Stovetop Rice Pilaf with Orzo

5 from 7 votes

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This Easy Stovetop Rice Pilaf with Orzo is the perfect rice side dish for any meal. It whips up just as fast (or faster!) as the boxed stuff but this version tastes so much better!

Rice Pilaf

This stovetop rice pilaf is the perfect side dish for just about any meal. It complements pretty much everything! Even in restaurants, your side-dish choices are usually potato, steamed veggie, or pilaf (am I right?).

We used to buy the boxed version but after discovering how cheap and easy it is to make (it really doesn’t take much longer than the stuff in a box), we have never gone back. You will see what I mean!

If you don’t care about having a yellow color to your rice pilaf, feel free to leave out the turmeric. I think the slight yellow tint looks prettier on the plate (and my kids are more willing to eat it), so I like adding the turmeric, but it’s not going to make or break the dish.

What to Add to the Rice Pilaf

One of the things I like the best about this rice pilaf dish is how incredibly versatile it is. With a few small changes, you can completely transform this dish.

I like to add in veggies to the rice as it cooks. Just chop the vegetables up first. My favorite additions have been chopped red pepper, carrots, and/or peas…they are all great! I have tried it all the different ways and love them all. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in a couple of veggies without the kids throwing a fit. They’ll never know!

Dishes that Go With This Recipe

My very favorite to pair this rice pilaf with is fish. On those nights when I just want to keep things simple and easy, I will cook up some seasoned fish with this rice pilaf and some steamed veggies and dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes.

It is also fantastic with chicken, particularly this coconut curry grilled chicken or this grilled balsamic chicken. Honestly, pretty much anything goes with rice pilaf!

More Rice Recipes to Try:

How to Make Rice Pilaf

Easy Stovetop Rice Pilaf with Orzo

5 from 7 votes
This Easy Stovetop Rice Pilaf with Orzo is the perfect rice side dish for any meal. Whips up just as fast as the boxed stuff but tastes so much better!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan/pot. Add orzo and cook until golden brown.
  • Add onion and saute until onions become clear.
  • Add garlic and saute for another minute or so.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and remove lid. Let stand for a few minutes then fluff with a fork and serve!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 490mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Used washed jasmine rice. My whole family loved it. I will definitely be making this over and over again! I think adding toasted almonds on top would be a nice addition.

    1. 5 stars
      I didn’t use the orzo pasta and it was a perfect with a roasted eggplant and potato dish.
      Just needed a little more water otherwise delicious. Thank you 😊

  2. 5 stars
    Found this recipe a couple of years ago. We absolutely love it. I serve it with toasted almond slices and some freshly grated Parmesan. Delicious! I usually use Better than Bouillon chicken base with water instead of chicken broth. Thanks for this awesome recipe that is now a permanent part our dining experience!

    1. Thank you so much for this nice comment and for the 5-stars! We love Better than Bouillon too. That is a great substitution to make 🙂 So glad you liked this recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    The make sure you add the rice and cook in the butter mixture before you add the broth. This way your rice doesn’t stick together.

    I use used Saffron instead of Tumerac.

    And Powdered garlic was added at the same time the rice was.

    1. I haven’t personally tried it with brown rice, but I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work. Let me know how it turns out!

  4. 5 stars
    a 3 quart sauce pan is “medium” in this case otherwise it will be a little overfull. I agree the garlic should be sautéed with the onions and orzo before adding chicken stock, I didn’t sauté the rice, sticking didn’t seem to be an issue but I believe I will try that next time.
    I have used near east packaged mixed for years while all the ingredients to make this were in my cupboard. Fresher is better!! It was delicious I may “tweek” a few things but will make it again soon.

    1. Thank you for sharing how you made this recipe a success! So glad you liked it! Let us know what tweaks you make and how they turn out!

  5. Lovely, doubled everything except butter. Remember to fry rice in mixture before you add broth. This will keep rice from getting sticky. Skipped turmeric. Added saffron.