Holidays and Entertaining/ Vegan Christmas Recipes/ Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Side Dishes

Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

This delectable dish of black or wild rice, corn, and cranberries is a festive eyeful, but it’s too good to save for only special occasions, and too simple not to make for everyday meals. It makes a gorgeous holiday side dish, or, stuffed into small squashes, a great vegan main dish. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photo by Susan Voisin.

Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

This delectable side dish of black or wild rice, corn, and cranberries is a festive eyeful, but it’s too good — and easy — to save for only special occasions
4.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Rice side dish / special occasion
Cuisine: Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 1 cup forbidden black rice see note or wild rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 to 4 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for topping


  • If using forbidden rice, combine in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If you’d like a more tender grain, add 1/2 cup additional water and cook until absorbed. If using wild rice, combine with 3 cups water and cook as directed above.
  • Just before the rice is done, heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the scallions and corn kernels and sauté just until warmed through.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium high, then add the  lime juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, thyme cranberries, and remaining oil. Stir together gently, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, transfer to an attractive serving platter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.


Note: Look for black (forbidden) rice in the specialty grains section of natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarket, sometimes labeled as forbidden rice.

Black rice with corn and cranberries

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  • Reply
    December 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    If I were going to stuff this in a winter squash, when would I add it?

    • Reply
      December 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Donna, you would pre-bake the squash until done but still firm. When cool enough to handle, cut in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Hollow out the squash halves, leaving a firm shell of about 1/2 inch all around. You can finely chop the squash flesh you’ve taken out and mix it in with the rice dish. Stuff the squash cavities with the rice mixture, then heat in the oven at 350 to 375 for about 10-15 minutes just before serving, or just until nice and hot.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Can this be made ahead of time? If so, would it be better to heat it on the stovetop before serving or in the oven?

    • Reply
      December 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Erin, I’d say you could make this as much as 3 days ahead of time. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. Add the scallions and cranberries when reheating. I’d say either the stovetop or in the oven would work. Just make sure to put in a covered container if putting in the oven, so it won’t dry out. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I just came onto the site to print out the recipe for someone who requested it from me. We served this as a side dish for Christmas Eve, and everyone liked it. Thanks for this & all your wonderful vegan dishes.

  • Reply
    February 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks, Sharon. so glad that you and your company enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Jaynie Pontz
    March 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Does this taste good served cold/

  • Reply
    Jaynie Pontz
    March 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Does this taste good served cold?

    • Reply
      March 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, it does, kind of like a rice salad. Just before serving, you might want to add a splash of vinaigrette to make it extra moist and tasty.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I make this with brown rice. Because I am not crazy about pumpkin seeds, I use toasted slivered almonds, but otherwise follow the recipe as given. Great vegan recipe. It makes too much for one meal for us, but it keeps just fine in the fridge and can be eaten cold later or reheated without any loss of flavour or texture.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for the question of eating it cold as I try not to use the microwave at work. I try to make “salads” of all varieties. The picture is beautiful and the recipe looks yummy. I wasn’t sure if black rice would be good cold.

  • Reply
    Sandra Wheeler
    November 9, 2016 at 9:06 am

    5 stars
    Many thanks. For the first time I am trying to do a Vegan Christmas dinner. Bit frightening!

    • Reply
      November 9, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Good for you! You can do it, and it will be delicious.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    5 stars
    This is such a delicious recipe!
    I made it this weekend from your book “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” which I found from Susan Voisin’s website.

    I had quinoa instead of rice, and didn’t add oil for my version.

    Thanks for making the recipe. -Nichole

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