Ready in less than 30 minutes, this vegetarian rice pilaf is packed with flavor and has a mouthwatering light and fluffy texture! The perfect side dish to serve with a protein and vegetable.
This post is sponsored by Lundberg Family Farms. Thank you for supporting the brands and organizations that make TFD possible. As always, opinions are my own!
I don’t know about you, but I love an easy dinner with a protein, rice and a vegetable. It’s filling and often doesn’t require many ingredients or multiple recipes to follow.
But sometimes I get bored with plain rice all the time and want the rice to have a little more oomph. Enter, the rice pilaf.
Rice pilaf can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be depending on the number of ingredients you add but, at its core, it’s essentially upgraded rice that’s been toasted, giving the dish a more complex and robust flavor.
This version is a vegetarian rice pilaf. Not that rice pilaf isn’t typically vegetarian, but this version adds in more veggies like carrots, peas, and mushrooms, and uses vegetable broth.
With only 15 minutes of cook time, this pilaf is ready for the dinner table in less than 30 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on Ingredients
Long-grain white rice: this is the best rice to use for a pilaf – the grains are long and slender, and they contain a type of starch that helps the grains stay separate and fluffy as they cook. I love using Lundberg Family Farms Organic Long Grain White Rice (more on why below!).
Onions and carrots: help add aromatics to the dish
Peas: add a pop of color and texture to the dish! You can use fresh or frozen but defrost first if using frozen.
Mushrooms: add savory umami flavor!
Golden raisins: adds a hint of sweetness to balance out the savory as well as a chewy texture component
Read more: Pomegranate Rice Salad
Sliced almonds: adds a satisfying crunch to the pilaf
How to Make Vegetarian Rice Pilaf
This dish is easy to make in less than 30 minutes! A few simple steps, 15 minutes of cook time, and your side dish is ready!
Step 1: Sauté onions, carrots, and mushrooms until softened.
Step 2: Stir in peas.
Step 3: Stir in rice and and cook until rice is fragrant and toasted.
Step 4: Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 16-18 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from heat and let sit, covered, about 7-10 minutes.
Step 6: Fluff rice using a fork.
Step 7: Stir in raisins and almonds.
Expert Tip: Use a nonstick pan so that you can toast rice for 3-5 minutes without it sticking to the pan.
Why Lundberg Family Farms?
Sustainability is a personal value of mine when it comes to food decisions and Lundberg Family Farms is a leader in organic and sustainable rice farming practices, like regenerative agriculture.
At its core, regenerative agriculture is a way to build healthy soil, promote biodiversity, and draw down greenhouse gas emissions—not just reduce them. It’s also about bringing back old ways of farming, including the use of cover crops and natural fertilizers—things that Lundberg has been doing for over eighty years.
As a company, Lundberg prioritizes sustainability from the ground up (literally!) by using organic farming practices to build soil health. Their key farming practices include:
- Fallowing fields to let the soil rest.
- Growing cover crops to restore nutrients to the soil, sequester carbon, prevent erosion, and provide habitat for wintering waterfowl.
- Incorporating rice straw into the soil instead of burning or removing it, which protects air quality and builds organic matter within the soil.
- Flooding fields to help decompose rice straw and replicate California’s once-abundant wetlands, which provide habitat for waterfowl and support endangered salmon populations.
- Managing weeds with water—no herbicides needed!
This is all part of their founding promise to leave the land better than they found it so we can keep growing together for generations to come!
Can you use brown rice in this dish instead of white rice?
Yes! You’ll just need to adjust the cooking time as brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice.
Why is my rice pilaf mushy?
It could be a few things: you may have used too much liquid, you didn’t let the rice toast long enough, or you didn’t let the rice cook long enough, or sit long enough after.
Why do you use oil in a pilaf?
The oil helps to not only sauté the veggies but to also toast the rice which helps keep the grains separate in your final dish!
What variations can you use in the rice pilaf?
You can essentially add any vegetables you want to this vegetarian version, just keep the total amount of vegetables to no more than 2 cups diced/chopped.
What can I serve this rice pilaf with?
For proteins, it would go great with my slow cooked salmon or air fryer whole chicken. For vegetable sides, it would pair great with my air fryer cauliflower, grilled summer vegetables with romesco, grilled eggplant with pecan pesto, or my 6 ingredient corn and tomato salad.
For more rice inspiration, check out my recipes below!
- Slow Cooker Coconut Rice Pudding
- West African Peanut Stew
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto
- Chipotle Inspired Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl
If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!
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