Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf

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This Easy Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Peas is a staple recipe everyone should learn! A tasty combination of onions, diced carrots, minced garlic, white rice, and peas.

rice pilaf on plate with fork

Homemade Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Peas

Homemade rice pilaf is one of those side dishes that everyone should master. Once you learn the basic steps to a good rice pilaf, you can customize it to make it your own.

Some other great side dishes that are super easy to make are Tomato Cucumber and Avocado Salad, Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Honey Garlic Roasted Carrots, Spinach, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Glaze, and Skillet Garlic Green Beans.

Why You’ll Love This Rice Pilaf Recipe

  • Perfectly fluffy and flavorful
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Pairs with chicken, fish, steak, and other proteins
  • Simple and easy to follow directions
  • Great recipe for beginners
ingredients for pilaf rice

How To Make Easy Rice Pilaf

Step 1: Combine ingredients

Add butter, onions, and carrots to a heated saucepan. Stir frequently and once softened, add in garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and mix in rice. Stir frequently until the edges of the rice become slightly translucent.

Step 2: Boil & fluff

Pour in the broth and let the pilaf rice come to a boil. Turn down the heat and add a lid. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Take the homemade rice pilaf off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Mix in the peas and fluff with a fork. Serve and enjoy!

side view of easy rice pilaf

Expert Tips for vegetable rice pilaf:

  1. You will need long grain white rice for this pilaf. Brown rice cooks differently so it cannot be substituted. Arborio rice will not work in this recipe either.
  2. You will need a few aromatics such as onion, garlic, shallot, carrot, celery, and peppers. This is what makes this better than just plain white rice. I add carrots as another aromatic and a pop of color.
  3. Butter adds flavor. I like to cook with butter because it adds another level of flavor, but olive oil works great too. Don’t have either…..give coconut oil a try.
  4. Broth makes all the difference. For this recipe, I am using chicken broth, but feel free to replace it with any broth you have on hand. And a little secret…..I prefer using the better than bullion brand to make the chicken broth instead of the carton of chicken broth. I just like the flavor it gives the rice a little better than the store bought chicken broth. But feel free to use what you have on hand!
  5. Don’t lift the lid! I know it’s tempting to lift that lid, but don’t, you will lose too much steam that’s needed to cook the rice. Also, be sure to let the rice sit after it’s done cooking, and when you fluff it use a fork, not a spoon. A spoon will only smash the grains of rice instead of separating them.

Vegetable Rice Pilaf

I know that seems like a lot of information for a simple pot of rice, but I just wanted to give you all my tips to create a great rice side dish.

Here are a few pilafs that aren’t your average pot of rice Fluffy Rice Pilaf with CurryAlmond Cranberry Rice Pilaf, and Herbed Rice Pilaf. Rice pilafs can be super simple and basic or very complex with tons of flavors going on.

overhead shot of homemade rice pilaf in pan



Bell peppers
Zest from oranges, lemons, or limes
Fresh herbs and spices
Almonds or pecans


Yes, but this easy rice pilaf recipe is far better when you eat it right away when it’s freshly made. You can save it, but the texture may be a little off. It’s safe to eat as long as you refrigerate it in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Heat the leftover vegetable rice pilaf in a skillet with a little oil or water or reheat in the microwave.

chicken on a  plate with vegetable rice pilaf

More Great Side Dishes For You To Try:

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Easy Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Peas is a quick and easy side dish that pairs well with so many dishes! Great for casual weeknight dinners or for company.

Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Peas

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rice pilaf, rice pilaf with vegetables
This Easy Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Peas is a staple recipe everyone should learn! It goes great with so many dishes and is so easy to make!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Calories: 288kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • cup (45g) diced carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (220g) long grain white rice
  • 2 cups (475ml) chicken broth or broth of choice (I actually use just a hair less than 2 cups of water)
  • ¼ cup (35g) frozen peas, slightly thawed


  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, onion, and carrot. Cook stirring frequently until slightly softened (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in rice and cook stirring frequently until edges become slightly translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes without lifting the lid, then fluff with a fork and add the peas. 


  1. Nutrition info calculated using reduced sodium chicken broth. 
  2. STORAGE: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  3. FREEZER FRIENDLY: Spread hot cooked rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer to cool completely. After cooled scoop into freezer bags and seal well. Freeze for no longer than 2 months. Don’t thaw in the refrigerator but instead reheat it straight from frozen for the best texture. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top with a couple tablespoons of water added. Cook over low heat stirring frequently to prevent burning. 


Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3495IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

8 thoughts on “Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf”

    • I never have very good luck with basmati rice for some reason but regular long grain white rice is really easy. Thanks Melissa!


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