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

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Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

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5 from 1 review

  • 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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  1. Ann says:

    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,

    1. juli says:

      so glad you liked it, Ann! and thank you for the love!!

  2. Joanna says:

    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

    1. juli says:

      awesome! glad to hear it, Joanna!

  3. Alex says:

    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!!

    1. juli says:

      woooooohooooo!! that’s amazing!! thanks for trusting me at your Thanksgiving table!

  4. PBL says:

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

    1. juli says:

      awesome!! glad you liked it PBL!

  5. Lise says:

    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!

    1. juli says:

      wooooohoooo! glad to hear it, Lise!

  6. Paige says:

    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

  7. Colleen says:

    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!!

    1. juli says:

      sure thing. you would just need to cook the rice first and add it in!

  8. lauren says:

    Super Yummy! I modified it for AIP eliminating the mustard, I swapped the cranberries for raisins.