Wild Rice Pilaf

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This rustic wild rice pilaf is a great side for your holiday table or the everyday. You can even make it ahead of time for those busy weeknights when you end up needing a microwavable dinner. 

picture of a wooden spoon scooping rice pilaf from a white bowl
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picture of wild rice pilaf in a white pan on a table

Easy Rustic Wild Rice Pilaf

Pilaf is traditionally a Middle Eastern or Indian rice dish that is cooked in stock and spices. The spices and stock lend their flavor to the rice which is the perfect carrier for flavors. Pilaf has become very popular all over the world since so many cultures have rice as their staple. For this recipe I use a wild rice blend to get a mixture of flavors, colors, and textures. 

Pilaf is one of my favorite ways to elevate a plain old bowl of rice on the everyday or for the holidays. I use carrots, celery, and onion to elevate the wild rice blend and get a delicious savory side. If you want to make it into an entree you can easily do so with the addition of some cooked meat. 

picture of wild rice pilaf in a pan

How To Make Wild Rice Pilaf

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil – olive oil is the fat that gives this rice pilaf a rich flavor and I use it to keep the vegetables and rice from sticking to the pan. You can use whichever oil you prefer. 
  • Celery, Carrots, Onion – this common vegetable trio adds a sweet rich flavor to the pilaf and enhances the vegetable broth. You can mix this up if you prefer different veggies but I wouldn’t leave the diced vegetables out all together since they enhance the vegetable stock. 
  • Wild rice blend – wild rice blend should be available at your local grocery store by the other rice varieties. This blend is typically a mix of 4 species of wild rice and usually has some white, brown, and black rice. I like the colors of the rice and their rich flavor. Make sure you rinse your rice just before cooking it to remove extra starch from the outside. 
  • Vegetable broth – use a high quality broth for this pilaf since the vegetable broth will be the main flavor you will taste. If you want to elevate your broth you can add extra fresh spices. 
  • Parsley – parsley is very herbaceous so it gives this pilaf a nice crunch and fresh lift. You can substitute cilantro if you don’t have any fresh parsley on hand.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Brown vegetables – Pour olive oil in a large skillet and set it on medium high heat on the stovetop until the oil glistens. Add the diced vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally until they have softened, about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Toast Rice – Add the rice to the skillet and let it toast in the hot oil for at least 2 minutes or until some oil has absorbed into the rice. Soaking some oil into the rice will give it some fat so it will have a rich flavor.
  • Simmer – Next pour the broth in and cover the pot. Bring the rice to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer the rice for 45 – 50 minutes. 
  • Soak – Remove the pot and let the rice sit and cook in the residual heat for about 10 more minutes, it should soak the remaining liquid. 
  • Fluff & Enjoy- Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with parsley, Enjoy!
picture of a wooden spoon scooping rice pilaf from a white bowl

Tips and Tricks To Perfect Rice Pilaf:

Enjoy these tips and tricks to help you master this recipe. 

Add your favorite protein to make it an entree. If you want to make this wild rice pilaf into a main dish you can just add your favorite meat or some cooked garbanzo beans for a vegan pilaf.

This reheats easily. If you make this ahead of time just reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop stirring frequently. You can add a little more stock if it needs it. 

Recommended Equipment:

This is my absolute favorite skillet, it’s high quality, super versatile, oven safe, and has a heavy-duty lid. 

FAQ’s:

What if the liquid isn’t absorbed after it sits off the heat for 10 minutes?

If you still have some liquid after the 10 minutes off the heat stir your rice then heat it again for a few more minutes until the liquid has absorbed. 

Can I use regular rice or instant rice for this recipe?

If you choose to use a different type of rice prepare it as above but adjust the cook time to reflect your rice’s package instructions. For instant rice bring the broth to a boil, add the rice, then set it off the heat for 5 minutes. 

How long does leftover wild rice pilaf last?

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. 

picture of wild rice pilaf in a white pan on a table with a wooden spoon sitting next to it

What to Serve With Wild Rice Pilaf?

Wild rice pilaf is a fabulous healthy side dish alongside hearty meaty main dishes like Ribeye Roast, Roast Chicken, or Garlic Butter Baked Pork Tenderloin. It’s also a knockout with our Lemon Caper Butter Chilean Seabass, Baked Cod, or Broiled Lobster Tails – or even try alongside a vegan main dish like our Cauliflower steaks!

picture of wild rice pilaf up close with celery, onions, and carrots in the grains of rice

Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

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Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

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Wild Rice Pilaf

Delicious classic wild rice pilaf with carrots, celery, and onions.
Course Side dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free, rice, side dish, wild rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 99kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • 1 ½ cups wild rice blend
  • 2 ⅔ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add olive oil. Allow it to heat and add celery, onion and carrot the the pan. 
  • Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions appear to be translucent and the vegetables have softened (this should take about five minutes). 
  • Add rice and stir to combine. Allow the rice to toast until the oil is absorbed.
  • Pour in the broth and cover the pot. Bring the rice to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low. 
  • Let the rice simmer for 45 – 50 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow the rice to set for about 10 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with minced parsley before serving. Enjoy! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 313mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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1 Comment

  1. Ivory says:

    Thanks for this post, because my son and I love this rice. I did not know how to make it. And I will be putting the extra tips to good use. thanks for sharing