Golden pilaf with sizzling merguez

Golden pilaf with sizzling merguez

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 6-8 as a starter
Merguez sausages add some mild spice to this baked basmati rice dish with nuts and mint, but leave them off if you want to make it vegetarian

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal532
  • fat25g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre3g
  • protein23g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces (do not peel)
  • 2 onions, halved, then thinly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 25g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 300g basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes, then rinsed well
  • 600ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 500g merguez sausage (around 12 thin merguez), or chorizo if you can't find them

To serve

  • large pack mint leaves, torn



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 50g pistachio, roughly chopped
  • roasted red pepper & harissa sauce (see recipe in tip, below)
  • 170g pot Greek yogurt


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Toss the squash, a quarter of the sliced onions and the oil in a large roasting tin, season, then roast for 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan and add the rest of the onions, plus some seasoning. Gently cook for 15 mins until tender and turning gold.

  3. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the onions. Toast for 1 min, then add the tomato paste and rice, and sizzle for a few mins. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. stir the rice, then cover and simmer for 10 mins. Take the pan off the heat and set aside for 10 mins more to let the rice become fluffy and light.

  4. Toss the squash and onions, then return to the oven for 20 mins. Put the merguez into the oven in a separate tin and roast for 20 mins. The squash will be tender by this point, and the onions very crisp (verging on burnt – in a good way!).

  5. When ready to serve, slice the sausages on an angle. Toss the squash, onions, sausage, mint and pistachios through the rice and serve with the sauce and a dollop of yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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yorkshirejen's picture
14th Dec, 2016
We made the vegetarian version of this with halloumi and coated the halloumi with some oil from the top of a jar of harissa before pan-frying. Really tasty! I've never really bothered to soak basmati before cooking before (usually time or laziness issues...) but I did for this one and it really lifted the texture of the dish. Thoroughly recommended!
16th Jan, 2014
I love rice dishes and this didn't fail to please. Made it with Chorizo and baked it in the oven to crisp up. Hubby loved it and I struggle to get him to eat rice based dishes as they "bore" him
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