Packed with pecans, dried cranberries and carrots, this Pecan Rice Pilaf is a flavorful side dish for any season!
What exactly is a pilaf? I mean I’ve heard the term ‘rice pilaf’ for years, but I admit that I didn’t actually know what a pilaf was. Recently, I was flipping through my mom’s old recipe book, and I stumbled across this Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe. Hmmm…pilaf. A quick check of my phone confirmed that rice pilaf is indeed different from ‘regular’ rice.
The primary difference is when the broth gets added. When making ‘regular’ rice dishes, the rice gets cooked in broth or water. When making rice pilaf, the uncooked rice gets sautéed with other ingredients before the broth gets added. This extra step adds a ton of flavor! In fact, I might only make rice pilaf from now on.
Pecan Rice Pilaf
This Pecan Rice Pilaf is a delicious combination of ingredients. The pecans add a noticeable nuttiness while the carrots and dried cranberries add a sweetness. Throw in some seasonings (and the extra flavor of the slightly toasted rice), and you’ve got one heck of a side dish!
We served this for dinner recently, and Laura pointed out that this is a side dish that could be served at any time of the year. This Pecan Rice Pilaf would be a great partner with grilled meats in the summer. The toasted pecans bring a noticeable fall flavor to this dish, and the dried cranberries add a touch of the holidays. All I know is I loved this recipe, and I seriously contemplated eating a big bowl of this rice pilaf for dinner by itself!
The very first step in making this Pecan Rice Pilaf is to sauté the pecans in melted butter and olive oil. Watch the pecans closely during this step as they can burn quickly. In fact, I got busy chopping the carrots and onions for this recipe, and I almost burned the entire batch of pecans. So don’t make the same mistake I (almost) made!
I made this rice pilaf with traditional long-grain white rice, but you could certainly use other types of rice here, too. Brown rice or wild rice would be excellent substitutions, although you will need to adjust the cooking time (just check the package instructions for whatever type of rice you use).
If you’re hunting for a flavorful (and easy) side dish that’s sure to impress family and friends, then put this Pecan Rice Pilaf on the menu! I have vague memories of my mother making this recipe when I was a kid. I’m glad I stumbled across this dish again, and I’m certain that this will become a new go-to side dish in our house. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do!
Did you make this Pecan Rice Pilaf at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Pecan Rice Pilaf
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
- ¼ cup finely diced carrots
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- Using a large saucepan or deep skillet, add butter and olive oil and place over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add pecan halves and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Remove pecans with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add rice and carrots and continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 more minutes.
- Add chicken broth, salt, thyme and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken broth has been absorbed.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in dried cranberries. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir in pecans (from above) and chopped parsley.
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