Dishing Up the Dirt

Spiced Millet Pilaf with Fall Vegetables

This is one of those one pot meals that comes together rather quickly and can pretty much guarantee a delicious and nourishing weeknight dinner. I love a good old fashioned rice pilaf but decided to dust off a bag of millet I had stashed away in my pantry and use that as my grain of choice. I love the flavor of millet (mild and nutty) and think it’s a wonderful grain to incorporate more often. It cooks up quickly (after an overnight soak) and takes on flavors of your dish really well. Because it’s getting rather cold out here at the farm I wanted to make something cozy, nourishing, and delicious. This pilaf checks all the boxes. It’s perfectly spiced with warming hints of cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. I added some winter squash and dates for sweetness, chopped spinach for a healthy dose of greens, cooked chickpeas for a little protein, and I drizzled the whole pilaf in a little tahini for some creaminess. This dish is a lovely celebration of the fall harvest and can stand alone as a main course or be served alongside a roasted chicken (which is how we served it).

I hope you all love this simple recipe as much as we did. Happy cozy meal making everyone.

Spiced Millet Pilaf with Fall Vegetables

Prep Time: overnight    Cook Time: 30 mins.    Serves: 4-6

  • 1 cup millet, soaked overnight in 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (see note)
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee (or cooking fat of choice)
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small winter squash (butternut, kabocha, acorn, delicata, sugar pumpkin, etc) cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups worth)
  • 2 teaspoons date syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (if from the can rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (if using baby spinach you can leave it whole)
  • 4 dates, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons well stirred tahini for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain and thoroughly rinse the soaked millet under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Heat the ghee in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the salt and spices and stir to coat the onion in the spice mixture. Add the drained millet, squash, and syrup and give the whole pot a good stir. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, the millet can easily be fluffed with a fork and the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Toss in the chickpeas, chopped spinach and dates. Remove from the heat, place the top back on the pot and set aside for 10 minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the chickpeas and dates have warmed through.
  4. Drizzle in the tahini and season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.


*Soaking the millet overnight in water and apple cider vinegar helps to make the grain more easily digestible and nutritious. *Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

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