Delicious Rice Pilaf Recipe: Quick & Easy Home Cooking

Are you looking for a delicious and easy rice dish to add to your dinner table? Look no further than this homemade Rice Pilaf recipe. With a combination of savory vegetables and fluffy long grain rice, this dish is packed with flavor and perfect for any occasion.

But why make your own Rice Pilaf when you can just buy a box mix at the store, you may ask? Well, for starters, this homemade version tastes infinitely better. Plus, when you make it yourself, you can control exactly what goes in it and adjust it to your liking. Don’t want mushrooms? Leave them out. Need it to be vegetarian? Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

And did I mention how easy it is to make? With just a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen skills, you’ll have a delicious side dish in no time. So why settle for bland, pre-packaged rice when you can make a flavorful and satisfying dish right at home?

Trust me, once you try this Rice Pilaf recipe, you’ll never go back to the boxed stuff again. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rice Pilaf
Rice Pilaf

Welcome, fellow foodies! If you are looking for easy homemade rice pilaf recipe that will tantalize your taste buds, then you have come to the right place. I bring you my rice pilaf recipe that is fluffy, flavorful, and savory. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you will be hooked on it.

What makes this rice pilaf recipe stand out from others is its simplicity and versatility. It’s made with spices that are easily available in your kitchen which means no need to go on a scavenger hunt in the grocery store. Plus, you can customize this dish according to your liking by adding different variations of it like chicken, vegetables or just a side dish.

This easy rice pilaf recipe includes ingredients such as long grain white rice and wild rice, which gives a distinct flavor and a hint of nuttiness to the dish. The addition of onion, mushroom, celery, and carrots adds a beautiful aroma and depth of flavor to the dish. Low sodium chicken broth adds some savory notes to the mix while butter brings richness and saltiness.

Moreover, the best thing about this rice pilaf recipe is that it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for future use which means you can enjoy it whenever you want.

So why not try this easy homemade rice pilaf recipe for yourself? You’ll love how simple yet flavorful it is. It’s perfect as a side dish or as part of a main meal. With its soft texture and aromatic taste pair with almost anything like salmon, greek or even vegetable dishes.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to elevate your dinner game with an easy homemade rice pilaf recipe in no time then get cooking! This classic savory rice will surely impress even picky eaters and become a go-to side dish for any occasion.

Ingredient List

 With a sprinkle of herbs, this rice pilaf is ready to be devoured.
With a sprinkle of herbs, this rice pilaf is ready to be devoured.

Ingredients for a fluffy and flavorful rice pilaf recipe:

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup wild rice or brown rice (optional)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mushroom, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • Black pepper to taste

This easy homemade rice pilaf is made with pantry staples ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. The proportions between the types of rice can be varied upon preference or availability of the grains. The wild or brown rice addition gives a nutty flavor while adding more texture to the dish, but it’s entirely optional. You can’t go wrong with choosing long-grain white rice as the primary grain for this recipe. One thing to keep in mind is using low-sodium chicken broth to have better control over the seasoning of your dish. The addition of mushrooms is also not mandatory but will give it an earthy twist.

The Recipe How-To

 This dish is a perfect balance of fluffy rice and flavorful vegetables.
This dish is a perfect balance of fluffy rice and flavorful vegetables.

Now that we have gone through the ingredient list, let’s move on to the recipe itself. In order to make the perfect rice pilaf, it is important to follow each step carefully. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Heat the Oil and Melt Butter

Start by heating butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter is completely melted.

Step 2: Saute Vegetables

Next, add diced onions, sliced mushrooms, chopped celery stalks, and diced carrots to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.

Step 3: Add Long Grain Rice and Toast

Stir in long grain rice, making sure it is evenly coated in the butter-oil mixture. Toast the rice for around 3 minutes until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden-brown.

Step 4: Add Chicken Broth

Add low sodium chicken broth to the pan, making sure the rice is fully submerged. Bring this mixture to a boil over high heat.

Step 5: Simmer and Cover

Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let this simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Step 6: Fluff with Fork and Serve

Remove the pan from heat and let it sit, covered, for about another five minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the rice before serving.

By following these six steps precisely, you’ll end up with fluffy, flavorful rice pilaf every time.

Substitutions and Variations

 Serve up a taste of the Middle East with this authentic rice pilaf.
Serve up a taste of the Middle East with this authentic rice pilaf.

This Rice Pilaf recipe is highly adaptable, and you can easily make substitutions and variations based on your preferences and the ingredients you have on hand. Here are some suggestions to help you customize the recipe:

– Vegetarian: Swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth to create a delicious vegetarian rice pilaf.

– Wild Rice: Add wild rice to the rice pilaf mix for a nuttier and more complex texture.

– Brown Rice: Use brown rice instead of white rice for a healthier option that’s packed with fiber and nutrients.

– Orzo Pasta: Replace some of the rice with orzo pasta for added texture and taste. You can also use other types of pasta such as penne or fusilli.

– Mediterranean: For a Mediterranean twist, add chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or oregano.

– Spanish: To give your pilaf a Spanish flavor, add saffron threads and diced chorizo or ham.

– Persian: A traditional Persian rice pilaf called “Chelo” involves adding a dash of ground saffron dissolved in hot water towards the end of the cooking process to give the rice a beautiful yellow color, along with caramelized onions and slivered pistachios.

– Indian: Try adding some curry powder or garam masala along with raisins, cashews or almonds when making the dish.

Whether you’re looking to make this dish vegetarian, want to adopt a Mediterranean flair or swap in another type of grain entirely, this Rice Pilaf recipe is versatile enough to accept substitutions whilst staying rooted as an easy homemade classic.

Serving and Pairing

 One bite of this heavenly rice pilaf will transport you to a bustling bazaar in Tel Aviv.
One bite of this heavenly rice pilaf will transport you to a bustling bazaar in Tel Aviv.

When it comes to serving Rice Pilaf, the possibilities are endless! This dish is incredibly versatile and can pair perfectly with a variety of dishes. Its savory flavor makes it a great side dish and can easily complement different meats such as chicken, salmon, or even lamb.

Pair this delicious pilaf recipe with your favorite vegetable dishes for a well-rounded meal. The classic combination of Rice Pilaf and roasted cauliflower or grilled zucchini is sure to impress your guests.

For a Mediterranean-inspired meal, add some dried fruit or almond slices to the Pilaf, and pair it with a Greek salad or some roasted eggplant.

Rice Pilaf also pairs wonderfully with lentil soup or any other hearty vegetable soup, making this combination an ultimate comfort food. Moreover, it works very well as a side dish for baked or fried tofu fries.

Another good pairing option is Basmati rice pilaf; the fragrant aroma of Basmati rice will harmonize perfectly with the aromatic spices such as saffron, onion, mushroom or garlic in the Pilaf.

For the health-conscious crowd, pair this delicious rice pilaf recipe with some sautéed vegetables. The blend of textures and flavors between the vegetables and the pilaf creates a delicate palate-pleasing experience.

In conclusion, Rice Pilaf has an unmatched capacity to complement various delicious entrees due to its subtle flavor profile. Feel free to experiment with your favourite dishes and create your favorite eating combinations for an unforgettable sensory experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A symphony of spices and aromas in every spoonful - this is what makes this dish special.
A symphony of spices and aromas in every spoonful – this is what makes this dish special.

Rice Pilaf is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time and store for later use. Once you have made your delicious batch of pilaf, let it cool then cover it tightly with a plastic wrap to seal in its flavor. Store the dish in a refrigerator for up to three days or longer in your freezer. To reheat, place the rice pilaf in an oven-safe dish, sprinkle a few drops of low sodium chicken broth and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake it in the oven at 325°F for approximately 15-20 minutes or until heated through. You can also warm it up on a stovetop using medium heat with an extra tablespoon of butter and a splash of water if necessary.

Reheating leftover rice can be tricky, but with these simple tips, you can master the art of fluffing up your dense or sticky rice. First, always make sure that your cooked rice is stored properly to avoid spoilage or drying out. Second, before reheating your pilaf, sprinkle enough water on top of the dish to loosen up any clumps and help create steam when you heat it up.

Lastly, when reheating make sure not to stir the rice too much as this will only cause it to stick together and become clumpy. Instead, gently fluff up the rice using a fork then let it sit uncovered for a minute or two before serving.

Whether you are meal prepping for the week or looking for an easy way to reuse your leftovers, these tips for storing and reheating Rice Pilaf will ensure that you have fluffy and flavorful rice every time you decide to serve this classic dish.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Colorful vegetables add a pop of vibrancy to the satisfying flavors of fluffy rice.
Colorful vegetables add a pop of vibrancy to the satisfying flavors of fluffy rice.

To make this rice pilaf recipe just right, there are a few tips that will help you along the way. With these guidelines, your dish will come out perfectly fluffy and flavorful every time.

1. Properly Rinse Your Rice:

Before cooking your rice, make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any excess starch. This will ensure that the grains cook evenly and don’t clump together.

2. Use the Right Ratio of Liquid:

The ratio of water or broth to rice is essential for perfect results when making rice pilaf. For every cup of long-grain white rice, use one and a half cups of liquid. If you’re using wild rice or brown rice, you’ll need to add additional liquid and increase the cooking time.

3. Don’t Over-Handle the Rice:

When stirring the rice, be careful not to handle it too much. Over-handling can cause the grains to break down and become sticky.

4. Let It Rest:

After you’ve cooked your rice pilaf, let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the pilaf to absorb any remaining liquid evenly and makes for a fluffy and delicious result.

5. Don’t Skimp on the Butter or Oil:

While some people may think that using less butter or oil is healthier, in this case, it could compromise the flavor of the dish. The butter or oil adds richness and depth to the recipe, so be sure to include enough in your cooking.

6. Experiment with Spices:

Rice pilaf is versatile and can be paired with a variety of spices depending on your taste preferences. Try adding cumin, coriander or turmeric for a Middle Eastern twist or experiment with garam masala for an Indian-inspired flavor profile.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a perfect rice pilaf every time and impress your dinner guests with this classic side dish!


Now that you know how to make rice pilaf like a pro, you may have some questions about the recipe. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help you cook fluffy and flavorful rice pilaf every time.

What makes a pilaf a pilaf?

When it comes to cooking rice, the type of liquid you use can make a big difference in the end result. While ordinary rice usually calls for plain water, creating a bland taste profile, pilaf is typically cooked in flavorful broths or stocks. These savory liquids are infused with spices and simmered meat and vegetables, elevating the taste and adding depth to the dish.

What makes rice pilaf different?

When it comes to the preparation of rice, there’s a notable contrast between the regular process and the technique utilized in making rice pilaf. While plain rice is cooked in boiling water, rice pilaf includes an additional step of sautéing aromatic ingredients beforehand. These flavorful ingredients are then transferred into the rice, which is cooked in broth, yielding a batch of seasoned rice with more distinct and defined grains.

What types of rice are in rice pilaf?

When it comes to preparing rice pilaf, a preferred option is long grain rice. A popular choice is jasmine or basmati, both of which are of the white variety. However, there is room to experiment with colorful alternatives such as wild rice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this rice pilaf recipe is a versatile and delicious side dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you prefer it with chicken, salmon, or vegetable dishes, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds with its fluffy and flavorful texture. With easy homemade rice pilaf, you can take control of the ingredients you use and experiment with different spices to create the perfect dish for any occasion.

By following the tips and recommendations outlined in this article, you can achieve perfect results every time. From making substitutions and variations to serving and pairing your pilaf recipe with other dishes, there are countless ways to make this recipe your own.

So why not give it a try? With simple ingredients like onion, mushroom, celery, carrot, long grain rice, and low sodium chicken broth, you can create a classic dish that’s both healthy and satisfying. Whether you’re looking for a Southern-inspired cauliflower rice pilaf or a decadent Persian-style saffron rice pilaf, the possibilities are endless.

With easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips along the way, this rice pilaf recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So grab your favorite ingredients and start cooking today!

Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf Recipe

Many years ago I was visiting a friend and noticed that she added chopped fresh vegetables to her rice dish. The rice dish had a lot of eye appeal and I decided to copy her idea. She also cooked the dish in the oven. I like cooking the rice in the oven although it does take a lot of extra time. I have prepared the dish by placing everything in a microwave or by sautéing the vegetables first and then adding the rice and cooking on top of the stove. I use the microwave method when I am in a rush and do not have much time. Likewise preparing on top of the stove is quicker than doing it in the oven. However using this method requires the addition of oil (additional calories) which is not needed in the other two methods. The number of servings can be adjusted very easily to suit your needs. I usually use equal amounts of rice, carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions. I especially like this recipe because it has so many vegetables and if I am too tired to cook another side dish it is not necessary. I like to use the left over rice the next day and add sautéed bell peppers and diced canned tomatoes to make the dish a little different from the day before.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 150.4 kcal


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup mushroom, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the broth, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion in oven proof casserole.
  • Cover and cook in microwave approximately 4 to 5 minutes to bring mixture to a boil.
  • Add rice and stir until well mixed.
  • Cover and place in preheated oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Stir rice once about half way through cooking.
  • Watch carefully to avoid overcooking. I like my rice al dente, especially if I have leftovers to repeat the next day.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 197gCalories: 150.4kcalCarbohydrates: 30.9gProtein: 4.9gFat: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 56.3mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 2.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice
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