This Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe is made with everyday, budget-friendly items you are bound to already have in your pantry. Packed with loads of herbaceous flavor, once you taste this super side dish, you will ditch that rice packet and never look back.
In Central California, Rice Pilaf is the staple of staples from company barbecues to family dinner. It shows up everywhere, especially alongside a perfectly cooked tri tip and some ranch beans. Even if you aren’t much of a cook, in California farm country you learn how to make this seasoned rice recipe. This simple dish is everything rice pilaf should be.
Serve this super side dish with Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs or Pork Souvlaki.
Make this recipe!
Easy rice pilaf is made with simple ingredients that you already have on hand.
It is a large recipe that can be served to a big crowd.
The toasted noodles, onions, and garlic create a beautiful texture.
Onions, garlic, parsley, and broth make an amazing seasoned rice.
A million times better than any rice packet you can buy, and just as easy
-Long Grain Rice: Long grain rice like Jasmine rice is perfect for this seasoned rice recipe. There is no need to rinse long grain rice as it is much less starchy than short grain varieties.
-Broken Spaghetti: You can use an array of straight noodles, orzo, or noodles for soup. I always have spaghetti and I simply break up a small bundle of noodles into the dish. This recipe is great for using up the last of a box of spaghetti. Break the dry noodles up into one inch pieces. You need about a quarter of a cup or a dime sized bundle of spaghetti.
-Chicken Broth or Bouillon: Broth will add some saltiness and lots of herbal tastes for a fuller flavor than cooking rice in water.
-Butter: I always use salted butter for this dish. Between broth and the salted butter there will be plenty of salt in the dish without adding any extra.
- Start by sauteing finely diced onion in olive oil and butter. Let the onions cook on a medium/heat and do not rush them. They need to be soft and translucent.
- Add minced or pressed garlic and parsley to the onions and warm through.
- Break the spaghetti into short pieces. Add both the broken spaghetti and rice to the cooked vegetables and toast until the spaghetti starts to brown.
- Pour chicken broth to the rice and bring to a low simmer. Cover the rice pilaf and let simmer on low heat for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes, turn off the heat under the pilaf and let sit with the lid on for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.
Pilaf is both the name of this recipe and the cooking technique. When making a rice pilaf you can add a variety of flavors, but the rice must first be toasted in oil or butter, and then cooked in broth or stock to create a seasoned rice dish.
Using bouillon cubes is a perfect substitute for prepared broth. In fact, I use the bouillon cubes more often because they are very inexpensive and they take up less space than the box or can of broth.
The hardest part of cooking rice is having patience enough to leave it alone. The package of rice will usually give you the appropriate amount of water and cook time. Usually our own impatience thwarts our rice cooking efforts. Rice needs to be cooked with a lid at a very low simmer. If the heat is too high, the water will evaporate before the rice is cooked leaving crunchy, underdone rice.
Always wait until the onion is mostly cooked before adding garlic. Garlic burns quickly and a little bit of burned garlic will turn a whole dish bitter.
It is important to read the package of bouillon to see how many cubes you need per cup of water. There are different brands and sizes of cube.
When using bouillon cubes, I break the cube up into the pan as I’m toasting the pasta so that it blends into the other ingredients just like seasoning. Then I add water.
Serve this Easy Rice Pilaf with a Delicious by Design Main Course.
Lemon and Sage Braised Chicken Thighs
Honey Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
Did you make this dish? Rate the recipe and leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out.
Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe
- 10" or 12" Skillet
- 2 Cup Long Grain Rice
- ¼ Cup Broken Spaghetti A dime sized bundle of straight noodles. Orzo or other small noodles work well also.
- 3 tablespoon Butter Salted
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- ½ Yellow Onion Finely Diced
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Minced or Pressed
- 1 tablespoon Parsley Chopped Fresh or ½ tablespoon Dry
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth Bouillon and water if prepared broth unavailable.
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Start by heating a large skillet on medium/low heat.
- Finely dice the yellow onion. Mince or press the garlic, and roughly chop the fresh parsley.
- Add butter and olive to the hot pan. Then add onions. Let the onions cook until they are translucent stirring occasionally.
- Add the minced garlic and parsley. Then stir into the softened onions and let them warm through.
- Add 2 cups of rice and a small bundle of uncooked spaghetti broken into one inch pieces.
- Stir the rice and noodles into the cooked vegetables and get them coated with butter and olive oil. Let the rice and noodles toast in the pan for about 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of chicken broth. Give the rice a gentle stir. Bring the liquid to a low simmer. Put a lid on the and lower the heat.
- Let the rice cook on low for 15-18 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit with the lid on for another 7-10 minutes. The residual heat will finish cooking the rice.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with your favorite Delicious by Design main course.
- Always wait until the onion is mostly cooked before adding garlic. Garlic burns quickly and a little bit of burned garlic will turn a whole dish bitter.
- It is important to read the package of bouillon to see how many cubes you need per cup of water. There are different brands and sizes of cube.
- For this recipe, I break the bouillon cube up into the pan as I’m toasting the pasta so that it blends into the other ingredients just like seasoning. Then I add water.
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