Easy Rice Pilaf For One

Rice pilaf is a wonderful side dish that is so easy to make. See how using these simple steps with just a few flavorful ingredients can transform a side dish of rice. Made with broth, onions, garlic, and butter, this wonderful rice pilaf “for one” can be ready in minutes!

Rice pilaf is a wonderful side dish that is so easy to make. See just how using these simple steps with just a few flavorful ingredients can transform a side dish of rice. Made with broth, onions, garlic, and butter, this wonderful rice pilaf can be ready in minutes! | One Dish Kitchen

I like to think of rice pilaf as a step up from ordinary rice. Rice makes an excellent side dish, for sure. But when you combine a few flavorful ingredients along with rice, it becomes a wonderfully elevated dish to enjoy.

The rice pilaf recipe I’m sharing with you is a simple, basic rice pilaf recipe. Think of this recipe as a guide to use and feel free to add in other ingredients to suit your tastes and desires.

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Ingredients In Rice Pilaf

For this easy rice pilaf recipe I use:

  • long grain white rice
  • butter
  • finely chopped onions
  • garlic
  • chicken broth
  • salt

Very simple, easily accessible ingredients.

However, once you know the process of making rice pilaf, you can add other flavors to create your own.

Consider adding a quarter to a half of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or ground turmeric along with a handful of raisins or nuts.

Or, what about adding in a quarter cup of frozen mixed vegetables. I add them straight from the freezer and let the vegetables thaw in the heated pan.

Another suggestions would be to add a half of a cup of sliced mushrooms and sauté them with the onions.

These additions demonstrate how you can easily customize this side dish for any meal.

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Rice Pilaf in a bowl | One Dish Kitchen

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How To Make Rice Pilaf For One

Once you’ve decided which ingredients you’d like to add to your rice pilaf, you’re just a few steps away from a fabulous tasting dish.

Step 1

Sauté the vegetables

Melt butter in a small skillet and sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft and the onions are translucent. If you’ve chosen to add sliced mushrooms, this would be the time to add them as well.

Step 2

Toast the rice

This is such an important step in making rice pilaf and you definitely won’t want to skip it. Toasting the rice until each grain is fully coated in the butter helps the grains stay separate and adds so much flavor to the dish.

Step 3

Enhance the flavor of the rice pilaf with broth

I usually use chicken broth in my rice pilaf recipes but you could also use seafood, beef, or vegetable broth instead.

Step 4

Cook the rice

Bring the rice to a boil, then reduce it to a light simmer. Cover the rice and cook until the liquid has been absorbed (about 15-18 minutes).

Step 5

Let the rice rest

Remove the pot from the heat and keep the pot covered. Let the rice sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Step 6

Fluff the rice and season

Fluff the rice with a fork and season with a pinch (or two) of salt and pepper, to taste. You could also add in chopped parsley, mint, or chives.

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rice pilaf | one dish kitchen

You will need a quarter cup (45 grams) of long grain rice for this single serving rice pilaf recipe. I keep my bag of rice in a sealed airtight container or in the original package inside a resealable freezer bag.

You might like to consider using rice in either of these wonderful rice recipes:

Rice Pudding For One

Chicken and Golden Rice For One

What To Serve With Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf goes so well with many dishes. Here are a few main dish suggestions:

Baked Chicken Caprese For One

Turkey Cutlets

Baked Stuffed Fish Fillet For One

Salisbury Steak For One

I use a 10-inch skillet for this rice pilaf recipe. For best results, use a pan of similar size.

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

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Rice Pilaf Recipe

Rice Pilaf For One | One Dish Kitchen

Rice Pilaf For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: rice
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth


  • Place the rice in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cool water. Set the strainer of rice aside.
  • Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and soft, 2 minutes
  • Add rice and coat with butter. Continue to cook, stirring often, until rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, until rice is tender.
  • Remove pan from the heat, keep covered and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7% | Vitamin C: 8.3% | Calcium: 3.1% | Iron: 4.1%
Tried this recipe?Mention @OneDishKitchen or tag #onedishkitchen!

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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