Do you ever have those nights when you’re completely uninspired and just don’t know what to cook up for dinner? Or you have some type of meat in the fridge that’s ready to hit the stovetop as your main dish, but you aren’t sure what to pair with it? On nights like this, I like to throw simple side dishes together to go with my main entrée that are basic, delicious, and use a few simple ingredients I already have on hand. Brown rice and chicken broth… check! Onion, celery, and carrot… check, check, and check!
If you have this handful of ingredients at home too, then Savory Rice Pilaf should be calling your name! In this super simple recipe, whole grain brown rice cooks with chopped veggies and flavorful broth to create a classic side dish that even the little ones will love. This pilaf is the perfect side to complement anything from Easy Roast Chicken or Mama’s Meatloaf to Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks or Oven Baked Salmon. Otherwise, simply pair it with your favorite flavor of Dad’s Chicken Breasts, and dinner is ready! Creamy, delicious, and reminiscent of those seasoned rice packets found in the grocery aisles (you know which ones I’m talking about?!), this Savory Rice Pilaf is a healthier take on a traditional side… no packet required! :)
To get this savory side dish started, begin by prepping your veggies. Dice up ¾ cup each of celery, carrot, and onion.
Next, heat 1 Tbsp. of canola oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced vegetables to the pan to sauté.
Cook the celery, carrot, and onion until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. This trio of vegetables will add a lot of flavor to the rice as it is cooking. Not to mention, it’s a great way to sneak some additional veggies into your side dish!
After the vegetables have softened, stir in the brown rice and chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the mixture up to a boil.
Once the liquid has come up to a boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The rice will be plumped up and thoroughly cooked once all the liquid is gone!
After the cooking is complete, simply remove the pan from the stovetop and fluff the rice with a fork. Then, voila! Your side dish is complete! Serve your steaming hot Savory Rice Pilaf with your entrée of choice and a fresh green salad. Until next week… happy eating!
Savory Rice Pilaf
1 Tbsp. canola oil
¾ cup diced celery
¾ cup diced carrot
¾ cup diced onion
1 cup brown rice
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Heat canola oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced vegetables, cooking until onion becomes translucent.
Stir in the brown rice and broth into the softened vegetables. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 40-50 minutes or until and all of the liquid is absorbed.
Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Per Serving*: Calories 230, Total Fat 5g (Saturated 0.5g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 470mg, Total Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g), Protein 5g, Vitamin A 80%, Vitamin C 20%, Calcium 4%, Iron 6%
*Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.