Easy Rice Pilaf


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Rice Pilaf is a wonderful dish to have in your cooking repertoire. It is a tasty one-pot side dish recipe consisting of rice and a sprinkle of veggies cooked in broth. The perfect side dish to Pork Tenderloin!

There are probably hundreds of ways to make rice pilaf, as this is a dish favored all over the world, and has many ethnic variations. It’s definitely a step up from white rice!

A black serving bowl full of rice pilaf with a silver serving spoon.

What is Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf is composed of rice cooked in chicken broth, wine or some other liquid other than just water. Herbs, vegetables, and often meat are also placed in the pot with the rice as it cooks. Usually, it is prepared in a saucepan on the stove top, but you can also make baked rice pilaf by placing it in a covered casserole dish and baking in the oven.

Rice for Making Pilaf

This recipe calls for basmati rice, which is practically a fool-proof, fragrant and flavorful rice, a perfect choice for rice pilaf. You can use any long grain white rice in this recipe (you may need to change the amount of liquid).

RINSE the rice: If using long grain white rice, be aware that it has a starchy outer layer that should be washed away. Rinse it repeatedly in cold water until the water runs almost clear and drain well. Basmati should be rinsed and well drained too, but does not need to be washed as thoroughly as standard white rice.

BROWN the rice: For rice pilaf, you want fluffy rice grains that don’t stick together. Sauteeing the rice in oil keeps it from sticking and of course adds great flavor.

Ingredients for rice pilaf in a cooking pot like browned rice, carrots, and peppers.

How to Make Rice Pilaf

You will also use a bit less water than most rice recipe call for. Usually, recipes on the back of the bag recommend two parts water to one part rice. For pilaf, you should use about ¾ cup liquid for every cup of rice. This can vary a bit based on your cooking conditions. Give the rice only one quick stir after you bring it to a simmer. Cook it covered, on low heat.

Here’s how to make easy rice pilaf:

  1. Combine onion, garlic and butter in a pot and sauté until softened.
  2. Add the washed and drained rice and stir until it starts to turn golden (image above), or turns translucent.
  3. Add the liquid and veggies, give the rice one quick stir, then cover and simmer, until all the liquid is absorbed

Top with almonds and parsley if using and fluff with a fork.

A pot full of rice pilaf being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Leftover Rice Pilaf

Refrigerate: Rice pilaf is best eaten hot and fresh from the stove but it keeps in the refrigerator 2-3 days.

Freeze: Be sure it is completely cool before freezing. It should keep 2-3 months in the freezer, and is best reheated in the microwave (I add a couple of teaspoons water when reheating).

Once you know how to make the basic rice pilaf recipe here, go ahead and create your own versions! Add peas, raisins, spices and seasonings. Play with varieties of rice or veggies. Rice pilaf is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit your family’s taste!

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Rice Pilaf

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Rice Pilaf is a wonderful dish to have in your cooking repertoire. It makes a tasty one-pot meal, or you can keep it simple and serve it as a side dish!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons minced red pepper
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds toasted
  • 1 tablespoon green onion or parsley

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Instructions

  1. Rinse rice under cold water and drain well.

  2. Combine onion, butter, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat to soften, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add rice and cook until it begins to smell toasted and turn slightly golden, about 7-10 minutes.

  4. Add remaining ingredients except green onions and almonds. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.

  6. Fluff with a fork and garnish with almonds and parsley.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 234, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 434mg, Potassium: 221mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 4g, Vitamin A: 31.8%, Vitamin C: 18.3%, Calcium: 3.2%, Iron: 3.7%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword rice pilaf

 

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A serving bowl filled with rice pilaf topped with fresh parsley.

This easy rice pilaf recipe makes a delicious rice side dish that everyone loves. It's so much better than regular steamed rice! #spendwithpennies #rice #ricerecipe #ricepilaf #pilaf #ricesidedish #sidedish #ricepilafrecipe

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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