This rice pilaf recipe is so tasty that your family will be scraping their plates clean, but so easy it can be made even on the busiest of nights!It is the perfect accompaniment to fish, chicken, pork, beef, and just about any main dish!
I’ve been making this homemade rice pilaf for years, and although I’ve tried a few other recipes, I’ve never found one that my family likes better!
- Browning the rice and vegetables not only helps prevent clumpy rice, it adds a rich buttery flavor.
- You can use dried herbs that you probably already have in your pantry. Nothing fancy.
- A sprinkling of almonds adds a perfect crunch.
- It’s made all in one pan, and ready in about 30 minutes!
Frequently asked questions:
Regular rice is typically just boiled or steamed with salt and sometimes butter or oil. For pilaf, rice is sauteed in butter or oil, often times with vegetables such as onion, garlic, or celery.
In addition, pilaf usually has other ingredients such as herbs, spices, or nuts along with other types of grain such as orzo or other pasta.
Regular rice is great served with dishes that have extra sauce. Rice pilaf is flavorful enough to stand on its own.
You can try using brown rice, but it isn’t optimal for this recipe. It will take 30-40 minutes to cook, and you may need to add more water
As a result, the noodles from the chicken soup packet will get quite soft. Long grain white rice is best, but jasmine, or even basmati rice will work better than brown rice.
For the most fluffy rice, it is best to rinse your rice before cooking. But if you skip that step, this rice pilaf will still be delicious!
I do find that it tends to boil over easier when it isn’t rinsed, so keep that in mind.
HOW TO MAKE RICE PILAF
- PREP – Wash and dice the celery; dice the onion. Rinse the rice in a wire mesh strainer with cold water.
- SAUTE – Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Add rice, celery, and onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes, or until rice is lightly browned.
- COOK – Add the water, chicken noodle soup packet, parsley, thyme, sage, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender.
- STEAM – Let sit for about 5 minutes, then stir or fluff with a fork.
- SERVE – Either stir in the almonds or sprinkle them on top of the rice before serving.
If you have any leftover homemade pilaf rice, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 4-5 days.
You can reheat it in the microwave, or heat it in a non stick skillet with a bit of water.
- Blanched almonds will work in place of the sliced almonds, but you can also use any other nuts your family enjoys.
- You can add any other vegetables to add both color and nutrients. Peas, carrots, and mushrooms would all be tasty, but get creative!
- Swap out any of the herbs, or add additional herbs you love. And if you have fresh herbs on hand, they work great as well.
- For a sweet touch, you can add 1/2 cup of golden raisins, craisins, or any other dried fruit.
Dishes that go well with herb rice pilaf:
- Salmon with Cream Sauce
- Best Grilled Pork Chops
- Broiled Tilapia
- Baked Crispy Chicken Tenders
- Steak Diane
- Chicken Breast Marinade Recipe
- Pesto Mozzarella Chicken
- Marinade for Sirloin Steak
EASY RICE PILAF RECIPE
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 2.25 oz packet chicken noodle soup mix
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds (Toasted for best flavor!)
- Saute rice, celery, and onion and butter in a large saucepan for 5-8 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in water, dry chicken noodle soup packet, parsley, thyme, sage, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Stir in the almonds or sprinkle them over the top of the rice before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
One serving is about a cup.
Simple, flavorful, and so much better than the boxed variety, this herb rice pilaf is the perfect side dish!