Instant-Pot rice pilaf is a tasty side dish to any dinner! Serve this versatile rice as-is, or spruce it up with any vegetables you have on hand. This easy vegan recipe also includes stovetop instructions!
I used to think rice pilaf got its name from the addition of, what I assumed was “big puffy rice”. I had no idea the actual definition of “pilaf”.
In case you’re curious as well–– pilaf means rice cooked in a broth with seasonings. It actually has nothing to do with those big puffy pieces.
They are something called orzo.
what is orzo?
Orzo is a ‘rice-shaped’ pasta. Yes! It’s a PASTA!
It can found in the pasta section of your local food market. Use it alone in a dish, or add to soups and–– of course, Instant-Pot rice pilaf.
Orzo isn’t required in rice pilaf, but it does add an appealing “toasted rice” look to the dish. However, if you are gluten-free it can easily be subbed out for more rice.
PS- If you didn’t know orzo wasn’t a rice don’t feel bad. I had no idea either!
what rice to use?
I’ve found rice pilaf is best with a long grain white rice. I prefer basmati, but jasmine is also a good choice. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, replace 1/4 cup of the white rice with wild rice.
to toast or not to toast?
I say toast!
…the rice and orzo that is.
If you want to achieve what I consider a ‘classic rice pilaf look’, toasting (or sautéing) the rice and orzo before cooking is a must.
Add the oil, rice and orzo to your IP and set to sauté. With frequent stirring, it should only take 7-10 minute for everything to brown.
Then toss in the remaining ingredients and set the IP to 8 minutes high pressure.
why should you make this rice pilaf?
- made in the Instant-Pot (and we love IP recipes)
- seasoned with spices you have on hand (so it’s simple)
- colored with turmeric (keeping it natural with added health benefits)
- delicious as a side to any meal (or add veggies and make it a meal)
Instant-Pot rice pilaf ideas
For an easy weeknight dinner serve this Instant-Pot rice pilaf along side my lemon pineapple tofu.
Add carrots, peas, onions, mushrooms or any vegetable you have on hand. Serve with a baked potato.
Add toasted almond slivers for a nuttier flavor.
Toss in chopped kale for a healthier twist.
Serves 8 servings of rice
20 minPrep Time
8 minCook Time
28 minTotal Time
Yields 1 pot of rice
1 and 1/4 cup long grain white rice such as basmati or jasmine**
1/4 cup orzo
1-2 Tablespoons neutral oil for sautéing
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon pink salt , use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon if you’re not using low sodium broth
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, or 1 Tablespoons fresh chopped
1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pepper to taste
- Add the oil, rice and orzo to the IP. Sauté until the rice and orzo begin to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Once browned press cancel on your IP and mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Set the IP to pressure cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. Then allow for natural pressure release.
- Carefully open the lid and mix/fluff the rice.
- Serve immediately.
- Add the oil, rice and orzo to a large lidded pot. Sauté over medium heat until the rice and orzo begin to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Once browned turn the heat down and mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover and allow the rice to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it's fully cooked.
- Carefully remove the lid and mix/fluff the rice.
- Serve immediately.
*For stovetop, you may need to increase the liquid by 1/4-1/2 cup since it will steam off during the cooking process.
**White rice can be replaced with brown rice. However, you will need to increase the Instant-Pot cook time to 22 minutes.
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