Making Rice Pilaf

It’s so darn easy!

I had a request the other day from my cousin in San Francisco asking me to teach her how to make pilaf. She, and you, will be happy to learn there’s really nothing to it.

So, Valerie, this one’s for you.

Selecting the rice: I prefer to use Uncle Ben’s parboiled rice for pilaf, however, Basmati or Texmati work well also. Just be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions for the proper proportion of rice to liquid, and the recommended cooking time.

Rice Pilaf

I had a request the other day from my cousin in San Francisco asking me to teach her how to make pilaf. She, and you, will be happy to learn there’s really nothing to it.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup fine egg noodles
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (canned or homemade)
  • 1 dash salt (optional)


  • Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Add noodles and cook, stirring constantly, until noodles are golden. Do not let the butter or noodles burn.
  • Stir in the rice, and cook another minute or two.
  • Add the chicken broth and salt, if using, and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and lower the heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, place a paper towel between the top of the saucepan and the lid to help absorb any excess moisture. Allow the pilaf to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Place pilaf in a bowl or on a platter; serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Hi thank you for the recipe, you're cooking is great. Can I substitute orzo instead of the noodles?

  2. Robyn March 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Sure, orzo works really well in pilaf. Try it and see!

  3. Robyn March 31, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I should add that you might need a little extra liquid in the pilaf recipe, if using orzo, because the orzo takes longer to cook than the thin noodles.

  4. Anonymous April 28, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Do not steal other's native food.

  5. troy azad lucassian August 31, 2010 at 3:03 am

    great recipe!! you can also use dry chicken stock workes good not as good as homemade, i add tumeric,parsley,white pepper,and peprica! also try dryed veg. flakes. now i'm hungry lol

  6. Kim May 10, 2011 at 6:09 am

    2 tablespoons butter? HAH! Grandma used to use the whole stick. Maybe that's why we all have weight problems…

  7. Robyn May 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    You're right, Kim. My mother-in-law used a lot of butter in her pilaf, too; that's what made it so delicious. In an effort to make this dish a little healthier, we cut down the amount of butter quite a bit. Use as much – or as little – butter as you prefer. In fact, you can use olive oil, Smart Balance, or skip the fat altogether, and just toast the noodles in the oven or skillet until they're golden brown. But, who wants pilaf without that yummy, buttery taste?

  8. Anonymous December 19, 2011 at 3:46 am

    My grandmother took her recipe to the grave with her but her rice pilaf and mushrooms in it do you have a recipe for that rice pilaf.

  9. Anonymous December 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Try this rice-mushroom pilaf recipe. I don't know if it's exactly like your grandmother's, but if you decide to make it, I'd love to know how it turned out. Good Luck,

    Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
    Serves 4
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 / 4 cup fine noodles
    1 small onion, minced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup crimini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 cup long grain rice
    2 cups vegetable, chicken or beef broth
    black pepper to taste
    1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and olive oil. When butter has melted add fine noodles, onion and garlic. Cook until noodles begin to turn brown and onion and garlic soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    2. Add mushrooms. Cook 3 minutes or until mushrooms soften slightly.
    3. Stir in rice, cook until rice starts to turn slightly brown. Stir occasionally to make sure rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.
    4. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Allow rice to rest about 5 minutes before removing lid.
    5. Fluff rice with a fork; add black pepper. Serve.

  10. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I use a stick of butter as well. That's what makes pilaf what it is AWESOME. Any good Armenian knows that.

  11. hyechica February 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    lots of butter and lots of chicken broth you can use water and the powder chicken flavoring. but the powder can make the pilaf very salty if you add to much plus it alters the taste of the pilaf. someone made it that way once for a holiday gathering they switched back to the broth after that.

  12. Anonymous June 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Ha- as I was reading I was feeling ashamed that we use the whole stick of butter too! Glad to know I'm not alone! 🙂

  13. Anonymous June 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Has anyone had a rice dish which included nuts, chicken pieces, small pieces of liver, cooked in broth and then baked, wrapped, in a couple of sheets of phyllo dough–the one I ate was baked in a bundt dish and was turned out onto a plate to be sliced and served.


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