Delicious and Nutritious Brown Rice Pilaf Recipe

In the world of cooking, rice is one staple ingredient that never goes out of style. It is a versatile food that not only nourishes the body but also satisfies the palate. That’s why today, I’d like to introduce you to my favorite brown rice pilaf recipe – a dish that is easy to make, deliciously healthy, and perfect for your daily meals.

My brown rice pilaf recipe combines various flavors and textures that will surely tickle your taste buds. It’s a dish that can be served as a side or even as a main course. You’ll find it to be the perfect addition to any family gathering or dinner party.

Brown rice is known for its high fiber content and essential nutrients, making it a go-to choice for health enthusiasts. And with my recipe, I will show you how this simple ingredient can be transformed into a flavorful dish that you won’t be able to resist.

So join me in the kitchen and let’s get started on creating this delicious and nutritious brown rice pilaf!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Favorite Brown Rice Pilaf
Favorite Brown Rice Pilaf

Picture this – a steaming bowl of perfectly cooked brown rice pilaf glowing on your dinner table. The aroma of oregano and basil wafting through the air, conjuring nostalgic memories of the Mediterranean countryside. At first glance, it’s simply a humble side dish, but don’t be fooled by its unassuming appearance.

This brown rice pilaf recipe is the perfect mix of healthy and delicious, making it a staple in every household. Brown rice makes up the bulk of this dish, giving it a nutty flavor and chewy texture that blends great with other ingredients. The fresh herbs, garlic, and vegetables add a burst of flavor and nutrition to this already tasty dish.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility – you can swap out different vegetables, herbs or spices to make it suit your craving or dietary needs. Frozen corn in place of carrots? Sure. Use saffron and mushrooms instead of oregano and basil? Go ahead.

Aside from being simply delicious, brown rice pilaf is also incredibly easy to prepare. All you need is one pot on your stove top or pressure cooker, and you’re good to go! Whether you’re a beginner cook looking for an easy-to-follow recipe or an experienced chef seeking inspiration for new ideas to add to their repertoire, this recipe is perfect for you.

Overall, with its ease of preparation, versatility and flavor profile guaranteed to entice all who taste it – this brown rice pilaf will become your next go-to meal time and again. Once you try it out, you’ll find yourself adding it to your menu weekly – trust me!

Ingredient List

 Perfectly cooked grains of brown rice combine with tender bits of carrot and savory diced onion in this comforting pilaf.
Perfectly cooked grains of brown rice combine with tender bits of carrot and savory diced onion in this comforting pilaf.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delightful brown rice pilaf recipe:

Main ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth


  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup frozen corn

Ingredient alternatives and variations:

  • Brown basmati rice or wild rice can be used instead of long-grain brown rice.
  • You can add chopped mushrooms or saffron infused water to the recipe for added flavor.
  • Other vegetables such as peas, diced bell peppers, broccoli florets or thinly-sliced zucchinis can be used in place of corn.

Make sure you have all these ingredients on hand before starting the cooking process.

The Recipe How-To

 This go-to side dish is so versatile that it pairs beautifully with everything from grilled chicken to sautéed vegetables.
This go-to side dish is so versatile that it pairs beautifully with everything from grilled chicken to sautéed vegetables.

Cooking the Rice

To cook this Brown Rice Pilaf, I first rinse and drain 2 cups of uncooked brown rice. Then, in a large saucepan, I heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, I add one thinly sliced yellow onion and three minced garlic cloves. I sauté them for about 1 minute until they are fragrant and lightly golden, then add in 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and 1 teaspoon of dried basil, stirring to combine.

Next, I add in the rinsed brown rice and stir it into the onion mixture until it’s coated with all of the tasty herbs and spices. After that, I pour in 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and bring everything to a boil.

Once the broth is boiling, I cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for about 40-50 minutes until the rice is tender but still slightly chewy.

At that point, I uncover the pot and lightly fluff up the rice with a fork to let out any steam. Then I cover it again, turn off the heat, and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes so it can absorb all of those yummy flavors.

Adding Vegetables

While waiting for the rice to cook, you can prepare your vegetables. You need 1 small carrot peeled then finely chopped, and ½ cup frozen corn. In a skillet over medium-high heat drizzle some olive oil then toss in your chopped carrots and sauté for about 2 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from skillet then add in your frozen corn; cook for a couple of minutes or until no longer frozen.

Once your rice has finished cooking through its step-by-step process above listed; mix in your sautéd carrots and full cooked corn kernels at the end before serving.

This is my Brown Rice Pilaf recipe method: perfect every time!

Substitutions and Variations

 Delightfully nutty and satisfying, this brown rice pilaf is both delicious and good for you.
Delightfully nutty and satisfying, this brown rice pilaf is both delicious and good for you.

My favorite brown rice pilaf recipe is delicious as is, but there are so many ways to change it up and make it your own. Here are some substitutions and variations I recommend:

– Vegetables: You can swap out the carrots and frozen corn with any vegetables you have in the fridge, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or peas. Try experimenting with different vegetables each time you make this dish to see what combination you like best.

– Rice type: While my recipe calls for long-grain brown rice, you can use any kind of rice to make a tasty pilaf. For example, try substituting brown basmati rice for a nuttier flavor or wild rice for a more earthy taste.

– Herbs and spices: The oregano and basil harmonize perfectly with the mild flavors of the brown rice in my recipe, but feel free to mix it up. Try adding saffron or chopped rosemary for an aromatic touch or cumin and chili powder for a bit of spice.

– Protein additions: If you want to add some protein to your pilaf, try adding cooked chicken or grilled shrimp to the final dish. Alternatively, you could also mix in some canned chickpeas or black beans for a vegetarian meal.

– Other additions: The sky’s the limit when it comes to variations of a pilaf recipe! Consider adding dried fruit like raisins or cranberries, fried rice noodles for a crunchy texture, or even orzo pasta for a heartier meal.

By experimenting with different ingredients and flavors, you’ll never get bored with this versatile staple side dish. Remember that rice dishes are flexible – feel free to play around with seasonings and ingredients that fit your tastes.

Serving and Pairing

 Whether you’re making a big pot for meal prep or just a small batch to round out your dinner, this recipe is easy to adapt for any occasion.
Whether you’re making a big pot for meal prep or just a small batch to round out your dinner, this recipe is easy to adapt for any occasion.

Once your delicious brown rice pilaf is cooked, it’s time to serve and enjoy it with a few pairing options. This pilaf recipe serves as a great base for a hearty meal and you can pair with different proteins or vegetables to suit your taste buds.

For a vegan or vegetarian option, consider serving the brown rice pilaf alongside roasted vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts or grilled tofu. The flavors in the rice will complement and enhance the taste of the veggies, giving you a healthy yet satisfying dish.

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for meat or seafood, this recipe pairs well with grilled chicken, steak, salmon or shrimp. You can also add some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to infuse the meat with extra flavor.

Looking for something more filling? Try pairing with beans like chickpeas, lentils or black beans to make a protein-packed meal. You can also add some sliced avocado, tomato salsa, or green salad on top for some additional veggies and crunch.

Don’t forget to garnish your brown rice pilaf with some chopped parsley, cilantro or basil before serving for an extra pop of color and a fresh taste. Once plated, your guests won’t be able to resist it!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The addition of fragrant cinnamon and savory herbs make this pilaf an aromatic masterpiece that will have everyone asking for seconds
The addition of fragrant cinnamon and savory herbs make this pilaf an aromatic masterpiece that will have everyone asking for seconds

Planning ahead is a great way to save time and energy, especially when it comes to cooking. Fortunately, the Brown Rice Pilaf recipe allows you to easily prepare it in advance and reheat it when you’re ready to serve.

To make-ahead the dish, simply follow the recipe directions until the point where you need to add broth. Once you’ve added the broth, allow the mixture to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or zip-top bag. You can store the rice pilaf in your refrigerator for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months.

When you’re ready to reheat the Brown Rice Pilaf, place it in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth on medium heat. Cover with a lid and stir occasionally until heated through. If you prefer to microwave it, you may also cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for one minute intervals until hot.

One important thing to note is that reheating cooked rice incorrectly can lead to bacterial growth, so make sure that your rice pilaf is thoroughly heated through before serving.

By planning ahead and taking advantage of this dish’s make-ahead and reheating qualities, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of time in the kitchen while still enjoying delicious meals.

Tips for Perfect Results

To make the perfect brown rice pilaf, there are some tips and tricks that you can follow to ensure that your dish turns out amazing every time. Here are some tips that I think will help you.

First things first, use high-quality ingredients. The better the quality of your ingredients, the better the final product will be. Use good quality olive oil, fresh herbs such as oregano and basil, and organic brown rice. You can never go wrong with using fresh ingredients.

When cooking your brown rice for the pilaf, make sure to rinse it under cold water thoroughly before cooking. This helps remove any excess starch and debris from the grains.

The ratio of water to brown rice when cooking is very important. For optimal results, use two cups of liquid for every one cup of uncooked brown rice.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the heat while cooking. Make sure not to boil the rice but rather simmer it gently on low heat until it’s cooked through but still firm to touch.

Another tip is to let your rice rest for a few minutes after it finishes cooking before fluffing it with a fork. This allows any remaining steam to escape and ensures perfectly separate grains of rice.

Lastly, if you want to give your pilaf a twist, try adding in some vegetables like frozen corn, carrots or yellow onions while cooking. This not only adds flavor but also makes the dish more nutritious and colorful.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a perfect brown rice pilaf every time!


As scribe for Chef Ehud, I understand that sometimes brown rice pilaf recipes can be a bit intimidating or challenging, especially for beginners. That’s why I’m here to provide answers to frequently asked questions on this recipe. I hope these answers will help you make the most delicious and perfect brown rice pilaf every time you cook it. Let’s start with some common questions about the ingredients and the preparation process.

What can I add to brown rice to make it taste better?

When it comes to seasoning brown rice, using broth or stock is a reliable option, but adding salt can take the taste to the next level. To enhance the flavor further, I recommend using high-quality oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, or ghee. These oils lend an excellent taste and texture to the rice, making it a mouth-watering addition to any meal. Additionally, using kosher salt instead of regular table salt makes a significant difference, enhancing the flavors without making it too salty.

Is brown rice pilaf healthy?

Brown rice is a more nutritious option than white rice due to the fact that it contains its bran and germ. These two components are good sources of antioxidants, vitamin E and fiber. A cup of cooked medium-grain brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber, while the same amount of white rice holds less than one gram of fiber.

What is the most delicious brown rice?

Here are some brands of brown rice you might want to consider for this recipe: Tilda Legendary Rice Steamed Basmati, Lundberg Wild Blend, Taj Gourmet Brown Basmati Rice, Pride of India – Extra Long Brown Basmati Rice, Dynasty Jasmine Brown Rice, Nishiki Premium Brown Rice, and Sukoyaka Brown Rice, Genmai.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this brown rice pilaf recipe is simple to make, delicious, and highly customizable, making it a great addition to any meal. It’s perfect for those who are health-conscious as brown rice is a whole grain and packed with nutrients. Additionally, the herbs and vegetables add an extra layer of flavor to the dish that makes it stand out from other pilaf recipes out there.

You can easily switch up the recipe by adding different vegetables or using different types of rice, like wild rice or even jasmine rice. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding saffron or dried fruit for a unique twist. The possibilities are endless with this recipe.

Whether you’re cooking for your family, hosting a dinner party or meal prepping for the week, this brown rice pilaf recipe is versatile enough to fit any occasion. So go ahead and give it a try – I guarantee that your taste buds will thank you for it!

Favorite Brown Rice Pilaf

Favorite Brown Rice Pilaf Recipe

I know I have already have a rice pilaf posted, but I couldn't resist changing it up a bit. I came up with something that is quite different from the one I have, and it was a big hit in my house.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine International
Calories 187.5 kcal


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil


  • saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is translucent, about five minutes. Stir frequently to prevent onion and garlic from burning.
  • Add carrot and let saute 3 more minutes.
  • Add brown rice and stir until rice is coated with the olive oil.
  • Cover with about 2 cups of water, and add the corn, peas, salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
  • Let it come to a boil and then let it simmer until ready. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking to the pot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 101gCalories: 187.5kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 5gFat: 2.5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 30.8mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 2.5g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Brown Rice, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, One-Dish Meal, Rice
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