Rice pilaf is probably the most common side dish in Middle Eastern meals. It is so versatile and with a few simple changes, it goes with just about everything. Growing up, we had that as a side dish more often than potatoes.

Rice PilafWhen my son was a toddler, family members commented how he liked pilaf better than potatoes. Below, I will share my basic rice pilaf recipe, then will share other recipes with some variations. Enjoy!


1 cup long grain rice (I use Uncle Ben’s)

1/4 cup orzo

2 Tbs butter

2 cups water or chicken stock (if using water, you will need to add 2 chicken bouillon cubes)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and add the orzo.  While stirring, cook until the orzo is toasted a little bit – 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir until it toasts a little, about a minute or so.  Add the water with bouillon cubes or chicken stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and put the lid to the pan on.  Put a folded paper towel Over the pan under the  lid to help absorb some of the moisture.  Cook on low for 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and it is ready to serve.

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