Rice Pilaf is an easy change up from your regular white rice side dish and we love to load ours up with flavor! Our rice pilaf uses a base of orzo toasted in butter along with diced onion, combined with fluffy rice, all cooked in chicken broth. This rice pilaf recipe works great as a base for a bunch of different flavors, we’ll give you some more ideas to spice it up if you like, or, simple is great too.
The first step to making Rice Pilaf from scratch is toast onion &orzo until the orzo is golden brown.
I like to use salted butter to cook the onion and orzo in, so if you do the same, be cautious with oversalting when you season your rice.
After the orzo is a golden, toasty light brown, add in the rice.Let the rice absorb the butter and sauté it with the other ingredients for about 1-2 minutes to enhance the flavor. After that, add in chicken broth (or, your broth of choice). Bring the broth to a simmer, and continue to cook covered on low for about 15 minutes, or until all of the chicken broth is absorbed.
After the pilaf has become fluffy, I like to garnish it with either green onion, or parsley, but you can also flavor up your pilaf a ton of different ways.
Here’s a few flavoring ideas we love.
- Mexican Rice Pilaf: Add 2 tbsp lime juice, 8 oz drained/cannedblack beans, 1/2 cup fresh corn, and a 4 oz can of drained diced chiles to the fully cooked pilaf. Drizzle or toss with tomato vinaigrette if desired.
- Greek Pilaf: Add 1/4 cup feta cheese, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tsp fresh oregano. Toss well before serving. Drizzle with homemade honey mustard dressing, or olive oil and balsamic if desired.
- Italian Pilaf: Add 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella (cubed), and 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil.
- Indian Pilaf: Add 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp fresh chopped tarragon.
- Veggie Rice Pilaf: Add 1/2 cup cooked peas, 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup zucchini, and 1/4 cup fresh corn. Toss with homemade caesar dressing.
If you are looking for other delicious side dishes, here’s more of our favorites:
Simple Rice Pilaf Recipe
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Using a skillet iwht a lid, melt over medium heat. Once fully melted, add orzo and cook until golden brown. Add onion, and continue to cook until translucent.
- Add garlic, and cook in butter/orzo/onion mixture for 1 minute. Add uncooked white rice, and broth.
- Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Remove rice pilaf from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Garnish with parsley or green onions if desired & enjoy!
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