Rice Pilaf is the perfect side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to just about every meal.
Easy Rice Pilaf recipe
Today’s recipe is a Wilkes family classic. This recipe for a simple rice pilaf has been made hundreds of times at our house and is probably the side dish I make the most. Because I am not a potato eater we eat a lot of rice at our house. I have lots of different rice recipes but I have to say that this one is our absolute favorite. I always double the recipe because my kids love it so much.
We love this recipe so much I even made a crock pot version and included it in my Slow Cooker Holiday Cookbook.
What is Rice Pilaf?
Rice Pilaf is pretty much just fancy rice., it is as if your favorite rice got dressed up for an evening out. It is rice with a mix-in which can be anything from vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and in today’s recipe it is vermicelli or broken up thin spagehtti.
My mother got this recipe over 40 years ago from an Armenian man who served it at a church dinner. Our family has been enjoying it ever since.
It goes well with chicken and pork and I have even served it with beef! It’s an all around great recipe!
Rice Pilaf Ingredients
- Long Grain White Rice. You can use basmati rice or jasmine rice.
- Vermicelli. It may also be labeled as thin spaghetti.
- Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock You could also use beef broth or vegetable broth. Water will work too but add in some additional seasoning for more flavor.
- Salt. You can use regular table salt or your favorite seasoning salt for additional flavor. I often use Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.
- Minced Onion. I use dried minced onion.
How to Make Rice Pilaf on the stove
It is fairly simple as far as rice pilaf recipes go. The addition of some vermicelli browned in butter adds some nice color and texture to the dish.
- Place butter and broken up thin spaghetti or vermicelli into a medium to large pan.
- Allow butter to melt and brown, stirring often to prevent butter and spaghetti from burning.
- Cook until spaghetti turns a light golden brown. For more tips on browning butter check out this post.
- Add in dried onion and salt.
- Pour in liquid. You can also use water but the chicken broth will add a lot more flavor. I have also made this with beef broth.
- Place lid on pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rice and pasta are cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
- Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
Rice Pilaf Add Ins
You can easily dress up the rice pilaf with:
Nuts. Use pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.
Dried Fruit. We like raisins, currants, cranberries, or apricots.
Fresh Herbs. Add in some cilantro, parsley, mint or chives.
Garlic. Some fresh minced garlic is delicious
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe doubles and triples well. I have served this often at large group gatherings where I have fed up to 200 people.
It can be made ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container and then reheated before serving. You can make it 1-2 days ahead of time.
The easiest way is in the microwave. You can also reheat it in a saucepan on the stove top. You may need to add in some additional liquid to keep it from sticking to the pan.
This rice freezes well in an airtight container. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Try these other delicious recipes!
- 1 cup long grain rice basmati or jasmine
- 1/2 cup vermicelli thin spaghetti
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp dry minced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- In a pan melt butter and brown the broken up vermicelli
- Stir often as this will burn easily, cook until the noodles are browned
- Add chicken broth, onions and salt and bring to a boil
- Add rice and stir together, add the lid and simmer until rice is cooked, about 15-20 minutes
- Cover and simmer slowly until cooked through (15-20 minutes)
- Serves four but is easily doubled
Tips & Notes:
- This recipe doubles and triples well. I have served this often at large group gatherings where I have fed up to 200 people.
- To change up the flavor profile, add in:
- Nuts: Use pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.
- Dried Fruit: We like raisins, currants, cranberries, or apricots.
- Garlic. Minced garlic or garlic powder.
- Seasoning: Chives, Mint, Cilantro or Parsley