Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

If you’re bored of your normal Thanksgiving side dishes, I’m with you. I don’t really crave stuffing anymore, I can eat mashed potatoes with gravy any day of the week (and do), and green bean casserole creeps me out. I just don’t crave Thanksgiving food like I used to. But after making this dish, I’m ready for a huge Thanksgiving day celebration. Give me all this rice pilaf and sweet potato casserole so I can mix in all together into one big mashed happy pile of love. That’s what I did all last week before I left for Cabo. These two dishes were a pair made in heaven.

PaleOMG Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

Speaking of heaven, I’m currently in it right now. No, I’m not swimming in a heaping pile of casserole and pilaf…I wish. But I am sitting in the living room of our VRBO in Cabo. I love this place so damn much! I really got a bad taste in our mouth after our husband got us into a timeshare situation that I despise here in Cabo. Not a sore subject at all. So instead of going back to our timeshare we can’t get out of, we rented a house that looks over Land’s End, with the perfect little pool and hot tub, an awesome gym, and we are celebrating being such good friends with our neighbors. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have some of the coolest neighbors EVER, but we do. Which makes moving THAT much harder. We will still only be a 5 minute drive from our neighbors, but not being in convenient walking distance is getting us down.

PaleOMG Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

Based on a poll I did on instagram stories a few months back – having cool neighbors is not common. But let me get one thing clear…the neighbors on the other side of us used to sell drugs out of their house. I think that moment in time has passed for them and I’m glad they’ve moved on to bigger and better things, like going to school, but they still aren’t people who we invite over for drinks. There is also a 654 year old woman on our street who walks up and down until she finds someone to b*tch at. She once caught me and told me our newly painted house stuck out like a sore thumb. Now there are 4 other painted houses on the block. I think she should call us trendsetters. I sometimes find her looking in people’s windows or backyards. It’s really a miracle no one has called the police on her, but I think that’s because she beats someone to it every time. But other than that, we have the coolest people. An interior designer, an orchestra teacher, a super sweet guy from South Africa…I could just keep going on and on. I’m getting soft in my old age. Nostalgic, if you will. Man I’m going to miss that block. But for now I must head to a couples massage with my neighbor. Our husbands are golfing together so we are getting massaged together. F*cking adorable, if you ask me. But before you go to make this rice pilaf, will you please tell me a neighbor horror story? BFF neighbors are cool and all, but the horror stories are where it’s at. Kthanksbyyyyyye.

PaleOMG Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf


Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

  • Author: juli
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 pound cubed butternut squash
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bundle of dino kale, massaged and roughly chopped
  • 12 ounces frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • flake salt, for garnish
  • black pepper, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add brussels sprouts and butternut squash. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, maple syrup, and dijon mustard. Pour the mixture into the large bowl then toss the veggies until completely coated. Add a bit of salt and pepper, toss once more, then spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Place in the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.
  2. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat, add breakfast sausage. Break into small pieces and cook until no pink remains then set aside. Turn heat down to medium-low heat and add the sliced onion (if there is no fat left in the pan, add a bit of avocado oil to it). Let slowly cook and caramelize for 20-25 minutes, tossing frequently to keep from burning on any of the onion edges. 
  3. Once the onions have caramelized and are a deep brown color, sprinkle with a bit of salt then add the kale and the cauliflower rice, along with the dried thyme, rosemary, and sage. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the kale is soft and cauliflower rice is cooked through. Add salt to taste.
  4. Once the butternut squash and brussels sprouts have caramelized and cooked through, add them to the pan with the onion mixture along with the breakfast sausage and the cranberries. Toss to combined then sprinkle with flake salt and black pepper, before serving!

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PaleOMG Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

PaleOMG Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf


More Veggie Side Dish Ideas:

Fall Butternut Squash Salad

Air Fryer Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Hasselback Butternut Squash

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts & Mushroom Gratin


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


31 thoughts on “Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf”

  1. Here’s a good neighbor horror story for you…my old neighbors went on vacation and came home with a beagle/jack russell puppy. They basically left it outside for the rest of the summer. Then at Halloween they made what I thought was a joke about giving us the dog (I already had two). The next day the dog ends up at the shelter – the woman lied and said that she found it. I made my husband go and get it. She had fleas, wasn’t house trained and didn’t understand she was supposed to live inside and kept trying to go out. We also had to take her to be fixed, since she wasn’t. It was a rough year or so until she got adjusted. The neighbor also continually made comments about how the dog bit her kids (not true), but then told those same kids that WE took the dog away. Luckily she cheated on her husband and moved, but I basically had to resist punching her in the face every day for like 2 years.

    1. Now that’s a horrible neighbor! How did the poor dog turn out in the end?
      We used to rent a carriage house from a Ukrainian church. Every summer they would hold a festival that involved four days of non-stop polka music, creepy carny people and desperate old amusement rides. The year they set up the ferris wheel outside our bedroom window was the worst. Fortunately, it was only a few days a year.

  2. We have drug dealing neighbors, and one of their kids (an addict) sleeps in a couch in the front yard. I’m not against that (I had a homeless guy live in front of my house for years, it was such a win win situation until it ended) but it’s the druggies in and out all the time. Also they have SUPER aggressive pit bulls that charge us and we have to carry bats in case they get out. They have already had one taken away and just replaced it with a new one.

    Also their cats shit in my garden and my dogs eat it which just makes me hate them even more.

  3. My neighbor when I lived in KS used to take my mail pretending that she didn’t know it was hers. She tried to take my tax refund check and gave it to me realizing she probably wouldn’t be able to cash it. She asked me to pay for something over the phone for her using my credit card and never spoke to me again when I said no.

  4. So instead of a crazy neighbor story I have a “Crazy People Who Used to Live in My House” story. We rented a house a few years ago. One day, the cops showed up saying they were there in relation to a missing persons investigation. They asked if they could search and dig around in our yard because they had a tip that the body (yes, a dead body) was buried in our yard. It was straight out of an episode of CSI!!! Since all this happened before we moved in, the cops let my husband and I watch them do everything. We had a storage shed that they were very interested in searching. They did a luminol test on the walls. When they turned on their flashlights, the wall lit up like a Christmas tree! They even brought in cadaver dogs. The investigators determined the people who used to live in our house killed and dismembered the missing guy in that shed. They just didn’t have enough evidence yet to actually charge them with it since they hadn’t found the body. Even before that day that shed creeped me the hell out. We had gotten tired of the landlord anyways because he wouldn’t fix anything and had already considered moving since we were no longer under a lease. After that day, we packed our shit and stayed with my parents for a few weeks until an apartment complex had an apartment ready for us. I assure you this is a 100% true story!

  5. The neighbors across the street from us have an extended family living in two sides of a duplex. There is one retired old woman (the matriarch), her adult granddaughter and husband, their two kids (elementary school age), her adult son in law (convicted of sexual assault), her adult daughter and husband and their adult daughter. Police have been called multiple times because the last mother and daughter have such dramatic screaming matches in the front driveway. Out of six working age adults, ONE works. The others are all on ‘disability’–don’t get me wrong, my job is to advocate for people with disabilities and these folks are just gaming the system. There are more cars than driving adults and yet they choose to mostly park on the street and often block my house/mailbox/driveway because they are too damn lazy to turn the cars around and park on their side of the street. Oh and every July 4th, they shoot fireworks AT MY HOUSE. The trash ends up in my landscaping front and back yard, driveway and on my roof. Fireworks are forever ruined for me! Can’t wait to get away from these terrible neighbors. Next time I’ll tell you about the North side of my house with an owner who was recently put in jail for locking his girlfriend in the basement. Seriously.

  6. This will be the perfect 2nd dish to the chicken legs I was planning for me and hubs. I’m too lazy to do a turkey and since there’s only 2 of us (2 1/2 including the cat), I’m not making more than 2 dishes 🙂

    1. i’m totally making it for our thanksgiving, too. and my husband HATES kale. i guess he prefers kale over cabbage slaw, which was my other choice! (thanksgiving cabbage slaw, haha)

  7. Horrible neighbor story: while we were away on a two week vacation , our crappy alcoholic neighbors had an irrigation problem so they tapped into our water spigot, attaching a hose/sprinkler system and ran our water bill up an extra $500- another neighbor said he thought he saw their hose hooked up to our spigot but it was difficult to prove so we had to eat the extra cost with on the water bill! ?

  8. 1.) we had neighbors selling drugs out of their house across the street and praise be that they finally moved! It was bringing some sketch individuals to our block.

    2) this recipe was deliiiiiiiish!! It tastes like fall in a bowl, I love it so much!

    As always, thank you!

  9. This was delicious! The flavors are so complex yet it comes together quite simply. My squash and brussels got a little too charred without stirring, but it didn’t ruin the dish and I pulled them at 25 min. Definitely flavor-packed and was devoured by all at our Friendsgiving. It filled a 9×13 deep serving dish. It was a side dish but I pretty much filled my entire plate with it as my main dish because nothing else was better!

  10. Hello Juli!
    I made this brussels sprouts and butternut squash rice pilaf for dinner over the weekend. I followed your recipe precisely, and it turned out amazing. It definitely tasted like fall in a bowl. My whole family loved this!
    Thank you a lot for sharing this fab idea. You’re so creative. I adore your incredible blog and appreciate all of your hard work and effort. Look forward to your new awesome recipes. Keep it up!

    Best wishes,

  11. I enjoyed this! It was a different dish to take to Thanksgiving this year and I loved the sauce that the roasted veggies had on them. I had to keep it vegetarian for my bf so I left out the sausage but it was still good. I think it would be great with the sausage added in so I will make it for meal prep that way for myself next time.
    Definitely a nice way to get some greens in as I was mainlining pie after dinner haha

  12. Can I say that a small miracle happened at Thanksgiving this year when I got a bunch of Missouri farmers to exclaim involuntarily that they loved MY dish. The dish from the California convert with the kale, cauliflower rice and Brussel sprouts. Out of all of the favorite staples at every Thanksgiving, this pilaf was the first to go. So thank you. It was my first time making it and it was so easy and (obviously) so flavorful.

    As always – love every recipe from you. Thanks for making healthy fun and delicious. As someone who just moved from Denver, I love seeing your posts and miss my favorite state. Keep it up!!

  13. I made this for Thanksgiving. My sister is vegetarian so I subbed Portobello mushrooms for the sausage and it turned out great.

  14. Wow, we made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a massive hit. Everyone asked for the recipe! So good that we made it again tonight for New Years Day. Perfect balance of tastes, textures and healthy yumminess. (We made it without sausage as just a veggie side dish, but I’m thinking it would be a meal unto its own with sausage added.)
    Thanks Juli for another amazing recipe!

  15. Juli what protein should I serve with this? What pairs well?

    I LOOOOVE all your recipes and have worked my way through most of your cookbooks 🙂 xx

  16. I cannot stand cauliflower rice — I’ve literally tried it every way you can possibly fix it and I just can’t make myself like it. Could I sub long grain wild rice? And if so, would that change any of the cooking times and/or instructions? Thanks, Juli!!

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