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Classic Rice Pilaf

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Say goodbye to bland rice with this easy, classic rice pilaf.

easy classic rice pilaf

Fun fact: In college, I minored in Hospitality Management and was required to take a cooking class. One of the first dishes we made was rice pilaf and my relationship with rice hasn’t been the same since.


Growing up, I was so used to white rice boiled in water and then seasoned heavily for taste. So you can imagine my surprise when I was tasked with cooking rice pilaf that was seasoned and full of flavor right out the pot.

simple classic rice pilaf recipe


In class, we learned that rice pilaf is rice prepared with a quick sauté in a pan and then cooked in seasoned broth. The first time I made rice pilaf I finished it off in the oven but this time I opted to cook the rice steadily on the stove. I find that it generally takes less time and removes an extra step. I used chicken broth to boil the chicken but for a vegan or vegetarian option, you can use vegetable broth. Yiu can also use vegan butter or vegetable oil to saute the onion and garlic.

rice pilaf recipe

I sautéed the rice with garlic and onion for immense flavor and added just a bit of salt and pepper. I topped the rice pilaf with parsley and served it under salmon fillets. Yum!


This recipe took very little time to make, making it the perfect side dish for a weeknight!


Classic Rice Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side dish
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Sautee until onions become translucent - about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add rice. Stir and toast until rice is fully coated with the butter, onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Once boiling, bring the rice to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15-17 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Remove bay leaf and fluff with a fork.
For a vegan or vegetarian option, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth. If you don't have access to vegan butter, you can use vegetable oil.


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