Sweet Potato Pilaf

january 10, 2019

sweet potato pilaf


This sweet potato pilaf is for everyone who loves the idea of adding sweet potatoes to their diet, but will enjoy them more without all the sweet hoopla of brown sugar and marshmallows. There is a bit of sweet tartness with the addition of pomegranate seeds, but not a smidge of sugar in sight.

This easy side dish is also great for those who follow a paleo or whole 30 way of eating—instead of rice, we use grated bits of sweet potato to give a starch fix without the draggy feeling that follows the act of inhaling rice and potato. In my book there is nothing wrong with indulging in starchy carbs, but I want more colorful veggies on my menus, for health and also for flavor. “Eating the rainbow” has been my mantra for many months. The more colorful my plate, the better I feel, mentally and physically.

sweet potato pilaf

Savory sweet potatoes made an earlier appearance with Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes and pomegranate seeds pepper the pages of this blog, because when pomegranates are in season, I love to indulge in their jewel-like beauty and tart crunch. Eating with the seasons brings surprise culinary gifts and puts an end to predictability (and boring makes the act of dining routine and uninspiring). Today’s ingredients were chosen with care : I have the last of the local sweet potatoes nesting in my cool basement, and despite a foot of snow a few weeks ago the Italian parsley is thriving in pots cozily huddled on my back deck. And the pomegranates are fat and juicy at the market. Lemon pepper adds zest and a touch of heat. You could simplify things by grating the sweet potatoes with a food processor; sometimes I like the zen monotony of repetitive kitchen tasks like hand grating and chopping. Music might accompany my cooking, but just as often I like the background of a softly humming house, or the winter birdsong just outside my window. Cooking is my not just my living, or my hobby; it is my happy place.

sweet potato pilaf

I hope this simple side dish makes you and your guests happy, too. Best of New Year health and good dining to you!

Sweet Potato Pilaf

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 4-6 servings


2 medium large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and grated
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, peeled and finely minced
lemon pepper seasoning (preferably salt free)
fine sea salt
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup pomegranate seeds


  1. Add oil and shallot  to large heavy saute pan (nonstick ceramic nice) over medium heat and when mix starts to sizzle, stir in a pinch of fine sea salt and turn heat to low.
  2. Cook until shallot just begins to soften, about 2 minutes (no browning, however).
  3. Add sweet potato with ¼ teaspoon each of lemon pepper and salt, stirring well, and cook over low heat, covered, stirring every 2 minutes until sweet potato is tender with some strands still a little chewy, 6 minutes total cooking time.
  4. Add pomegranate seeds and parsley, adjust seasoning to taste and serve warm.
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