Bring a delicious but unexpected side dish to your table by making this Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf with Cranberries & Pears. This brown rice and wild rice pilaf is packed with fruit, nuts and herbs for the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
I’ve probably mentioned before that my real-life Thanksgiving dinner is actually quite small. My husband and I are both only children, meaning that between us and our parents, our entire immediate family is just six people. It makes Thanksgiving dinner a very low-stress meal to host, because cooking for six doesn’t require shuffling dozens of pans and casserole dishes into the oven. On the the other hand, it also makes it impractical to prepare a HUGE feast – there’d just be way too many leftovers to deal with, and food waste bums me out.
So, in real life, I stick to just the basics for our party of six – which is usually turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (or some years, even two small dishes of different kinds of stuffing, if i’m feeling wild), cranberries, rolls and green beans or brussels sprouts. Sometimes a salad, although it’s honestly not necessary. But this blog is where I kind of live out my Thanksgiving FEAST fantasies. Here, I get to create and share all of those “other” side dishes that aren’t needed at my small table, but would be perfect for a larger gathering where more options are welcomed. Enter this Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf with Cranberries & Pears.
About this Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf with Cranberries & Pears:
- The liquid for this pilaf is a combination of chicken broth and apple juice, for a sweet-savory combo. Apple cider works great, too!
- This pilaf is made using the classic technique I learned in culinary school – sautéing aromatics (shallots, carrots, mushrooms) in butter on the stovetop, adding the rice, liquid and other ingredients and bringing to a boil, then transferring to the oven to complete the cooking process.
- The pears in this recipe almost “melt” into the pilaf, infusing the dish with a sweet fall flavor. If you’d prefer firmer chunks of pear, feel free to stir them in at the end of the cooking time instead (when you stir in the walnuts and parsley).
To get all of the ingredients you need for this Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf with Cranberries & Pears (and the rest of your Thanksgiving dinner), head to Family Fare or VG’s Grocery. I like to keep an eye out for Our Family products, which are the same quality as national brands, but at a lower everyday price. Too busy to shop? Fast Lane service has you covered at both stores. You can shop online and then pick your items up curbside!
Other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes:
- Really Good Thanksgiving Salad – if I serve a salad, this is the one!
- Hard Cider Cranberry Sauce – my go-to recipe the past few years.
- Aged Cheddar Mashed Potatoes – because why make plain mashed potatoes when you can make cheesy ones?
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate & Parsley – this might be the prettiest dish on your table!
- Lentil & Mushroom Stuffing – a gluten free alternative to bread dressing.
- Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch by Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Roasted Carrots with Honey & Garlic by Carlsbad Cravings
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SpartanNash. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.