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Rice Pilaf

This homemade Rice Pilaf recipe features a combination of long grain rice with toasted orzo pasta and sliced almonds for depth of flavor. It makes an ideal side dish for weekday meals as well as special occasions and holiday gatherings. It’s tender and flavorful making it complementary to a variety of entrees.

easy-rice-recipes

Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe

Rice pilaf has many faces. This recipe combines orzo pasta and long grain rice along with onion, garlic and toasted sliced almonds for texture. How do you make Rice Pilaf? This recipe begins by melting butter with oil in a large skillet then toasting the orzo for added flavor. Add the onion and garlic and once cooked, add the rice and seasonings per the recipe. Pour in a generous amount of chicken stock and let it simmer until the rice and orzo are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. At the end of cooking, add toasted almonds, chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese. (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)

  • Melt Butter – In 3 quart Dutch oven or skillet melt butter with olive oil over medium heat.
  • Toast Orzo – To the butter, add orzo. Cook while stirring for several minutes until orzo is golden brown.
  • Onion – Add onion, cooking for 4-6 minutes or just until softened. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Add Rice and Seasonings – To the pot add rice, salt, pepper, paprika and turmeric. Stir to coat in butter then add chicken stock. Increase heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce to low.
  • Simmer – Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Toast Almonds – While rice pilaf cooks, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant then set aside.
  • Combine – Once rice pilaf is cooked, uncover and add 1/3 cup almonds, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and 3 Tbsp chopped parsley. Mix to combine. Let stand covered for 5 minutes the fluff with a fork.
  • Serve immediately garnished with reserved almonds, Parmesan and parsley.
how-do-you-make-rice-pilaf

How to Make the BEST Rice Pilaf Recipe

  • Key Ingredients you’ll need to make the BEST Rice Pilaf: Long grain rice, orzo pasta, chicken stock, butter, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, sliced or slivered almonds, chopped fresh parsley for garnishing.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: Large deep skillet or Dutch oven with lid, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and chopping board, garlic press and large spoon for stirring. You’ll also need a sheet pan to toast the almonds.
  • You can use pine nuts in place of almonds, if desired. You can also omit the nuts altogether. They do add to the flavor and texture overall so I highly recommend including them.
  • To Toast Nuts: While the rice pilaf cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread sliced almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant then set aside to cool.
  • For a vegetarian option, you can use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
  • This recipe uses long grain rice i.e. Uncle Ben’s or similar. You could adapt using basmati or jasmine rice but they will cook differently than long grain rice. Long grain rice holds up best the cooking time in this recipe.
  • Store cooked Rice Pilaf in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in single servings in the microwave.
homemade-rice-pilaf-with-almonds

More Rice Recipes to Make

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Rice Pilaf

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Stand time5 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: easy-rice-pilaf, rice-pilaf-recipes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 362kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds, plus 2 Tbsp (Or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric or saffron optional
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley divided use
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tbsp divided use

Instructions

  • In 3 quart Dutch oven or skillet melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. To the butter, add orzo. Cook while stirring for several minutes until orzo is golden brown.
  • Add onion, cooking for 4-6 minutes or just until softened. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer.
  • To the pot add rice, salt, pepper, paprika and turmeric. Stir to coat in butter then add chicken stock. Increase heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce to low.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • To Toast Nuts: While rice pilaf cooks, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant then set aside.
  • Once rice pilaf is cooked, uncover and add 1/3 cup almonds, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and 3 Tbsp chopped parsley. Mix to combine. Let stand covered for 5 minutes the fluff with a fork.
  • Serve immediately garnished with reserved almonds, Parmesan and parsley.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 444IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

4 Comments

  1. The recipe looks delicous but the instructions are confusing. It says bring to a boil then cover and turn to low. Next sentence srates to cook unvovered until lquid us absirbed. Then it says once rice is done uncover and add almonds, parmesan and parsley and let stand covered for 5 mins.

    1. This recipe uses both orzo and rice. You toast the orzo first then once combined cook it covered (or you can leave the top slightly offset) then add the nuts and parsley at the end.

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