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This is the BEST ever rice pilaf, if you ask me! Rice is sautéed in butter then baked with stock and aromatics for the perfect, super flavorful side dish. I got this recipe from my mother, who’s been making it for decades. The aromatics make it different and better from most rice pilafs, and that’s why it’s a family favorite!

Rice pilaf in a baking dish

Why This Recipe Is So Good

  • This rice pilaf is so easy, but so delicious and fragrant! Buttery rice with fresh, aromatic celery, carrots, and parsley, with slivers of almonds and tangy lemon juice make this the perfect side dish.
  • My mom has been making this dish for as long as I can remember. The warm, comforting aroma of this rice pilaf brings back so many wonderful memories, and I’m sure it will become a staple side in your household, too!
  • Pilaf is the perfect way to dress up rice. The simple ingredients in this recipe are easy to find (you may already have them!) and are an amazing way to kick your pantry staple up a notch!

Chef’s Tips

  • To make vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • For vegan, use vegan butter instead of regular butter, as well as subbing vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

What Is Pilaf?

Pilaf refers to how the dish is prepared, which is with broth instead of in water like traditional rice. While rice pilaf is made with rice (obviously), pilaf can also be made with other ingredients like wheat or orzo. Paella, pilau, and biryani all evolved from pilaf.

Close-up of rice pilaf

More Simple-Yet-Delicious Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 5 votes

Rice Pilaf

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour 5 minutes
Total 1 hour 15 minutes
Rice is sautéed in butter then baked with stock and aromatics for the perfect, super flavorful side dish.
6 servings


  • 2.5-quart casserole dish
  • Large skillet
  • Aluminum Foil


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rice
  • 3 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons chopped celery ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 6 tablespoons chopped carrots ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 6 tablespoons sliced almonds ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons, plus more to garnish if desired
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper more or less to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice juice from ½-1 lemon, optional


  • Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease casserole dish with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
  • Add butter to large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add rice and stir well. Cooking, stirring frequently, until rice is lightly browned.
  • Pour chicken broth into skillet. Stir to incorporate, then bring to boil. Once rice mixture begins to boil, transfer mixture to greased casserole dish.
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil and place in oven. Bake 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove casserole dish from oven and uncover. Add celery, parsley, carrots, and sliced almonds. Season with pepper to taste, then stir well to distribute ingredients.
  • Cover dish with foil and return dish to oven, baking another 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove dish from oven and uncover. If desired, squeeze lemon juice over pilaf then stir to incorporate. Garnish pilaf with additional sliced almonds (optional) and serve immediately.
  • Make it Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Make it Vegan: Sub vegetable broth for chicken broth and use vegan butter instead of regular butter.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 340calProtein: 8gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 555mgPotassium: 282mgTotal Carbs: 43gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gNet Carbs: 40gVitamin A: 3119IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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