I have a few quick and easy side dishes in my arsenal of recipes. Dishes that I know my kiddos will eat, and will go with most any main dish. A bonus to any side dish is if the leftovers can be used to make another recipe. There is nothing worse than making a complicated side dish and then having leftovers that get thrown away.
Rice Pilaf has all that and more going for it!
Crowd pleaser, Check!
Leftovers are easily used for Rice and Beans, or an easy stir fry dish. CHECK!
Leftovers are happily gobbled up as is! CHECK!
Rice Pilaf goes with so many foods, Indian, Italian, Chinese, or simply grilled meat/fish. It’s a side dish that is easy to spice up. Toss in some peas, or mini cubes of carrots. Rice Pilaf is extremely versatile.
1 cup Orzo Pasta
2 cups Long Grain White Rice, I prefer jasmine rice
3 tablespoons Butter
4 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan, add orzo to the pan saute until the pasta starts to brown. Add in the rice and combine, add chicken broth, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring rice to a bowl, reduce heat to low cover and let simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Serve with just about anything!
1. Add 1/4 cup onion or 1 garlic clove minced or both in with the orzo, continue with recipe as written above.
2. Add 1/2 cup small cubes of carrots at the same time as the chicken broth, continue with recipe as written above.
3. After removing rice pilaf from the heat toss in 1/2 cup frozen peas (more if you like) return cover and let the hot rice steam the peas, fluff with a fork and serve. I also like to add a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest with this variation and serve it with fish pockets.
4. Feel free to get creative with flavors you love, add pepper, a dash of cumin, chili powder, fresh chopped parsley, or a pinch of what ever tickles your fancy. I prefer to add dried spices along with chicken broth, and fresh herbs at the very end when fluffing with fork.
Recently I served Rice Pilaf with my newest favorite recipe Chicken Marbella. It was the perfect side for this complexly flavorful dish.
Do you have a favorite "go to" side dish?
If not Rice Pilaf could be it!
Kim | At Home With Kim says
That’s a great side idea! I usually have no problem planning the main dish, but then forget the sides. Will try this!
It’s hard to pull it all together isn’t it?! Especially when evenings are busy. I like sides that you can quick whip up and forget about while you put the rest of dinner together.
Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says
Oh I am SO all over this! Mmmm!
The Contessa (Linda) says
This sounds so good. I usually turn to a baked potato in the microwave. I’ve tried quinoa recently. This is a nice change.
Anita Lenoir says
My daughter loves rice & could live on it I’m sure. I never thought of mixing it with Orzo, good idea!
We love plain ol rice too! But you are right this is nice for a change of pace.
megan @ whatmegansmaking says
This looks so much better than the rice-a-roni I grew up eating! 🙂
Ha I forgot about that stuff…now I won’t be able to get the tune out of my head! ; )
nikki peterson says
Dude. This rice is awesome. I have struggled with my relationship with homemade rice for many years. It’s always either gooey or dry when I make it. I have found a keeper in this rice. Who knew? My family loved it as well. Once again, thanks for a brilliant, simple recipe Sheila!
Nikki, Glad it worked out for you ; )! I think I failed to mention the possibility of a crunchy layer on the bottom of the pan…did you get this with yours? It’s my favorite part! Luv U! Thanks for your support of E2g! Sheila
nikki peterson says
Yes! At first I was worried that I “burned” it, but it turned out even better with the crunchy layer 🙂