Fresh herbs, cranberries and toasted pecans make this quick and easy carrot cauliflower rice pilaf an irresistible seasonal side.
Simple yet flavorful, that’s what I look for in a recipe. Whether you’re planning a special holiday meal or just trying to get dinner together on a busy weeknight, coaxing out the most flavor in the least amount of time is usually the goal.
As far as sides go this carrot cauliflower rice pilaf is one of the simplest and easiest you can make. It only requires a handful of ingredients (most which can be prepared ahead of time) and a few minutes on the stove to cook into a fluffy and flavorful addition to any meal.
After a minimal amount of prep and cooking you end up with a colorful side that’s a sweet and savory mix of tastes and textures. It’s an easy addition to an already cooking intense day like Thanksgiving or regular rushed weeknight.
It’s tender and nutty with just enough chew. Cranberries add a pop of color and a sweet-tart holiday friendly flavor while lightly toasted pecan add a bit of crunch and extra nuttiness.
How to make carrot cauliflower rice pilaf:
At the base of the pilaf is a mix of both riced carrots and cauliflower. The easiest way to make both is in the food processor. A few quick pulses and you’re good to go. Of course if you’re short on time you can also pick up a bag of riced cauliflower at the grocery store.
The carrot and cauliflower rice is then quickly sautéed in olive oil and spices until tender, which only takes about 5 minutes. Using a large pan and cooking over a medium heat ensures that the rice cooks up nutty and tender without becoming soggy or burnt.
Off the heat, cranberries, toasted pecans and a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, scallions and chives are tossed into the rice for a fresh yet fall inspired finish that will be right at home alongside any other seasonal mains or sides. Serve the pilaf either warm or at room temperature and enjoy!
More Holiday Sides to Try: