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A simple and really delicious Rice Pilaf recipe – using ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen!

Rice Pilaf

As bloggers and self-proclaimed foodies, my husband Jack and I love to cook and share recipes for some fairly elaborate dishes here on A Family Feast.

Sometimes we’re encouraging you – our wonderful readers – to try a new, exotic ingredient; other times we’re hoping to teach you a new cooking technique; and still other times we guide you step-by-step through a recipe that results in a wonderfully impressive dish!

Rice Pilaf

But I actually get equally excited when we can share homemade versions of classic recipes with you – like today’s Rice Pilaf.  Recipes like this are so easy and delicious – but better yet – you probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen cabinet!

And, if you are like me, I often cooked the rice pilaf that came out of a box with a pre-packaged seasoning mix.  Then Jack showed me how easy it is to make homemade rice pilaf – and I’ll never buy a boxed rice pilaf mix ever again!

How do you make Rice Pilaf?

Rice pilaf is, by definition, rice that has been cooked in chicken stock or another flavored broth. To mirror the popular boxed variety, we’ve add pan-toasted orzo pasta to our Rice Pilaf as well.

Rice Pilaf

Combine the rice, orzo, and broth in a Dutch oven, along with sautéed onions, herbs and seasonings – then bake in the oven until the rice and pasta are cooked through and tender.

Making Rice Pilaf at home is so simple – and the flavors are just so much better than any boxed rice pilaf!

Rice Pilaf

This Rice Pilaf recipe is actually one of the very first dishes that Jack learned to prepare back in culinary school many years ago.  It’s a wonderful, classic dish that anyone can make at home –and one that everyone should have in their recipe collection!

Rice Pilaf

This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in June 2013. We’ve updated the photos.

You may enjoy these other pilaf recipes:


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Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasted
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock you use for cooking, the addition of some additional salt may or may not be needed.


½ cup uncooked orzo pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

2 large cloves garlic finely minced

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 ½ cups chicken stock

(Optional) Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, dry toast the raw orzo stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until a light walnut color (3 to 4 minutes). Remove orzo to a bowl and set aside.

Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and rice. Sauté for five minutes stirring occasionally or until onions are translucent. If the rice starts to get brown, remove from heat before you proceed to next step.

Add garlic and stir for one minute. Then add bay, thyme, pepper and browned orzo. Stir and add chicken stock. Be careful – when the stock hits the pan, it will bubble up.

Stir once, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes untouched.

Remove from the oven and discard bay leaves. Fluff rice with a wooden spoon and taste. Add salt to taste, as needed. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Keywords: rice pilaf


Rice Pilaf

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  • Elise wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I bought everything to make Greek style chicken pitas for dinner, but when I looked at the pitas this morning they were moldy! I hit Pinterest to find a Greek style rice pilaf to make as a side to the chicken. This is the perfect side dish, it paired perfectly with the chicken, veggies and tzatziki sauce that I already had. Best of all, no trip to the store required!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad it worked out Elise! 🙂

  • Candia wrote:

    Love this rice! I plan to make this for a crowd and double the recipe, will I need to adjust the length of time it cooks?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Candia – It will probably depend on the size of your pan. It might take a little longer… Thanks!

  • Brittany wrote:

    Hi Martha, this looks like a great side dish, thanks for posting this recipe. I’m going to make this for my family soon! Would I need to alter the recipe in any other way if I chose to use brown rice instead of white rice? I know it would need a longer cook time, but would it also need more liquid?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Brittany – We haven’t made this with brown rice so please let us know how it comes out! Yes – definitely longer cooking time and I think the general rule of thumb is that brown rice requires 1/4 to 1/2 cup more liquid that white rice. I hope that helps!

  • Haley wrote:

    Do I cook the rice first?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Haley – Sorry for the confusion. You’d have to do steps 1-4 in a pot or sautee pan on the stove and then place it in an oven-proof, covered container to bake for the 30 minutes. Hope that helps clarify how this can be adapted without a dutch oven. Let me know if you have any other questions. Martha

  • Haley wrote:

    I don’t have a Dutch oven. How can I make this?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Haley – If you have an oven safe casserole dish with a cover, you can use that. Or – any oven-safe pan covered tightly with parchment and then foil will also work. Hope that helps!

  • Haley wrote:

    I wanna make this recipe, but I don’t have any orzo pasta- could I just use 1 1/2 cup of rice instead of the 1/2 c orzo and 1 c rice?

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes Hayley! That should work! enjoy!

  • Dana wrote:

    I have made this recipe over and over. This is so good that I will never buy rice pilaf in a box again. My only suggestion is a pinch of salt.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dana!

  • kristine wrote:

    I absolutely love this recipe–I have made it several times. Now I want to print it out so I have a hard copy and your “print” button isn’t working. 🙁 Is it my end your yours?

    Again, LOVE the recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Kristine! Are you by any chance using Internet Explorer to view our site? Our recipe plugin ZipList is working to resolve an issue with not being able to print using IE – but if you are able to view our site using Firefox or Chrome – it should work. Thanks for writing to us and I’m sorry for causing frustration! Please let me know if you are not able to print using a different browser. Best, Martha

    • KRISTINE wrote:


      • Martha wrote:

        Great – Thanks and sorry again for the inconvenience!

  • AmyCK wrote:

    My family loves that boxed pilaf too, but this looks like a great homemade alternative!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Amy! Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

  • Kathy wrote:

    This sounds delicious! I’m always looking for new side dishes!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Kathy!

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