Crispy Rice Cups with Squash Puree and Pomegranate

This appetizer is fun to make and absolutely delicious! Crispy baked rice cups are filled with a creamy squash puree and topped with fresh pomegranate and sage. The perfect recipe if you find yourself with leftover cooked rice and want an impressive appetizer or snack!

Recipe courtesy of @itslivb

Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
1 h


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (leftover rice works great)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled and cubed squash
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cook rice according to package directions (if not using leftover rice).
  3. Stir together ground flax and water and let sit 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Combine the rice, flax mixture and 1/4 tsp salt.
  5. Grease a muffin pan really well. Divide rice into 9 muffin cups and press firmly, leaving a small divet in the center for filling. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before using a knife to loosen around the edges and then removing from muffin tin.
  6. Meanwhile, boil the squash until fork-tender. Drain and mash or blend in a food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese, 1/4 tsp salt and garlic powder and mix until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  7. Place rice cups in paper muffin liners or on small plates for serving. Use a piping bag, or you can dollop small spoonfuls of the puree into each cup. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and fresh sage on top. Serve.


Ensure you press the rice into the pan very well so it holds together. I find it easier to loosen around the edges with a knife when they first come out of the oven, but let them cool a bit before trying to remove them fully.