dishes:

  • Chicken Sausage Apple Squash Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe
  • Three Sisters Butternut Squash Chili Recipe
  • Bacon Pecan Brittle Recipe
  • Smoky-Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
  • Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Whiskey Cream Sauce Recipe
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto ~ Just a Taste
  • Butternut Squash Cakes ~ The Bite House

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Print Recipe

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Black Rice Recipe (Forbidden Rice)

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour

A festive dark and moody side dish for the holidays, made with black rice, acorn squash, and chopped nuts.

Servings: 8


US CustomaryMetric

  • 1 1/2 cups black rice wild or forbidden
  • 2 tablespoons butter oil for vegan
  • 2 shallots peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 acorn squash peeled, seeded, and diced
  • Salt and pepper


  • Set a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the rice and toss to coat in butter. Add the appropriate amount of water as directed on the rice package (from 3-4 cups depending on the variety of rice.) Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, cover, and bring to a boil.

  • Once boiling, stir, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cooked through—follow time directed on rice package.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the peeled and diced acorn squash in oil and spread over a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn and spread the acorn squash again and roast another 10 minutes. In the last 2-3 minutes sprinkle the pecans over the acorn squash so the pieces can toast.

  • Once the rice and roasted acorn squash are ready, toss together with orange zest and thyme. Then salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature!


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 306kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 352mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 375IU, Vitamin C: 9.4mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1.6mg

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American, Asian

Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe?Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

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Black Rice Recipe (Forbidden Rice) - A Spicy Perspective (2024)


Is forbidden rice the same as black rice? ›

Thanks to its nutty flavor and striking purple hue, black rice, also called forbidden rice, had been one of my favorite grains when we lived in Austin. I'd get it from the bulk bins at the grocery store, eagerly anticipating adding it to salads and bowls when I got home.

What does black forbidden rice taste like? ›

Black rice, which often turns dark purple once cooked, has a mild, nutty taste similar to brown rice. Also referred to as "forbidden rice," it's a great source of iron, vitamins and antioxidants.

What is the disadvantage of black rice? ›

Being rich in fibre, black rice might lead to problems like gas and abdominal pain if consumed in excess.

Why was black rice forbidden in China? ›

Black rice (also known as forbidden black rice or emperor's rice) is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It was once reserved only for the wealthy and powerful to ensure their health and long life. No one else was allowed to eat it.

Why is forbidden black rice prohibited? ›

Forbidden rice is also known as imperial rice, heaven rice and king's rice. In ancient China, this exquisite ingredient was exclusive to the emperors, who ate it for longevity and good health. It was forbidden to all but the most wealthy and powerful people, thus its name.

Can diabetics eat black rice? ›

Black rice is one of the less well-known but healthy foods for diabetes. According to Ayurvedic doctors, consuming black rice helps fend off diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even weight gain.

Is forbidden rice inflammatory? ›

Anthocyanin is a pigment that's responsible for the black-purple color of forbidden rice. It's also been found to have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects.

Why is black rice so expensive? ›

Black rice is not as easy to grow as other rice varieties because it only yields about 10 percent of the harvest that other rice varieties do. That makes the rice very expensive, which is why it was initially reserved only for the richest of the rich—which meant Chinese royalty at the time it was first discovered.

Can you eat forbidden rice everyday? ›

“While black rice is highly nutritious, rather than eating it daily, it's best to rotate it with other whole grain options for more dietary variety and to reduce your intake of arsenic [which is found in most types of rice],” says Chatfield.

What happens if we eat black rice everyday? ›

Eating black rice can give you a worthwhile boost on your heart health and overall fitness. Along with protective anthocyanins, black rice contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids known for their role in supporting eye health.

Is black rice good for the gut? ›

The fiber content of black rice isn't only beneficial for heart health, but also for digestive health. An increasing amount of research has revealed that our gut microbiome—the diverse community of microorganisms in our digestive tract—also influences our brain health, immune health, and metabolic health.

Is black rice high in sugar? ›

There are zero grams of sugar in black rice, so the rest of the carbohydrate in black rice is starch.

Which is healthier red rice or black rice? ›

Since black rice has the highest antioxidant, protein and dietary fibre content as compared to all other varieties, it is the healthiest choice. It also has cardioprotective effects,” the dietitian said.

Is it hard to digest black rice? ›

Fact: Cooking black rice may take slightly longer than white rice, but it is not particularly difficult. It can be steamed, boiled, or cooked in a rice cooker just like other varieties of rice. Myth 5: Black rice is hard to digest. Fact: Black rice is not inherently difficult to digest.

Which is healthier black rice or wild rice? ›

Black rice is a cultivated form of wild rice, but gluten-free black rice has the highest amount of anthocyanin. Therefore, even though black and wild rice have a great nutritional value with the protein, B complex, minerals, folate, and antioxidants, black rice is better than wild rice.

What is another name for forbidden rice? ›

Black rice, also known as purple rice or forbidden rice, is a range of rice types of the species Oryza sativa, some of which are glutinous rice. There are several varieties of black rice available today.

Why is black rice called the forbidden rice? ›

1 Forbidden rice earned its name because it was once reserved for the Chinese emperor to ensure his health and longevity, and forbidden to anyone else. Forbidden rice is a medium-grain, non-glutinous heirloom rice with a deep purple hue and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

What is the other name for black rice? ›

This dark-colored rice, which is a deep purple-black, has alternate names including purple rice, forbidden rice, and emperor's rice. It has a rich, complex flavor, with a distinct nuttiness and a hint of sweetness from the anthocyanin pigments.

What is a substitute for black rice? ›

Similar to black rice, red rice, or Oryza rufipogon, is a medium or long grain variety coloured by its anthocyanin content. Interestingly, it is considered an edible weed growing alongside other rice varieties and primarily grown in Asia as well as Northern Australia.


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