What goes with Rice Pilaf- 10 Interesting Sides to Try

My siblings and I are all pretty creative when it comes to cooking. We love trying out new recipes and coming up with our own variations. So, when we were asked to bring a side dish to a dinner party, we knew we could come up with something special.

We ended up deciding on a rice pilaf dish, but we wanted to make it more interesting by adding some different flavors. We decided to add saffron, currants, and pine nuts. This combination was a hit! The rice pilaf had a unique flavor that went well with the other entrees on the table.

But you’re probably wondering…

What about a side dish to pair it with?

And thankfully, there are endless possibilities when it comes to what goes with rice pilaf. This is because rice pilaf is a very versatile dish that can be paired with almost any type of food.

So, whether you’re looking for some new ideas or just want to know what goes well with rice pilaf, read on!

Best Side Dishes for Rice Pilaf

  1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  2. Roasted Root Veggies
  3. Green Beans with Hazelnuts
  4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
  5. Saucy Maple Apple Pork Chops
  6. Butternut Squash Risotto
  7. Grilled Zucchini with Pesto
  8. Buttery Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
  9. Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
  10. Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Let’s get the side dish ball rolling with a classic, garlic mashed potatoes. This dish is not only simple to make, but it’s also oh so delicious.

Besides, Garlic mashed potatoes are one of those side dishes that goes well with just about everything, and they’re especially good with rice pilaf.

So, to prepare garlic mashed potatoes, simply boil some potatoes until they’re soft, mash them up with some butter, garlic, and milk, and season to taste. You can also add in some shredded cheese, chopped green onions, or other herbs if you like.

Once you’ve got your mashed potatoes all prepared, simply spoon them into a serving dish and enjoy it alongside your rice pilaf.

Roasted Root Veggies

Now y’all, I’m just gonna tell you right now that this here roasted root veggies side dish is the perfect addition to any meal. It’s got all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, and it goes great with just about anything.

For instance, I like to serve it with rice pilaf, but it would also be delicious with some mashed potatoes or a nice green salad. Moreover, the sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets go so well with the rice and add a lovely pop of color to the plate.

Now, as for the preparation, it couldn’t be easier. Just chop up your veggies, toss ’em in some olive oil and seasonings, and pop ’em in the oven. And if you’re feeling for a little something extra, you can even top it off with a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese. In no time at all, you’ll have a delicious and nutritious side dish that your whole family will love.

Green Beans with Hazelnuts

Oh honey, I just love green beans with hazelnuts as a side dish for rice pilaf. The rich nutty flavor of the hazelnuts really compliments the rice and beans so well. Plus the beans add a nice pop of color and texture to the pilaf.

As for preparation, it’s just so easy. All you need to do is roast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet until they’re nice and toasty. Then, chop them up and toss them with the green beans. I like to add a little bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Frankly, this side dish is so versatile, that you can use it as a side for chicken, fish, or even pork chops. It’s the perfect way to dress up any meal and I know you’ll love it just as much as I do!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. However, they’re so cute and little and I personally love them, especially when they’re roasted with cranberries.

The sweetness of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the savory Brussels sprouts, and the rice pilaf makes a great base for this tasty side dish.

The reality is, that some folks don’t know how to prepare Brussels sprouts properly, but it’s really quite simple. Just slice ’em up nice and thin, drizzle with some olive oil, and pop them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then, right before they’re done, add a handful of fresh cranberries and give them a stir.

The result is a delicious and healthy side dish that’s sure to please any crowd. And if you’re feeling a little luxurious, you can even top it off with a sprinkle of goat cheese.

Saucy Maple Apple Pork Chops

Up next on the list is a saucy maple apple pork chop that is to die for. This dish is not only great as a side, but it would also make an excellent main course.

The key to this dish is in the sauce. It’s made with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of Dijon mustard, and it is absolutely delicious. The pork chops are first coated in a mixture of flour and seasonings, then pan-fried until they’re nice and crispy.

After that, the sauce is added to the pan and simmered until it’s nice and thick. And finally, the pork chops are served alongside a heaping of rice pilaf. It’s safe to say this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends, so be sure to give it a try!

Butternut Squash Risotto

Following the pork chops, I have a butternut squash risotto that is the perfect fall side dish. This dish is creamy and delicious, and it’s packed with all the goodness of fall. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover squash you might have from your holiday dinner.

Butternut squash, sage, and Parmesan cheese come together to create a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. The best part is, that this dish can be made in just 30 minutes!

To prepare butternut squash risotto, simply cook the squash in a large pot with some chicken broth, butter, and onions. Once it’s nice and soft, add in some Arborio risotto rice and continue cooking until the rice is tender.

For an extra touch of flavor, top with Parmesan cheese and serve. And that’s it! You’ll have a delicious and nutritious side dish that is perfect for any fall meal.

And get this, you can also make this dish with other winter squashes, such as pumpkin or acorn squash.

Grilled Zucchini with Pesto

Another great option is grilled zucchini with pesto. Now, I don’t know ’bout you, but I looovvveeeee me some zucchini. And I mean, LOVE. It’s so versatile, you can fry it, bake it, boil it, or my personal favorite, GRILL it.

Oddly enough, some folks might not know this, but grilled zucchini goes reallllly well with rice pilaf. The two just compliment each other so nicely. The smokiness of the zucchini and the nuttiness of the rice…ohhh, it just makes my mouth water thinking about it!

But what really sets it apart is the pesto. Oh yes, the pesto. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and it ties the whole dish together.

Sounds good?

Well, if you’re looking to try out this delicious side dish, then let me give you a little advice on how to prepare it. First things first, you’re gonna want to slice that zucchini into nice thick rounds, say about a half inch or so.

Once that’s done, it’s time to get grilling. Coat each zucchini round with a little bit of olive oil and place on a hot grill. Grill for about two minutes per side, or until you see those pretty grill marks.

Afterward, you can place the grilled zucchini on a plate, top with pesto, and serve it alongside your rice pilaf!

Buttery Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I just could not have a list that didn’t include bacon. My love affair with bacon is no secret, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. Plus, I ain’t never met a Brussels sprout I didn’t like.

So when I found out you could put the two together, I just about died and went to heaven!

This dish is the perfect addition to any meal, but it especially goes well with rice pilaf. The crispy bacon bits add a nice crunch, while the Brussels sprouts provide a pop of color and flavor. And of course, the butter ties it all together. To make this delicious side dish, simply cook the bacon and Brussels sprouts in a pan until they’re nice and crispy. Then add a little bit of butter to taste. Trust me, your family and friends will be begging for seconds!

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Following the Brussels sprouts, I have a lemon garlic roast chicken that is sure to be a winner. This dish is packed with flavor and it’s so easy to prepare. All you need is a whole chicken, some garlic, lemon, and herbs.

To make this dish, simply preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, take a whole chicken and stuff it with garlic, lemon, and your favorite herbs. I like to use rosemary and thyme.

Then, place the chicken in a roasting pan and bake for about an hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it’s done, remove from the oven and let rest for about five minutes. Then, carve and serve alongside your rice pilaf.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

To wrap things up, I have a creamy Parmesan polenta that is sure to please. This dish is rich, flavorful, and oh so filling. Plus, it’s pretty darn easy to make.

To prepare this dish, just simmer some chicken stock, add in some cornmeal, and stir until it’s nice and thick. Then stir in some butter, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Mmmmmm, I can’t wait to have some for dinner tonight!

And if you’re not in the mood for rice pilaf, no worries! This dish is also great with roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.


Is rice pilaf the same as rice?

Rice pilaf is more nutty in flavor as compared to rice. Also it is a dish made with rice that has been cooked in broth. It is usually seasoned with spices and may contain other ingredients such as vegetables or meat.

What goes well with rice pilaf?

There are many side dishes that go well with rice pilaf. Some examples include grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or a simple salad.

What is the difference between rice pilaf and risotto?

Risotto is a dish made with short-grain rice that is cooked in broth until it is creamy. Rice pilaf is a dish made with long-grain rice that has been cooked in broth. It is usually seasoned with spices and may contain other ingredients such as vegetables or meat.

What are some good things to mix with rice?

Vegetables, meats, cheese, and spices are all good things to mix with rice. You can also add fruits, nuts, or dried fruit for a sweeter dish.


The simple truth is this, there are a million and one side dishes that may go well with rice pilaf. And each one is just as delicious as the next.

So go ahead and experiment until you find your perfect combination. I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results!