Holiday Pilaf

This dish is deliciously festive, yet really easy to assemble. It was a hit this week in our holiday cooking class, and I’m serving it again when our out of town guests arrive. These harvest flavors marry together beautifully, and the surprising creamy-crunchy combo helps elevate what would otherwise seem rather simple to just a little bit special.

I originally made this with butternut squash each time, but found this pilaf is equally delicious with sweet potatoes. Similarly, I also found that brown rice or quinoa work equally well. Truly flexible. Mix and match. And by the way, I like to prepare either the rice or quinoa in veggie broth (rather than water) for extra flavor.

This dish is actually great year-round – not just around the holidays. In the summer, use zucchini or asparagus, along with pistachios or peanuts. Endless possibilities.

And endless possibilities is my holiday wish for you, as this year begins to draw to a close. I hope your holidays are filled with happiness and delicious plant-based meals, and may the New Year bring you the very best of everything! xo


1 onion, diced
2 cups vegetable broth, divided as needed below
3 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa*
2 cups steamed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, diced
5 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
dash or 2 of red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped


Sauté onion in a nonstick skillet, until translucent, adding splashes of broth as needed to avoid sticking.

Add the cooked brown rice or quinoa, steamed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes (if using). Combine well. Add remainder of broth and simmer until ingredients are heated through, liquid is mostly absorbed, and spinach is wilted. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Garnish with currants and hazelnuts or almonds, toss well, and serve.

*  Note: I recommend cooking brown rice or quinoa in additional vegetable broth (instead of water) for extra flavor!

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

One thought on “Holiday Pilaf

  1. Michele Gallo

    LOVE that Ella is in the pic!

    Hope you won’t see this until you get back from what I hope was a wonderful vacation!

    Sent from my iPhone


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