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+ servings

Rice Pilaf

No more boring rice! This simple and easy Rice Pilaf recipe is a flavorful side dish that pairs nicely with just about any entrée!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword easy rice pilaf, homemade rice pilaf, rice pilaf, simple rice pilaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 312kcal
Author Blair Lonergan



  • Melt the butter in a large skillet (that has a lid) or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is browned – about 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, celery and carrot; cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables start to soften – about 4 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper, to taste. If you’re using salted chicken broth, you probably won’t need too much extra salt. If you’re using low-sodium or homemade unsalted broth, you may need up to ½ - ¾ teaspoon of salt.
  • Add the broth to the skillet with the rice and vegetables. Add the bay leaf; bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes. Once the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, turn off the heat, discard the bay leaf, fluff the rice with a fork, and stir in the fresh parsley and toasted almonds.



  • Scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs. For instance, double all of the ingredients to make 8 servings, or cut all of the ingredients in half for just 2 servings.
  • For a vegetarian option, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Use any vegetables that you prefer. Sautéed mushrooms, frozen peas and corn would all be delicious additions to the rice. The peas or corn can be stirred in at the end of the cooking time so that they don't get brown and mushy.
  • Season the rice with your favorite fresh herbs other than parsley. For instance, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil or chives would all be great.
  • For lemon rice pilaf, add a little bit of freshly-grated lemon zest to the rice.
  • Instead of the toasted almonds, replace them with other nuts of choice -- such as walnuts, pistachios or pecans. You can also omit the nuts altogether.
  • For a touch of sweetness, add dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, golden raisins or dried currants to the pilaf.
  • Do not substitute with brown rice, instant rice, or other varieties of rice, since the amount of liquid and the cooking time in this recipe is specifically tailored for long-grain white rice.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipe | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1797IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg