Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice

This vegan + paleo-friendly coconut lime butternut squash fried rice is great as a side dish for lunch or dinner!

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice - an easy vegan and paleo side dish that is filled with flavor!

Last weekend, I taught a class at the library about cooking light with spiralizing—essentially, how to incorporate more vegetables into our meals. Initially, I planned to make a spiralized butternut squash noodle dish. However, as I developed the recipe, I realized that it was much easier to stick cubed butternut squash into a food processor and create a “rice.” Making butternut squash noodles with a spiralizer is no easy feat. You need to put quite some elbow grease in there.

The rice was a big hit. The coconut and lime flavors come through very well without being too overpowering. I’ve made this dish about 5 times in the last few weeks and we love to eat it with pan-fried tofu. Feel free to add some diced bell peppers or your favorite seasonal vegetables to make a more substantial dish.

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice - an easy vegan and paleo side dish that is filled with flavor!


  • Use virgin coconut oil: The coconut flavor of this butternut squash fried rice depends on the type of coconut oil that’s used. You want to make sure to use coconut oil that is unrefined. They’re usually labeled as “virgin coconut oil” or “unrefined coconut oil.” If you open a container of coconut oil and the scent immediately hits you, you know you’ve got the right type. Refined coconut oils do not have enough flavor to make this dish truly fragrant.
  • Using coconut milk: The first few times I cooked this recipe, I tried to use coconut milk to give the dish flavor. I found that the coconut flavor didn’t really come through that well no matter how much milk I added. Instead, it just made the fried rice more moist.
  • Cook this in a large wok or pan: Because the butternut squash gives off moisture, you will want to cook this dish in a large wok or pan. If you crowd the riced butternut squash in a small pan, it will take longer to cook and the squash ends up being quite moist.
  • Variations: If you are looking to fill up more, consider adding 2 cups of cooked rice to the mix. You’ll need to use 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and you may need to add a tiny bit more lime juice and salt, depending on your taste.

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice - an easy vegan and paleo side dish that is filled with flavor!

If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments! I’d love to see your creations on Instagram or Facebook – be sure to tag me!


Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice - an easy vegan and paleo side dish that is filled with flavor!

This coconut lime butternut squash fried rice is great as a side dish served with your favorite protein, like tofu, eggs or grilled chicken!

  • Author: Lisa Lin
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 5 Servings


  • 2 1/2  to 2 3/4 pounds (1.1kg to 1.25kg) butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (90g) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped basil

Optional Toppings

  • red pepper flakes
  • chopped chives


  1. Peel the butternut squash and slice off the ends. Cut open the butternut squash and remove the seeds and strings. Chop the butternut squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Working in batches, add the butternut squash cubes to the food processor. Blend the squash for a few seconds. Continue pulsing the butternut squash until it is about the size of grains of rice.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the riced butternut squash. Cook the rice for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the sliced scallions, lime zest and lime juice and cook until the butternut squash has turned into a yellow-orange color, about another minute or two. Turn off the heat.
  4. When you are ready to serve the rice, stir in the chopped basil. Top with red pepper flakes and chopped chives, if you like.


NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount for 1/4 of Recipe: Calories: 263, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat: 7.5g, Sodium: 477mg, Cholesterol: 0mg, Total Carbohydrate: 48g, Dietary Fiber: 8.7g, Sugar: 10.2g, Protein 5.3g

If you want more coconut or lime flavor, just add a tiny bit more oil, lime zest or lime juice.

22 thoughts on “Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Fried Rice

  1. Julia Mueller

    I came across the same issue with butternut squash noodles – they’re sooooo hard to spiralize, and the noodles break really easily! Rice-ing it is definitely an ingenious alternative! I need to try this out asaaaaaaap!

  2. Valeria

    Hi Lisa,
    I just made it although I did not have lime so no lime juice. I loved the texture of the butternut squash and the idea of mimicking rice with it, brilliant! I added at the end, before plating, baby bellas and red curry. And the combination was really good! I’ll try the original recipe with the lime juice and all the original ingredients. I am sur I’ll love that too.
    Thanks for the ideas!!!!

    1. Lisa Lin Post author

      Valeria, thank you so much for trying out this recipe!! I’m so glad it worked for you. Adding red curry and baby bellas sound great, too!

  3. Lisa

    This was sooooo good! I live for coconut and lime and this recipe totally smashed it. Even my caveman husband who can’t live without meat loved it. This one definitely went into my recipe file and I’m very picky about what goes in there. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Butternut Squash “Fried Rice” With Coconut & Lime | Recipe | MyFitnessPal

  5. Karina

    I always make first time recipes exactly as written. My husband does not eat butternut squash but he loved this recipe. Excellent! I will make it again. Paired well with my chili-lime Talapia.

  6. Jamie West

    I made this last night and it was wonderful! I added a scrambled egg for protein. The coconut oil gives a subtle flavor and the lime brightens everything. I used pre-cubes Butternut squash (thanks, HEB!) and pulsed in in my little food chopper. Worked great! Next time I will add all the basil called for and NOT burn it slightly. 😊

    1. Lisa Lin Post author

      Jamie, I’m glad that you enjoyed this recipe!! Thank you SO much for giving it a try. Basil is definitely tricky! The heat from the butternut squash will still change the color of the basil, but it’s still fine to eat!

  7. M

    Made this yesterday and I absolutely loved it! Always on the look out for easier healthy recipes and will definitely make more of this is the future!

  8. Jennifer

    I’ve had this recipe saved for quite a while and keep putting in on my list of recipes to make. For whatever reason, I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. New Year means healthier eating, so I finally bought all the ingredients (I also used pre-cubed squash from the store). I just made this recipe, exactly as written, and it was absolutely delicious. Hands down my favorite butternut squash recipe ever! Thank you! This will be going on repeat in my house ☺

  9. Luciana Sabatelli

    OMG!! I cooked this yesterday. It tastes soooooooo good!!! I definitely will make it again.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  10. susan stark

    i am a serious cook/foodie. This was fantastic! Exactly as written.. I am a Paleo and I felt as if I was eating the most flavorful rice casserole sans the rice! ty

  11. Pingback: Easy Kitchari (Spiced Dal with Rice, Vegan) | Healthy Nibbles & Bits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *