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 rice pilaf. This recipe is everything rice pilaf should be.
–Long Grain Rice: Long grain rice like Jasmine rice is perfect for this 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.
– Yellow Onion: One of our pantry staples, half of a diced yellow onion adds tons of flavor. When cooked, yellow onions get very sweet.
– Fresh Garlic: I don’t think garlic needs an explanation because flavor and more flavor. Yum!
–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.
–Olive Oil: Start with olive oil to cook the onions and garlic. The higher smoke point will help you get nice soft onions without any burned spots.
–Parsley: Fresh is great if you have it on hand. Adding a little fresh right adds a nice fresh taste.You can use dry parsley also. Use half the amount of dry parsley for the same result.
Good pilaf starts with good base flavor.
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. Always wait until the onion is mostly cooked before adding garlic and parsley. Garlic burns quickly and a little bit of burned garlic will turn a whole dish bitter.
Toast the long grain rice and broken spaghetti.
Add your rice and broken spaghetti to the pan and toss to get coated in the butter and oil in the pan. Let it cook until spaghetti starts to brown a bit.
Is it ok to use Bouillon for this Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe if I don’t have Broth on hand?
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.
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 and let it get blending into the other ingredients just like seasoning. Then I add water.
How long do you cook the rice for perfectly fluffy pilaf?
The hardest part of cooking rice is having patience enough to leave it alone. The ratio of liquid to rice for this recipe is 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice. Once you add the liquid, bring it to a low simmer. Then put a lid on it, and turn it down some more.
Long grain rice in general takes no more than 25 minutes. The heat needs to stay low, and the rice has to be left untouched to absorb the liquid fully.
Quick rice cooking tip.
Recently, I’ve started setting a timer for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes of cooking covered on low heat, I turn the stove off and just leave the rice alone until I’ve finished all of my other dishes. The rice finishes cooking with the residual heat, absorbs the last of the water slowly, and stays warm until I am ready to serve dinner.
Finally, use a fork to fluff the rice and serve with these Delicious by Design main courses.
Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe
- 2 Cup Long Grain Rice
- 1/4 Cup Broken Spaghetti A dime sized bundle of straight noodles. Orzo or other small noodles work well also.
- 3 Tbsp Butter Salted
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1/2 Yellow Onion Finely Diced
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Minced or Pressed
- 1 Tbsp Parsley Chopped Fresh or 1/2 Tbsp Dry
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth Bouillon and water if prepared broth unavailable.
- 1/2 Tsp 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 to the pan. Stir into the softened onions and let them warm through.
- Add 2 cups of rice to the pan. Take a small bundle of uncooked spaghetti and break them into one inch pieces into the pan.
- Stir the rice and noodles into the cooked vegetables and get the 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 simmer. Put a lid on the pan 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.
“Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.”-Mitch Hedberg