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4.6 from 5 votes

Easy Rice Pilaf

This easy Rice Pilaf is a savory, flavorful side dish that goes with almost any meal. It's a step up from plain rice and makes everybody think you went to a lot of extra effort, when it's hardly any more work than Rice-a-Roni. Be sure to check out the notes for additional add-ins to change up this base recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 291kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 2 ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup orzo or broken up angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ medium onion diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Combine the chicken broth, butter, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium sauce pan over medium heat to warm. Once the liquid begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the pasta and stir well to coat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the rice and continue to cook another 4-5 minutes until the rice is bright white.
  • Add the celery and onions and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften slightly, then pour the warm broth mixture into the skillet with the pasta and rice and stir to combine. Bring everything to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed
  • Sprinkle the rice pilaf with the chopped parsley, then fluff with a fork. Serve warm.


NOTE: You can also add a handful or two of peas, sliced almonds, golden raisins, diced carrots, chopped mushrooms, or diced peppers to your pilaf, if desired. The veggies should be added at the same time as the celery and onion, but almonds or raisins can be stirred in later.
INSTANT POT RICE PILAF: To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, set it to SAUTE mode. Add the olive oil, then the pasta and cook until lightly browned before adding the rice and cooking until the rice is bright white, just like when making on the stove top. Add the celery and onions and cook just until softened, then add the broth, butter, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Place and secure the lid on the Instant Pot with the valve switched to seal. Select MANUAL mode and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, then do a natural pressure release (it will take 10-15 minutes to release). When the pressure has released, remove the lid and add the parsley, then stir and serve.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg