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Let's Eat: Cooking Up Pumpkin-Inspired Comfort

It's hard to beat a satisfying meal that provides comfort from the inside out. Better yet, turning to a filling dish that's easy to prepare means more time cozying up with a favorite book or movie and less time in the kitchen.

Casseroles and soups are classic options for cooking up comfort at home, and these pumpkin inspired recipes lean on the reliability of classic Minute Instant White Rice and Instant Jasmine Rice. Known for its light, fluffy texture; short, easy prep; and only 5 minutes of cooking time, the rice is perfect for busy families who need quick, satisfying meals.

Simply cooked then dried with nothing added, it's one simple ingredient: rice grown in the United States, meaning whether your loved ones go gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or anything in between, you can count on these rice varieties all comfort food season long.

If you're looking for a filling feast, you can let your oven do the work with this Pumpkin and Spinach Layered Rice Casserole for an Italian-inspired solution. It doesn't get much creamier than combining sweet pumpkin puree with three gooey cheeses while folding in a protein-rich egg, fresh spinach, and fluffy jasmine rice makes it a truly satisfying meal.

Keep that seasonal pumpkin flavor on the menu by serving up Pumpkin Curry Turkey Soup with Rice as a simple recipe that takes only 20 minutes. With the addition of coconut milk, this rich and creamy soup is quick, comforting, and tasty for a hot bite on cool, crisp nights.

To find more family-favorite comfort foods, visit

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

2 cups Minute Instant Jasmine Rice

7 ounces pumpkin puree

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 ounces spinach

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Stir in pumpkin puree, cream, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add spinach and garlic; cook for 2-4 minutes, or until wilted. Let cool completely; squeeze out excess moisture. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg and spinach. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and remaining salt and pepper.

Layer half of the rice mixture in a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Top with spinach mixture then top with remaining rice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover with foil; bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.


Pumpkin Curry Turkey Soup with Rice

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

4 cups sodium-reduced turkey broth

1 can (14 ounces) pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

2 cups shredded, cooked turkey

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

2 cups Minute Instant White Rice

In a large saucepan, combine turkey broth, pumpkin puree, curry powder, cayenne powder, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and water. Bring to a boil.

Stir in turkey and coconut milk; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until turkey is heated through.

Stir in rice; cover and remove pan from heat. Let stand for about 5 minutes until rice is tender.



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Image by Jessica Felicio