Satisfy Your Cravings with This Delicious Arroz Pilaf Recipe

Welcome to my Arroz Pilaf recipe! As an Israeli chef who loves experimenting with different ingredients, I can assure you that this dish is a delightful blend of flavours and aromas that will make your taste buds dance.

This recipe is inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern pilaf recipe, which combines rice with various seasonings and spices. My version adds a Mexican twist to the classic pilaf, resulting in a perfect medley of textures, colours and flavours that’ll take your senses to the next level.

Making Arroz Pilaf requires some basic cooking skills, but don’t worry; I’ll guide you through every step of the way. This is a fun recipe that you can easily make at home, whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining family and friends.

In this article, I’ll share with you some useful tips and tricks to get the perfect results every time. From the best ingredients to use, to substitutions and variations you can try, rest assured that by the end of this piece, you’ll be ready for creating your own outstanding dish. So let’s start cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Pilaf
Arroz Pilaf

If you’re looking for a dish that is not only easy to make but also full of flavor, then this Arroz Pilaf recipe is just what you need. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked. There are a few reasons why I believe you’ll love this recipe.

Firstly, rice pilaf is a classic dish that can be found in various cultures around the world, such as Middle Eastern, Indian or even Latin American cuisine. It’s a versatile and delicious way to enjoy rice that’s different from plain white rice. With its spices, vegetables and chicken broth, this Arroz Pilaf recipe offers a unique combination of flavors that is sure to impress your taste buds.

Secondly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. You don’t have to be a culinary expert to prepare it, which makes it perfect for beginners or those who are short on time. The ingredients are also readily available at most grocery stores, so you don’t have to hunt down any rare ingredients.

Thirdly, one of my favourite aspects of this recipe is how adaptable it is. You could customize the dish to your liking by adding or swapping out ingredients like using brown rice instead of white, or tossing in some dried fruit or veggies like bell peppers or frozen peas. The choices are endless.

Lastly and most importantly – this dish tastes amazing! Thanks to the blend of aromatic spices such as chili powder and garlic cloves, every spoonful feels like pure comfort food. Plus the addition of juicy roma tomatoes adds an element of freshness and texture which takes the flavor up a notch. Trust me; everyone at your dinner table will be begging for seconds.

Overall, if you’re craving something flavorful yet easy to prepare for your next meal, I highly recommend this Arroz Pilaf recipe. It’s delicious and versatile enough for everyone’s taste buds while being simple enough to whip up even on a busy weeknight!

Ingredient List

 A swirl of colors and flavors.
A swirl of colors and flavors.

Ingredient List

Here is what you will need to make Arroz Pilaf recipe:

Ingredients 1:

  • 2 cups of Basmati rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 small roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Ingredients 2:

  • 1 cup of long grain white rice, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth or water (use a little more for softer rice)
  • Salt and black pepper

Note: You can easily adjust the quantity of ingredients by just keeping the ratio of the ingredients as per your preferred serving size.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect side dish that steals the show.
The perfect side dish that steals the show.

Now, let’s get to the fun part – cooking! This recipe is fairly easy to follow and can be done in just a few steps.


  • 2 cups of long-grain rice, washed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finеly
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/4 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil

Step One: Heat the pan and sauté the aromatics

Heat the pan over medium heat and then add olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent. Then, add in the minced garlic cloves and sauté for about a minute or so.

Step Two: Add rice and chicken broth

Once the onion and garlic are done, add in the washed rice to the pan. Make sure to stir it constantly for about two minutes or until the rice turns light brown.

Afterward, add in chicken broth into the pot, bring to a boil and bring down heat level to let it simmer for at least fifteen minutes.

Step Three: Incorporating Seasoning

Add salt and pepper according to your taste preference. Continue simmering for an additional five minutes.

Step Four: Fluff it up!

Once all liquid has been absorbed by the rice, turn off heat completely. Let it rest for about five minutes while still covered up by a towel to absorb any extra moisture. Then, take off lid or towel and fluff with fork gently.

Overall, this recipe should be easy for beginners who want to tackle on a more complicated dish but are still hesitant. So go ahead, give it a shot!

Substitutions and Variations

 A luxurious dish with fluffy grains and crispy edges.
A luxurious dish with fluffy grains and crispy edges.

One of the best things about making Arroz Pilaf is how versatile it is! You can easily switch up the ingredients to suit your preferences or what you have on hand in your pantry. Here are a few substitutions and variations to try:

– Rice: While we recommend using long-grain white rice or basmati rice, you could also use brown rice or wild rice for a healthier twist. Keep in mind the cooking time may be different for these types of rice.

– Oil/butter: We suggest using extra virgin olive oil to give the dish a flavorful kick, but you could also use peanut oil or any other neutral oil. Alternatively, you could swap out the oil for butter to create a richer flavor.

– Vegetables: If you’re not a fan of onions, you could try using chopped white onions instead. Feel free to add other vegetables such as diced bell peppers or even dried fruit like raisins to add a touch of sweetness.

– Broth: While chicken broth is the most traditional option for this recipe, vegans and vegetarians can use vegetable broth instead.

– Spice level: Adjust the amount of chili powder used depending on how spicy you like your food. You could also experiment with adding different spices such as cumin or paprika to switch up the flavor.

– Greek-style: For a Greek-inspired twist, add some crumbled feta cheese and black olives once the pilaf is cooked.

– Mexican-style: To make a Mexican rice pilaf, add diced roma tomatoes and fresh cilantro leaves before adding the rice. You could also swap out some of the chili powder for cumin and smoked paprika.

Remember that when experimenting with substitutions and variations, it’s all about personal preference. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Grab a spoon and dive into this deliciousness.
Grab a spoon and dive into this deliciousness.

This arroz pilaf recipe is versatile and pairs well with many dishes. It can be served as a side dish or as the main attraction. The flavor profile of this dish lends itself well to pairing with grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken, beef, lamb, or pork. It also goes well with fish, particularly when served with a tangy salsa.

For vegetarians, this dish can be paired with roasted vegetables like carrots or squash for a hearty meal. Additionally, it pairs well with salads, beans, and roasted nuts. For those who enjoy spicy food, adding some fresh jalapenos can give it an extra kick that complements well with the other flavors.

Because of its mild and balanced taste, this rice pilaf recipe works well as an accompaniment to stronger flavors in main dishes, like curries or stews. It also adds texture and depth to simple soups and makes a delightful surprise when topping off baked potatoes.

When presenting arroz pilaf onto your plate as the main course, it’s worth adding colorful garnishes like chopped yellow onions, diced bell peppers or even some dried fruit to bring out the vibrant colors in the dish.

Don’t forget to experiment with your sides until you get that perfect match!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The aroma alone will make your mouth water.
The aroma alone will make your mouth water.

The beauty of this arroz pilaf recipe is that it can be made ahead of time! If you’re planning to serve the rice as part of a larger meal, consider cooking it the day before and refrigerating it overnight. This will not only save you time on the day of your event, but also help your flavors meld together even more.

To store your leftover arroz pilaf, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for longer storage.

When it’s time to reheat your arroz pilaf, there are a few different methods you can use depending on your preference. For stovetop reheating, add a splash of liquid such as broth or water and heat the rice slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally until fully heated. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave by adding a bit of water before heating.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to fluff your rice with a fork before serving to ensure that each grain is fully reheated and fluffy.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food that makes everything better.
The ultimate comfort food that makes everything better.

When cooking rice pilaf or any type of rice dish, there are some important tips to consider in order to achieve perfect results every time. Here are my top tips for ensuring that your arroz pilaf turns out deliciously fluffy, flavorful and evenly cooked:

1. Use the right ratio of water and rice

One of the most common mistakes when cooking rice is using too much or too little water. To get the perfect texture for your arroz pilaf, be sure to measure out the correct ratio of water to rice. Typically, this will be 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of white rice, but can vary depending on the type of rice you’re using.

2. Rinse the rice before cooking

Rinsing the rice before cooking will help remove any excess starch and prevent clumping, resulting in fluffier and more separate grains. Simply add the desired amount of rice to a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.

3. Don’t lift the lid while cooking

Once you’ve added your ingredients to the pot and brought it to a boil, resist the urge to lift the lid during cooking. Doing so can release steam and disrupt the cooking process, causing unevenly cooked grains.

4. Let it rest before serving

Once your arroz pilaf has finished cooking, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will give it time to absorb any remaining liquid and help ensure that all of the grains are evenly cooked.

5. Add extra flavor with spices

If you want to add some extra depth of flavor to your arroz pilaf, don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices such as garlic powder, chili powder or cumin.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a beautifully cooked arroz pilaf every time!


Now, let’s move on to the frequently asked questions about this delicious Arroz Pilaf recipe. These queries are often raised by people who are trying this dish for the first time, as well as those who would like to perfect their cooking skills when it comes to making this pilaf recipe. By addressing these common inquiries, you can cook this dish with confidence and serve it with pride to your friends and loved ones.

What makes a pilaf a pilaf?

When it comes to preparing rice dishes, the type of liquid used can make a notable difference in taste. Unlike basic rice, which tends to use water, pilaf is elevated by utilizing broths or stocks. These liquids are infused with enriched flavors derived from simmering spices, meat, and vegetables.

What’s the difference between rice and rice pilaf?

When it comes to cooking rice, there’s a significant contrast between “rice” and “rice pilaf.” While plain rice is boiled in water, rice pilaf undergoes an entirely distinct cooking technique. First, the rice is sautéed with aromatic ingredients and cooked in broth, resulting in rice with a flavor-packed and well-defined grain.

What is the main component of a pilaf dish?

Pilaf is a popular dish typically made with rice, although various cultures utilize different grains. The cooking process involves combining rice and stock in a pot, adding in a blend of seasonings, herbs, veggies, and occasionally meat.

Bottom Line

This Arroz Pilaf recipe is an excellent addition to any meal. Whether you’re preparing a family dinner or hosting a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress. The beautiful combination of flavors and aromas showcases the magic of traditional pilaf cooking.

Make it your own by adding variety with different kinds of rice or mix-ins like dried fruit, nuts or veggies. Impress your friends and family by adding this easy yet delicious recipe to your repertoire.

So why not give it a try? It’s an easy recipe that will likely become a staple in your collection. So grab some rice, onion and garlic cloves and let’s get cooking!

Arroz Pilaf

Arroz Pilaf Recipe

When we cook Tex-Mex this recipe from Cheryl and Bill Jamison is the one we use. It is a fantastic side dish that has it's own wonderful flavor - one that complements and doesn't compete with grilled meats, burritos, stews, tacos....whatever we serve.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 266.9 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 2 small roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (Gebhardt's is great)
  • 2 cups beef stock or 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil (the Jamisons use peanut oil).
  • Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft.
  • Add the rice, tomatoes, and chili powder; saute another couple of minutes, stirring to coat the rice with oil.
  • Pour in the stock, sprinkle with salt if desired, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the rice for 15-18 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice steam, covered for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite Tex-Mex dishes.
  • I have made this ahead for a dinner party and reheated it in the oven before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 234gCalories: 266.9kcalCarbohydrates: 43.8gProtein: 5.3gFat: 7.7gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 843.3mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice, Southwestern, Tex-Mex
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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