Delicious Rice Pilaf Recipe for a Flavorful Meal

Are you looking for an easy and delicious side dish to impress your family and friends? Look no further than this easy rice pilaf recipe that is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. As an Israeli chef, I take pride in creating dishes that are both flavorful and simple to make. And this rice pilaf recipe is just that.

With only a handful of ingredients, you can elevate plain white rice into a fluffy, flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also versatile and customizable to fit any dietary needs or taste preferences.

I’ve made this rice pilaf for countless dinner parties and family gatherings, and it’s always met with rave reviews. The aroma of cooked onion and garlic mixed with the long-grain rice makes for a mouthwatering combination that’ll have you going back for seconds (or thirds).

So, if you’re ready to spice up your weeknight dinners or impress guests at your next gathering, give this easy rice pilaf recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Easy Rice Pilaf
Easy Rice Pilaf

If you’re looking for a simple, yet tasty and flavorful rice dish to add to your weekly meal rotation, look no further than this easy rice pilaf recipe. This dish is a classic for a reason – with its fluffy, perfectly cooked long-grain white rice, sauteed onions, and rich chicken broth flavor, it’s the perfect side dish for almost any meal.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it can be. You can easily swap out the chicken broth for beef broth, vegetable broth or even water if you prefer orzo instead of rice. Not in the mood for plain white rice? Add in some wild rice, brown rice, or even basmati rice to give this classic recipe a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean spin.

This recipe is also a lifesaver when you’re short on time. With just a few carefully selected ingredients and quick preparation steps, it’s ready in no time at all. Not to mention, it’s easy to customize depending on what ingredients you have on hand.

It’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners or as a simple side dish at gatherings. Plus it pairs perfectly with just about any protein you have on your plate.

Overall, this easy rice pilaf recipe is an excellent addition to your cooking repertoire; you’ll love how effortless and delicious it is to create such a flavorful rice dish that will impress everyone at the table!

Ingredient List

 The perfect side dish for any meal!
The perfect side dish for any meal!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy rice pilaf recipe:

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or equivalent of powder)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (can also use water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to elevate your rice game.
Get ready to elevate your rice game.

Here is the step-by-step easy rice pilaf recipe how-to:

Step 1:

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer.

Step 2:

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of finely diced onion, 3 garlic cloves, minced and cook until the onions are soft and translucent for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3:

Add 1 cup of long-grain white rice and mix well with the onion mixture.

Step 4:

Stir in one crushed chicken bouillon cube, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder until the rice is evenly coated with the spices.

Step 5:

Pour the simmering chicken broth into the skillet, stir once and then quickly cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let it cook for another 20-25 minutes on low heat. Do not lift the lid or stir!

Step 6:

Afterward, remove from heat and wait for another five minutes with cover still on.

Step 7:

Open the lid carefully, let off any extra steam then take a fork and fluff the rice to see if it’s cooked thoroughly. For perfection, you can strain off any excess water using a fine-mesh strainer.

Step 8:

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly again until evenly coated. Garnish with parsley or cilantro if you like.

Your fluffy flavorful homemade rice pilaf awaits you!

Substitutions and Variations

 An easy-to-follow recipe for a crowd-pleasing dish.
An easy-to-follow recipe for a crowd-pleasing dish.

One of the great things about this easy rice pilaf recipe is that it can be easily customized to your liking. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

– Vegetable Rice Pilaf: Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and add frozen mixed vegetables or chopped fresh veggies such as carrots, peas, and bell peppers to the rice while cooking. You can also add some raisins or cranberries for a sweet and savory twist.

– Middle Eastern Spiced Rice Pilaf: For a more flavorful take on rice pilaf, add 1 tsp. of ground cumin, 1 tsp. of turmeric, and a pinch of cinnamon to the rice while cooking. Serve with roasted chicken, lamb, or beef.

– Lemon Rice Pilaf: Add 1 tsp. of grated lemon zest and 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice to the rice after it has finished cooking. Garnish the dish with chopped fresh parsley.

– Baked Rice Pilaf: After cooking the rice on the stove, transfer it to a greased baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned on top. This method will give you a crispy top layer and fluffy, flavorful rice beneath.

– Wild Rice Pilaf: Substitute half of the white long-grain rice with wild rice for a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

Whether you prefer a Mediterranean-style rice pilaf with meat or vegetable-based variations, this simple recipe is versatile enough to adapt to your taste preferences easily. Go ahead; experiment with different spices, herbs, meats, vegetables, or even different types of rice such as jasmine, basmati or brown rice until you find your perfect combination!

Serving and Pairing

 One pan and a few ingredients is all you need for this tasty rice pilaf.
One pan and a few ingredients is all you need for this tasty rice pilaf.

After creating a delicious and aromatic rice pilaf, it’s time to serve it up! This dish can be served as a main course or as a side dish, depending on what you pair it with.

If you’re using this recipe as a main dish, no need to worry about adding anything else unless you want some variety. It pairs beautifully with grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon, and steamed veggies of your choice. You can also add some crispy breaded cauliflower florets as garnish for an extra crunch.

As a side dish, the easy rice pilaf recipe can accompany almost any protein such as pork chops or steak, and vegetables of your choice like roasted peppers, buttered corn or green beans. It is the perfect compliment to any meal where rice plays a supporting role.

Another idea would be to use it as an ingredient in other dishes. Transform your leftovers by cooking them into stuffed peppers or mix with wild mushrooms and make risotto out of them.

Whatever way you serve it, this easy rice pilaf recipe is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.Table offering both flavor and substance.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A delicious and versatile recipe that pairs perfectly with any protein.
A delicious and versatile recipe that pairs perfectly with any protein.

As someone who enjoys cooking, I appreciate recipes that allow me to prepare meals in advance. The ease of making this easy rice pilaf recipe even more so when you can make it ahead and store it until you’re ready to eat it.


Fortunately, this rice pilaf is one of those recipes that you can easily make ahead of time. Once you’ve cooked your rice pilaf, allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can then store the rice pilaf in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.


When storing the rice pilaf, be sure to choose an airtight container. This will help prevent air from getting in, which can cause the rice to become hard and unpleasant. If possible, use a glass or plastic container with a lid that snaps shut.


When reheating the rice pilaf, add a small amount of water or chicken broth to help it rehydrate and reheat evenly. You can reheat your leftover rice pilaf in the microwave or on your stovetop. On the stovetop, gently heat your leftover rice pilaf on medium heat while stirring occasionally until it is heated through.

One thing to keep in mind is that when reheating cooked rice, you shouldn’t leave it out at room temperature for too long before reheating it. Bacteria thrive in warm environments and can grow quickly on cooked rice left at unsafe temperatures.

In conclusion:

The beauty of this recipe is how simply you can store and reheat leftovers without sacrificing quality or taste. With a little planning ahead, you can easily enjoy delicious homemade rice pilaf throughout the week without having to worry about cooking each day from scratch.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Say goodbye to basic rice and hello to flavor.
Say goodbye to basic rice and hello to flavor.

Cooking the perfect rice pilaf is not as easy as throwing in some ingredients and hoping for the best. It takes precision and skill to create a dish that is both fluffy and flavorful with all the ingredients coming together in perfect harmony. To help you achieve this culinary feat, I’ve compiled a list of tips for creating the perfect rice pilaf every time.

Firstly, it is important to rinse your rice before cooking it to remove any excess starch that can cause clumping. Use a fine mesh strainer and run cold water over the rice until the water runs clear.

Next, add flavor to your rice by cooking it in chicken broth instead of water. This will give your pilaf a deeper, richer flavor that will impress your guests.

When adding aromatics such as onions and garlic to the dish, make sure to cook them thoroughly before adding in the rice. Cook until they are soft and golden brown to add depth of flavor to your pilaf.

In addition, when cooking your rice pilaf, resist the urge to stir constantly. Let the rice cook undisturbed for at least 5-10 minutes after adding it to the pan. Stirring too frequently can cause sticky or mushy rice.

To ensure the perfect texture, use a ratio of 1:2 rice to liquid. For example, for every cup of rice used, add 2 cups of liquid.

Lastly, let your rice pilaf rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking. This allows any excess moisture to evaporate and will give you perfectly fluffy and flavorful rice.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a restaurant-quality rice pilaf with ease. Remember that practice makes perfect – keep experimenting until you find what works best for you and your taste buds!


Now, let’s delve into some frequently asked questions about this easy rice pilaf recipe! Whether you’re a beginner cook or a seasoned pro, learning to make a new dish can come with doubts and concerns. In this section, I’ll answer some of the most common queries you might have about making this delicious rice pilaf. So, let’s put those worries to rest and get cooking!

What makes a pilaf a pilaf?

One crucial aspect that sets apart an ordinary rice dish from a pilaf dish is the type of liquid you use for cooking. Typically, water is used for basic rice, which can be rather mundane. However, pilaf is elevated with the use of delicious broths or stocks infused with spices, meats or vegetables to heighten the depth of flavor.

What to put in a rice pilaf?

One delicious way to prepare rice is by making a Rice Pilaf. To start, the rice is cooked in flavorful stock such as chicken, meat, or seafood until all the liquid is absorbed. A Rice Pilaf can be as simple as combining onions, garlic, rice, broth, and seasonings, or it can be a harmonious mix of rice with other ingredients like pasta, including orzo as we do in this recipe, as well as broken pieces of vermicelli and even lentils.

What is the cooking method for pilaf rice?

Let’s kick-off this dish by heating up some oil on a skillet, then we add in fragrant onions and some garlic for a pungent aroma. Once you’ve browned them up, throw in the rice and stir it up until it’s sparkling.

To complete the base of this magnificent dish, it’s time to add your liquid of choice. Feel free to use water or broth to add some extra flavor. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and cover up the skillet, allowing the mixture to cook at a gentle simmer.

Once you’re satisfied that the rice is soft enough, go on and remove the pan from the flame and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes, letting the flavors settle in.

Then, grabbing a fork, fluff up the rice, getting rid of any lumps, which also allows the steam to escape.

Don’t be afraid to add your touch to this dish! Whether it be adding some protein, veggies or seasonings, make it your own and get creative with it. The sky’s the limit!

Bottom Line

So there you have it – my easy rice pilaf recipe. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can create the perfect rice pilaf that is fluffy, flavorful and sure to impress your guests.

I guarantee that you’ll love this recipe, not just because it’s tasty and satisfying, but also because of the flexibility it offers. You can customize it to your liking or dietary needs by substituting different types of rice, vegetables or broth.

And don’t forget, rice pilaf is a versatile dish that can accompany a variety of meals – from baked chicken to beef stew- making it an ideal side dish for any occasion.

So what are you waiting for? Give this easy homemade rice pilaf recipe a try and add some excitement to your next meal. I can confidently say this recipe will be a hit and become a staple in your cooking routine. Remember, simple recipes often lead to the greatest taste adventures!

Easy Rice Pilaf

Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe

The fried onion makes this recipe. Originally made with Vegeta or Delikat , a food seasoning. Chicken cube will work just fine. As it's quite salty no salt needed.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine International
Calories 508.1 kcal


  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • pepper
  • water


  • Rinse the rice under water about 2 or 3 times.
  • Add the oil to the pot and add the onion.
  • When starting to get a light brown color add the rice.
  • Add water to just cover the top of the rice.
  • Add chicken cube and pepper.
  • The pot is covered and is left on medium heat for 30 minutes.
  • The rice should be checked on to insure the water has not boiled off.
  • If the water is low, add more.
  • After 30 minutes, the rice should be done.
  • If there is too much water , leave the cover off and leave on heat for a few more minutes to allow the water to boil off.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 188gCalories: 508.1kcalCarbohydrates: 85.3gProtein: 7.5gFat: 14.5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0.3mgSodium: 374.9mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, European, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You