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Acorn Squash “Rice” – AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP

Hellooooooo, newfound rice substitute!

Since giving up my beloved wild black rice and its close cousins, cauliflower has been my go-to fluffy grain substitute.  I sure enjoyed it at first, but currently the brassica family is a cause of digestive distress, and has to take the back seat for a while.

After coming across a few Paleo recipes for butternut squash rice, I became inspired to create a low-FODMAP winter squash version. But what to use?

Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash

Enter the acorn squash.  With its mild flavor and firm texture that softens slightly during gentle cooking, its by far my favorite rice substitute. 

The trick to preparing this alien-life-form-shaped gourd is a SHARP chef’s knife.  The sharper your knife is, and the better tuned your knife skills are, the less likely you are to have cutting accidents in the kitchen.  If you are a beginner in the kitchen and need to go slowly, that’s OK!  Take your time while you become familiar with your prep utensils.

I received this pretty-awesome knife sharpener as a gift from my dad, and I am excited it promote it to beginners and novices alike.  Its ease of use and lack of guesswork make it a handy little gadget to have by your side in the kitchen.  Check out this cute little guy:


Once you’ve got your knife all sharp and ready to go, trim the ends off of the squash.

Next, use your knife to shave off all of the dark green skin. This may seem slightly time-consuming and painstaking, but persevere, friend! We can get through this part together!

Slice the naked squash in half lengthwise.

Now that you have two pieces, scoop out the seeds and discard. Or save them for projects like hiding in a bush and shooting through a blow-straw at unruly neighbors at 2am. (OK, don’t do that…I’m pretty sure that is illegal.)



Slice each halve into a few slices, then slice those going in the opposite direction.  This will make some roughly shaped cubes…and that is perfect.  You’re aiming for them to be approximately 2″ in diameter or less.

Next, place half of the pieces in your high-speed blender or food processor.

Pulse several times until pieces resemble large chunks of rice.acorn squash rice paleo low fodmap aip autoimmune protocol substitute cauliflower easy fast side dish meal prep 2




Use a scraper to transfer squash bits to an air-tight container.

Repeat process with second half of squash chunks.

Now your “rice” is ready to be used as a substitute in any recipe that uses cauliflower rice!   I love using it in curries, or as fried rice with Asian dishes, and even with cilantro and lime for a delicious spin on Cilantro Rice.

What is your favorite way to use rice substitutes?  Please tell me in the comments below!


Acorn Squash "Rice" - AIP, Paleo, Low-FODMAP
Serves 4
A delightful autoimmune protocol substitute for rice, and an alternative to cauliflower rice!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
17 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
17 min
  1. 1 Acorn squash, peeled, seeded & roughly cubed
  2. 2 Tb Coconut oil, refined
  3. 1 Tb Water
  1. Place 1/2 of the prepared squash pieces in your high-speed blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse several times until pieces resemble large chunks of rice.
  3. Use a scraper to transfer squash bits to an air-tight container if storing. Transfer to prep bowl if cooking immediately.
  4. Repeat process with second half of squash chunks.
  5. For immediate use, melt cooking fat in frying pan with lid over medium heat.
  6. Add in acorn squash bits. Sizzle uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring all the while.
  7. Add in water, stir well. Cover and allow to steam for 4 minutes or until just cooked through.
  8. Do not overcook or it will become mushy and too soft.
  1. Store raw for up to 3 days in refrigerator.
  2. For longer storage, freeze for up to a month.
The Unskilled Cavewoman

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  • Lisa M

    Thank you for this! I’m doing low-fodmap AIP just like you, and it’s been hard to give up cauliflower rice. I’ll be trying this very soon!


      Hello Lisa. You are very welcome! I agree… it was difficult at first giving up my long time carb-sub, cauliflower. I’ve found out recently that virtually all brassica veggies are a no-no for me (sad!) but the good news that comes from this discovery is that I’ve been given an opportunity to create new recipes for substitutes. (I like creating things in the kitchen!)
      I hope your LOW-FODMAPPING is going well for you. ?