This wild rice pilaf is flecked with shaved Brussels sprouts, herbs, and roasted vegetables. It's a fresh, festive side dish for the holidays or any meal.
This wild rice pilaf is a simple combination of some of my favorite fall ingredients. It starts with chewy, nutty wild rice. Then, I add caramelized roasted sweet potatoes and umami shallots. I toss in some shaved Brussels sprouts, which wilt against the heat of the freshly cooked rice and roasted veggies, and I finish it with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and lots of thyme and parsley.
I love eating this wild rice pilaf for lunch in the fall, the wild rice and roasted sweet potatoes making it hearty enough to be a satisfying meal on its own. But this wild rice pilaf is the perfect holiday side dish too. It’s simple to make (we’re talking 10 ingredients!), and you can make it ahead. If you can squeeze one more recipe onto your holiday table this year, I hope you’ll try it.
Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this wild rice pilaf recipe:
- Wild rice, of course! If you like, you can make this dish with 100% wild rice, using the cooking instructions in this wild rice recipe. It also works well with a long grain brown rice and wild rice blend, such as Lundberg’s Wild Blend Rice. Find cooking instructions in the recipe below.
- Sweet potatoes – You’ll roast them until they’re caramelized and tender.
- Shallots – You’ll roast them too! As they cook, they take on a delicious silky texture and sweet, umami flavor.
- Brussels sprouts – Left raw, they offer a fresh contrast to the roasted vegetables.
- Garlic – For sharp, savory depth of flavor.
- Dried cranberries – Their sweet-tart flavor brightens this wild rice pilaf.
- Pecans – For crunch.
- Fresh parsley and thyme – They make the pilaf fragrant and aromatic.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It marries the flavors of the pilaf together and adds necessary richness.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
To make the pilaf, toss the freshly cooked rice with the thyme, garlic, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Stir in the roasted sweet potatoes and shallots, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans, and parsley. Season to taste, and enjoy!
Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe Variations
I love this recipe as written, but it’s super flexible, so don’t hesitate to change it up! Swap in your favorite grains or fall veggies, or use the ingredients you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Switch the grain. I love farro or wheat berries.
- Swap out the sweet potatoes. Use roasted butternut squash, delicata squash, carrots, or sautéed mushrooms.
- Skip the shallots. Roasted red onion would work just as well.
- Use kale instead of Brussels sprouts. Any variety!
- Try a different dried fruit. Dried apricots or tart cherries would be lovely here too.
- Deepen the flavor. Cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of water.
- Add a dressing. Toss the pilaf with my apple cider vinegar dressing before serving.
Let me know what variations you try!
Wild Rice Pilaf Serving Suggestions
Serve this wild rice pilaf just after you toss it together, or make it a few days ahead. It keeps well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, and it’s delicious warm or at room temperature.
I often enjoy it on its own for lunch, but it’s also a gorgeous holiday side dish. It fits right in with classics like these:
- Green Bean Casserole
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Mushroom Gravy
- Cranberry Sauce
- Best Stuffing
- Dinner Rolls
If you’re looking for more holiday side dish recipes, check out this post for 50 of our favorites!
More Favorite Fall Side Dishes
If you love this wild rice pilaf, try one of these fall side dishes next:
- Farro Salad
- Wheat Berry Salad
- Pomegranate Rice Salad
- Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Golden Beets
Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1 cup dry brown rice/wild rice blend*, rinsed well
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 shallots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
- Heaping ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more leaves for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Place the sweet potatoes and shallots on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender and browned around the edges.
- While the rice is still warm, toss it with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, thyme, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add the Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato, shallot, cranberries, pecans, and parsley and toss again to combine.
- Season to taste, garnish with more parsley, and serve.
made this for my Xmas dinner – absolutely delicious. A dish that was enthused over by all
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this one too!
What’s the best way to reheat if I make this ahead?
Hi Vera you can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through.
Just double checking, do the brussel sprouts go in raw? Not seeing that they’re part of the roasting? Thanks!
Hi Julie, Yep, they go in raw!
I made this for dinner at it was wonderful! Love hearty salads like this that will keep well in the fridge. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Elizabeth, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!
wild rice is my go to rice when I allow myself to have it, so this dish is much appreciated, thank you!