Baseboard page divider
Alton Brown logo in grey font
Black x


A rolled up screen projector


Course: Sides & Salads
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Rice Pilaf, Sides, Weeknight Dinner

Rice Pilaf

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Read More
Read Less


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1.75 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 pinch saffron, steeped in 1/4 cup hot but not boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (1-by-2-inch) strip orange zest
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • Heat oven to 350ºF.
  • Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucier over medium heat. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Decrease the heat to low and sweat until the onion is translucent and aromatic but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until it smells nutty, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the saffron and its water, the broth, orange zest, bay leaves, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Okay, now the weird part: Thoroughly wet a clean towel, kill the heat, scatter the peas on top of the rice, then place the towel across the top of the saucier. Top with the lid, then fold the towel corners up over the lid. Transfer the saucier (towel and all) to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and let rest at room temperature for another 15 minutes without removing the lid.
  • De-lid and fish out the orange zest and bay leaves. Turn the pilaf out onto a platter, fluff with a large fork, and garnish with the raisins and pistachios. Serve family-style, right in the middle of the table.
Baseboard page divider