Make easy rice pilaf

Rice-A-Roni may be the San Francisco treat, but you can make delicious rice pilaf without a box. Rice pilaf is easy, tasty, and inexpensive. This may be a healthier alternative if you are trying to watch your salt intake.

Make a delicious pot of rice pilaf, lower in sodium and so easy to make.

Are you looking for new rice recipes? Have you ever tried making rice pilaf? Rice pilaf is easy to make and can be prepared in the oven. I love this dish, it is almost effortless. This dish is prepared in the oven. So once this dish is placed into the oven you can pretty much leave it alone until it is time to take it out.

What I love about this side dish is that it has no preservatives in it. If you are concerned about salt you can prepare this with a low-sodium broth so you can eliminate the excess salt. I love making rice pilaf. Rice pilaf is very adaptable, once you get the technique down you can swap out the flavors as you see fit. I recently found rice that was smoked. Smoked rice gave a very unique flavor, but you don’t need to use smoked rice.

Homemade rice pilaf is easy to make, and  can be prepared quickly.

How to Make Rice Pilaf

The basic technique for rice pilaf is very simple. You first saute aromatic vegetables in a little butter. Then you saute the rice with the vegetables. The next thing you will do is you will add stock or broth to the rice. You can make a paper tent over the rice and then you put a lid onto the pot and place the pot into a hot oven. A paper tent is optional, but it does help steam the rice a bit more, as the paper tent traps the heat and steam towards the rice when it cooks. I find that using a paper tent helps the rice cook better.

Rice pilaf covered with a paper tent.

More great rice recipes

Instant Pot Stick of Butter Rice
Quick and Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole
Guadalajara Cilantro Rice
Butternut Squash Risotto

You can make easy to prepare rice pilaf with this easy recipe.  There is no need to buy packages of rice mix anymore.
Make a delicious pot of rice pilaf, lower in sodium and so easy to make.

Easy Rice Pilaf

Forget Rice-A-Roni, make homemade rice pilaf with this easy recipe.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rice Pilaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 343kcal


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks you can use onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrots
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock vegetable stock is ok.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat butter in an ovenproof pot, when the butter has melted add chopped leeks and carrots. Saute over medium heat or until the leeks have become tender. 
  • Add rice, and cook rice until it becomes shiny. Add broth to the rice. Place a paper tent over the rice. Place the pot lid on the pot. 
  • Place in the oven. Bake for about 12 minutes. Remove rice from oven, and then all it to rest for 12 minutes. Remove lid and serve.



Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1255IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Roger Mathisen

    Made this today, and I am very happy I did.
    The video is very helpful.
    I made half a portion. About 14 mins in the oven.
    It was perfect. I will use this foolproof recipe often.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Tom Kroll

    I have been rasing 2 children alone and did not know how to cook! So the internet has been a blessing so has your site. I will try this tomorrow with sweet and sour chicken. I have been afraid to do certain rescieps but ok if it is bad I have 2 dogs that never refuse food, thank you. What ever you do next is fine with me. Bless you

  3. Cynthia Tamosunas

    Great Video..I love Pilaf. One question…why does the pan have to go into the oven…can it be finished on a low, slow burner?

    • Mat

      How you cook the rice doesn’t really matter, but cooking on a burner adds a layer of burnt rice at the bottom, whilst using the oven cooks the rice evenly on all sides.

    • Mat

      Side note, soaking the long grain rices in cold water for an hour before frying lets it grow extra long, giving the more authentic pilaf experience! you would have to reduce the amount of water added later though!

      • Stephanie Manley

        For what it is worth, I took a semester of French Culinary school recently and this is the technique we used. I know this technique well, as I messed it up the first time, and my chef had me make pilaf whenever we needed a rice dish 😉

  4. Sandra King

    Great video I always seemed to mess up any rice pilaf I’ve tried. This video of yours helped I never put the rice in the oven before can’t wait to try it thank you so much

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