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rice pilaf served in bowls
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📋Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe

Fragrant rice pilaf is classic side dish that’s very easy to make and packs wonderful flavors. This recipe turns out perfect every time! Plain steamed rice is no comparison to fragrant rice pilaf!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Course: Rice recipe, Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Western
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 332kcal


  • 1 cup basmati rice long grain rice
  • cup vermicelli or orzo
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ⅔ cup chicken stock
  • cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & ground pepper to taste


  • 2 teaspoon parsley


  • Pour chicken stock into a large pot. Add butter garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and ground pepper to taste to the stock.
  • Heat the stock until it comes to boil.
  • Meanwhile in a pan heat olive oil.
  • Saute vermicelli (or orzo if using it) until it is roasted to deep golden brown on low heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep stirring constantly as vermicelli will begin to burn fast.
  • Add long grain rice (if you choose to rinse rice, feel free to rinse first) to the pan and continue to saute until rice is toasted and aromatic, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Once stock begins to boil, remove from heat and pour it carefully over rice and vermicelli mix.
  • Stir well.
  • Cover the pan with lid and let it cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Note: do not open lid or stir the rice while it’s cooking. Leave the pan alone. Escaped heat/steam will tend to compromise on cooking rice perfectly.
  • Once rice is cooked and all liquids are evaporated, turn off heat. Rest rice undisturbed for 5 minutes covered. Resting rice is crucial step, this is when rice will finish it’s cooking.
  • Open lid, gently fluff rice using silicone spatula or fork.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.



Best rice - long grain basmati rice is ideal for pilaf recipe because it’s fragrant and suits well with the flavors used in pilaf. If you can’t find long grain basmati rice, use long grain jasmine rice. Any long grain rice or medium grain rice can be used.
Short grain and sushi rice can also be used but it will result in sticky pilaf.
Flavors -you can use garlic powder and onion powder or use fresh minced garlic and fine diced yellow onion in the recipe.
If using fresh onion and garlic, sauté first in olive oil until fragrant than add vermicelli and rice to sauté in it.
  1. Vegetables - vegetables can be included in rice pilaf recipe. Vegetables like finely chopped mushrooms, fine diced carrots and diced celery are best.
  2. Nuts - Middles Eastern style pilaf usually has nuts like sliced almonds and pistachios. You can throw in some sliced almond and sliced pistachios. This rice pilaf is great side dish on Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner table. To make it Christmas special, add almonds and pecans to suit the theme.
  3. Dry fruits – to give it an authentic Middle Eastern flavors, try adding sultanas or golden yellow raisins. You can also add dried apricots or dried cranberries for color and sharper pop of flavors to the pilaf.
  4. Seeds – if allergic to nuts, swap nuts with seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Seeds not only are nutritious but adds great texture and flavor to pilaf!
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 362IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg