It’s always funny when I realize that a dish we consider a staple has not yet graced the blog.  Sometimes I make things so often and consider them so basic, it doesn’t even occur to me to post them.  This rice pilaf is one of our most favorite side dishes.  It is very simple to make, though it does bake for over an hour – if it weren’t for that fact, I would probably make it every week.  Regardless, it is a wonderful elegant side that goes well with nearly any entree.  The nice thing about the longish baking time is that you have time to devote to the main dish.  I love the seasoning of this just the way it is, but if you aren’t a fan of black pepper you might consider halving the amount in the recipe.


2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Have ready a covered casserole dish.  In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

  • 02

    Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

  • 03

    Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

    Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time.

  • Delicious – thanks for the recipe!

  • This sounds wonderful! I’m glad you posted it!

  • This sounds very good!

  • This looks similar to the Gulf Coast Pilaf in Rick Bayless’s cookbook, Mexican Everyday. We love it with any dish, and it’s a nice change from red rice with mexican food. I’m going to try your recipe now that it’s cool enough to fire up the oven!

  • I know I would love this rice! It sounds similar to a rice-a-roni I like (although I’m sure it’s much better!) I love that it’s finished in the oven because I have trouble with rice coming out well on the range. Another nice thing about baking it is that it’s one less burner to coordinate!

  • looks perfect to me!

  • I made this for dinner tonight. So delicious. Thanks for the recipe, I have a feeling this will be a regular side dish in our home as well.

  • Jackie

    Hi Annie

    What is exactly a squeeze of lemon juice.

  • Annie

    Hi Jackie,
    Cut a lemon in half, hold one of the halves in your hand over the dish of rice, and squeeze some of the lemon juice out. This is really up to your taste.
    :) Annie

  • Linn

    This sounds and looks really delicious! I will be making it tomorrow. You mention it goes with nearly anything; any examples of your favourites?

  • Thanks for this! I’m going to make it tonight

  • nutmegnanny

    This looks great! So much better than the stuff you buy in the box.

  • Hi Annie! Made this tonight to go with our Greek-ish themed dinner. I don’t have a covered casserole dish so I used a Dutch oven for the whole recipe, no transferring, which was really handy. Plus the rice got nice and crispy on the bottom by the end, which I love. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessie

    I’m always wanting rice pilaf but never thought the recipe in my cookbook looked very interesting. This was so yummy. I served it the first night with an Herb Rubbed Pork Loin and used the leftovers tonight with my Cumin, Coffee & Chili rubbed steak. YUM! I had to literally stop myself from eating it all.

  • I agree that this is a fantastic recipe. Now that the weather outside is a it cooler I can start making it again.

  • CookEd

    Super easy and super tasty! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • This sounds so delicious! I was wondering if the baking time would need to be increased if using brown rice? I’m assuming probably so, since in my experience brown rice takes around twice the time to cook as white rice. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to adjust the time for this particular recipe if using brown rice?

  • Annie

    Hi Amy,
    I really don’t know, as I rarely cook with brown rice. It does seem the baking time would need to be longer, but I don’t really have any advice beyond that.

  • Yummy! I made this with your rosemary garlic chicken and it was a hit! I think I’ll be making this for years and years to come…I doubled your recipe and it was done at one sitting. There were just 3 of us, too!

  • Jessie

    Any idea on what you’d need to do the cooking time to triple or quadruple this recipe? I was just going through some of my favorite recipes you’ve posted in preparation for an entire family vacation – 20 people!

  • Annie

    Hi Jessie,
    I think you would probably not need to do anything differently, although I would consider baking it in two separate dishes because to make things easier. Then it would definitely be fine because I double it all the time without issue, and you would essentially just be doubling it in each of two dishes.

  • Kristin

    Hi Annie, would a 9×13 baking dish covered with aluminnum foil work for this dish? I don’t think I have an oven-safe lid for any of my casserole dishes. Thank you!

  • Annie

    The only way to know is try it and see. I would worry that the foil wouldn’t be tight enough to keep all the cooking liquid in for the rice, which is important.

  • Kristin

    Good point, thanks!

  • Claire

    I did this in my rice cooker, and it was the perfect side to balsamic glazed Alaskan halibut. I used organic brown rice and made no modifications. This will now be a staple side dish in my house. Thanks, Annie!

  • Thanks so much for suggesting this as a side to the scallops I was making. I’m so glad you mentioned it! I don’t have an oven-safe lid, either, but mine turned out fine very tightly covered with foil.

  • Sue

    Hi Annie! Just wanted to let you know I made this with brown rice without any other substitution and it was delicious!! No increase in cooking time, so anyone wondering can substitute away.

  • Bridget

    Just as an FYI…I bake brown rice in the oven all the time, and I use a double layer of foil wrapped tightly around the dish, and it is perfect every time. I am about to try this recipe with brown rice RIGHT NOW!!! Wish me luck ;)

  • Bridget

    Yea!! About to do it!!!

  • Melissa

    Hi Annie,

    Was just wondering if the baking process could be skipped?



  • Annie


  • Melissa

    Im making this tonight with the chicken and artichokes, i cant believe how easy this sounds! I dont mind the long baking time, since it will be baking while im preparing the main dish!

  • Just made this dish last week…ABSOLUTELY delicious. We had to make it twice because once wasn’t enough. :D I’ll be posting it on my blog soon. Thanks for such a yummy little dish. :D

  • Thank you for this awesome recipe! We made it last night, and added some mushrooms. Quote from my husband, “this is the best rice I have ever had”. :) When I make it again next week, I will be featuring it on my blog.

  • Stephanie C

    I love this rice. The first time I made it with some delicious greek yogurt chicken and sauteed veggies, and now I’m just making it to go with my meals for the rest of the week.

    I make it with brown rice, it doesn’t seem to change the baking time and the flavor is still delicious.

  • Kelly

    This was fabulous! Other than subbing brown rice, I did not change a thing. We loved it, and I’m so happy to have found another side dish to please my family. This will be a new staple. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kim

    This may be a silly question, but I assume that you don’t use instant (i.e. Minute) rice for this, correct?

  • Annie

    Yep, just regular rice.

  • Sherry

    I make this a lot and I usually stir in some chopped, toasted almonds at the end. It’s easy to riff on the recipe with herbs and/or spices and other nuts (pistachios!) to complement your main course. I always use Indian basmati rice from Trader Joe’s. There’s something wonderful about that variety of rice that is so much better than regular long grain.

  • Chelsea Coulston

    I just wanted to share that I make this all the time. This is now my go to “starch side.” My husband and I both love it. Thank you so much for the recipe and all of the others you share daily.

  • marcie

    we are in snowstorm anticipation mode here in Pittsburgh. Garlic Rice Pilaf is in the oven to complement filets on the grill. Your blog is a staple in my house. In fact, my husband calls you my “girl crush.” HAHA!! Thanks for all the great dinners and treats.

  • Kristin Coleman

    This sounds amazing. Thinking I need to try this with the Lemon Thyme Chicken. Does anyone know how many servings this makes?


  • Elizabeth T.

    What size baking dish do you usually use for this recipe?

  • annieseats

    A 2-quart dish.

  • Nlskinner4

    Do you start with cooked rice?

  • annieseats


  • Susan Dritt

    Finally made this last night – SOOOOOO yummy! Will definitely be making it again and again and again! :)

  • I don’t know why mine came out so soggy.. is it supposed to?

  • annieseats

    No, it shouldn’t be soggy.

  • Bia

    So i recently came across this blog and decided to try this recipe as a side for my chicken in mustard cream sauce. I used basmati instead of long grain… Still a perfect recipe! Thanks Annie! Something tells me I will be visiting your blog often :)

  • Katjheath

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome….My first time to cook rice pilaf and I will never try another method…I added celery, mushroom and onions during the browning as well….Rockin recipe!!!

  • Lexi

    What a perfect balance of flavors. The lemon and pepper are perfection!!

  • I highly doubt it..but is there any way I can ready this ahead of time to pop in the oven?

  • annieseats

    Not that I’m aware of but this reheats wonderfully. I’d just make it entirely in advance and reheat.

  • Jeana

    I made this tonight (along with the lemon thyme chicken) and this rice is SO GOOD. I am definitely going to make it again and again with a variety of dishes. I followed the recipe exactly, and it’s delicious!

  • Sarah Bulmer

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious. I substituted 1/4 cup of the white rice for orzo without any changes to the browning step. It came out delicious, but I have to say that for my oven the baking time is a lot, I cut the entire time down to about 50 minutes. Thanks for a great recipe, it’s better than a restaurant dish. Really. :)

  • Just saw this! Thanks, I’ll try it!

  • This is one of my go to recipes…love it so much and lately have been using quinoa instead of rice.

  • annieseats

    Love that idea! Do you do anything differently?

  • Dulce

    This was delicious! Thank you for sharing this with us. Don’t be afraid to add the juice of half a lemon like I was it’s wonderful. This will now become a staple in our house. Btw I made this in the oven and on top of the stove and the taste was the same–Delicious!!

  • sasha

    Hey Annie, I don’t have a casserole pan, but can I use a 9×13 metal baking pan as long as I reduce the time by 5-10 min?

  • annieseats

    I think the size of the dish matters less than making sure it has a lid that fits it well. I wouldn’t alter the time. Good luck!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    I made this on the stovetop because my oven already had 2 different things cooking in it (arggg…must..get..double…ovens) and it came out delicious although not exactly a pilaf. To people who commented about the length of oven time required, that’s what makes the bottom layer get pilaf-y. Tastes good without it but the extra time makes it really something special.

  • Amanda Rennie

    I made this for the first time when I had company over. It was a little nerve wracking as the salmon was in the oven at 350 degrees so I had to make the adjustment for time by a few minutes. This was delicious! The only thing that confused me was do you fluff up the rice after the 25 minutes or just leave it? I left it and it turned out just fine, but I did double the recipe so I’m not sure if that made a difference. I was craving it all week long after we had it so tonight it will be the base for my brother’s delicious chic pea & tomato raghout! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  • annieseats

    I usually stir in the broth after the first 25 minutes, but I think one time I just poured it in and forgot to actually stir it, and it still turned out fine. I’m glad you enjoy it!

  • Christina Camene Leonard

    This sounds so yummy. I want to make a lot of it though for a party. I need to make a half tray. Can I just adjust the recipe for the amount needed and bake it all at once? Or am I better off like tripling it and making a few batches?

  • annieseats

    Yes, please see the note at the bottom of the recipe – it doubles just fine. Enjoy!

  • Lindsey

    Made this last night to go with an herb-stuffed rainbow trout. Thanks again for another great recipe! So simple, so delicious!