Easy golden rice pilaf is a vibrant, flavorful, Mediterranean side dish that is made with tumeric and toasted pine nuts. It will make any meal just a little bit tastier, and it’s so easy to make!
I’ve been making this easy golden rice pilaf for as long as I’ve been married…maybe longer. The secret to the “golden” part of the rice, is turmeric. While saffron is traditionally used in pilaf, turmeric is often used as a saffron substitute, as they both give rice a beautiful golden color.
Using turmeric in place of saffron gives the pilaf a nice golden color at a fraction of the price. Tumeric has quite a few health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart attacks in patients who have already had bypass surgery. See more health benefits of tumeric here.
Now that we know the health benefits of turmeric, this side dish gets to move into the healthy category!
You can easily substitute brown rice in place of the white rice; just make sure you adjust the cooking time. I use chicken broth for the liquid, but you can substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian or vegan side dish. Pine nuts add a bit of texture and protein. Sometimes I add a handful of grated parmesan cheese…just because. I often serve this with a Mediterranean Burger, Rosemary Shrimp or Lamb Sliders.
Here is the easy golden rice pilaf recipe. Enjoy!
This simple Mediterranean Rice Pilaf is the prefect side dish for American, Greek or Middle Eastern dishes. Makes 3 cups cooked rice.
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper more to taste
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish.
Heat oil and butter in a sauce pan over a medium heat. onions, and sauté 2-3 minutes, add rice and turmeric and continue stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, stirring 1 or 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add broth and bring to a boil, turn down heat to low, cover and cook rice until tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.
Stir in toasted pine nuts or almonds and adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.