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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Rice Pilaf

This is one of my secret weapons. It’s the easiest and most flavorful Rice Pilaf you’ve ever tasted and it’s so easy to make. I love this recipe because it can literally be paired with any meal at any time of day, any day of the year. It’s probably one of the most versatile things I make. On top of that, the ingredients are inexpensive and it doesn’t require too many cooking skills to pull together. This is a great recipe for beginning cooks if you’re looking for one.

The trick to making this taste so good is the well-cooked vegetables, chicken broth, and wild rice. The rices are prepared differently so it’s important to pay attention as you go. The wild rice is tougher and needs to be cooked until it bursts a little bit and the white fluffy part is showing. The white rice is naturally starchy so it needs to be rinsed before you cook it, this is will help it be fluffier in the end.

Take time cooking the vegetables because this is what will help them yield their best flavor. A lazy, slow saute is the best approach. While they’re cooking, measure your chicken broth and be sure to use the highest quality you can find. Infusing the rices with chicken broth is an incredible way to add flavor, too.

At the end, everything is added to the pan to cook until the rice is completely cooked and can be fluffed with a fork. When the dish is complete serve it immediately. The rice tastes the best when it is scooped, steaming, onto a plate. As I mentioned, I serve this with chicken, fish, pork, beef, you name it! It goes with everything and always pleases both the adults and the kids. It’s also great comfort food when someone is unwell or just not too hungry.

Leftovers can definitely be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day!

Rice Pilaf

A hearty rice dish is such a nice accompaniment to any meal. I like this one because it is full of flavor and comes together very easily. If you want to serve a crowd this recipe is very easy to double!

Serves 4


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice

  • ½ cup wild rice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper

  • 1 cup frozen green peas

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)

  • 1 package of Sazon

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)

Instructions1. Place the white rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch for fluffier rice.

2. Place 2 cups of water into a saucepan and cool the wild rice according to directions. You’ll know it’s finished when the rice splits in half.

3. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.Add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

4. Add the rinsed white rice to the pan and stir to coat it with the butter or oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to turn slightly golden.

5. Pour in the chicken broth bring to a boil, then add seasonings, add the cooked wild rice and carrots. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it simmer for about 18 minutes. Next add the peas and red peppers and let cook for an additional 5 – 7 minutes. 6. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender, remove it from the heat. Keep the lid on and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This resting period allows the rice to finish cooking and become fluffy.Use a fork to fluff the rice, separating the grains. If desired, garnish with chopped fresh parsley for added flavor and color.

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT.. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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