Rice Pilaf with Potatoes and Seared Brussels Sprouts

January 21, 2019     Updated April 25, 2021    Jump to Recipe

This delicious rice pilaf is loaded with potatoes and seared Brussels sprouts. The whole family will love this easy, filling meal!

Rice pilaf is a dish from my childhood!  I remember many nights coming home from the dance studio, asking my mom what was for dinner, and the answer being “rice pilaf.”  My mom had many delicious spins on this dish!

Until I created this rice pilaf a few days ago, I hadn’t had it in years!  I found a fun rice pilaf mix at Trader Joe’s, and was so intrigued I built this dish around it, complete with luscious leeks, creamy potatoes, and healthy Brussels sprouts.  Filling and healthy comfort food!

If leeks are expensive or hard to come by, feel free to substitute a sweet onion.  If you can’t find brussel sprouts, I bet broccoli would be delicious as well.

Use freshly grated parmesan here, or, to keep this dish vegan, omit the parmesan, and use olive oil in place of the butter in this recipe.  I promise it will still be delicious!

Make this rice pilaf, and if your family is like mine, there will be no leftovers!  Hope you enjoy it. (:

Rice Pilaf with Potatoes and Seared Brussels Sprouts

Rice pilaf. Until I created this dish a few days ago, I hadn’t had it in years! I found a fun rice pilaf mix at Trader Joe’s, and was so intrigued I built this dish around it!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting time5 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 6 people
Print Recipe


For the rice pilaf:

  • 1 ½ cups rice pilaf, I use the rice pilaf from Trader Joes that includes bits of dried herbs, but you can use any rice pilaf mix you can find
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the brussel sprouts:

  • 10-12 brussels sprouts, halved or quartered lengthwise, depending on size of the sprouts
  • ½ 

    tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp good olive oil

For the potatoes:

  • 4-6 small potatoes OR 2-3 large potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and diced into small ½ inch pieces, I prefer Yukon Gold or Red
  • ½ 

    tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil
  • ¼ cup water

Everything else:

  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leek, chopped, or onion if leeks are unavailable or expensive
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan


Cook the leek and garlic

  • Add the leek and garlic to a medium sized skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp sea salt. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it smells heavenly, the leak begins to turn bright green, and the pan gets a little dry.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add another Tbsp of olive oil. Let the leak caramelize for 12 minutes, then set it aside in a medium-sized bowl. (Don't clean the skillet yet! You can use it to sear the Brussels Sprouts.)

Cook the potatoes

  • While the leek caramelizes, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and the potatoes. Sprinkle the salt on top, and mix so the salt and olive oil evenly coat the potatoes. After about 4 minutes, when the potatoes are really sizzling and beginning to stick to the pan a bit, add ¼ cup water, and cover the skillet.
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes, taking the lid off every few minutes to toss the potatoes. This will help keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan too much. After 6 minutes, turn the heat down to low, and let the potatoes cook, covered, for another 6-9 minutes, or until when you taste a potato, it is cooked through. Remove the potatoes from the skilet, and add them to the bowl with the leek/garlic mixture.

Cook the rice pilaf

  • Add the rice pilaf, vegetable broth, butter, and 1 tsp sea salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid has absorbed and the rice is mostly tender. (Or cook the rice pilaf according to the package instructions.)

Sear the Brussels sprouts

  • Now we will sear the brussels sprouts while the rice cooks. To the skillet you cooked the leek in, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Turn the heat to medium. Wait a minute or two for the skillet and oil to get hot, then add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet, taking care that they do not touch each other. We want them to brown, and if they are all touching they will steam, not brown! I actually place each sprout into the skillet by hand so they end up exactly where I want them. But with hot oil this can be a little daring, so if you do it this way, be careful!
  • Sprinkle the salt over the top of the sprouts, and let the Brussels sprouts sear for about 3 minutes. After three minutes, carefully use your spatula to check one of the Brussels sprouts to see if the side touching the pan has browned. If it has, carefully use your spatula to flip each sprout so that a different side is touching the bottom of the pan. Sear this side for 3 minutes. The Brussels sprouts should be tender with a little bit of bite left, and browned on the sides that touched the pan. Now add them to the bowl with the potatoes, and leek/garlic mixture.

Put it all together and serve!

  • Once the rice pilaf has finished cooking, take the pot off the heat, and add the leak/garlic mixture, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and half of the parmesan. Gently fold them all into the rice. Now add the remaining half of the parmesan and gently fold again until incorporated.
  • Cover the pot, and let everything steam together for five minutes. Uncover, taste for salt, and serve! This dish is great with a side of greens and Gardein, or fried chickpeas.


If leeks are expensive or hard to come by, feel free to substitute a sweet onion. If you can’t find Brussels sprouts, I bet broccoli would be delicious as well.
And use freshly grated parmesan!!!!

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