Garlic Rice Pilaf is the side dish that goes with pretty much anything! It is packed with flavor, easy to make, and the whole family will love it!
Not only is this delicious, but it is so simple to make, with just four ingredients, this garlic rice is a winner!
Tender white rice, plenty of garlic, butter, and then some vegetable broth to make sure each grain soaks up the maximum flavor! This simple rice dish work with so many different main courses. And leftovers are great for lunches as it reheats well.
What is a Pilaf?
A pilaf is also know as a pilau, and it rice that has been cooked in broth or stock, usually with other flavors, like herbs and spices. Or in this recipe garlic!
The finished rice dish has tender fluffy grains of rice that are full of flavor. These dishes are so packed with flavor that you can often eat a pilaff on its own!
What rice to use?
With so much choice at the grocery store, the choice of rice can be overwelming!
This recipe uses your standard long-grain white rice. It is easy to cook, takes on the flavors of the garlic, and is readily available.
A couple of rice notes:
Look for standard long-grain rice, not quick cook or converted white rice (like uncle bens). These need different quantities of water and different cooking times.
Wash your rice, not only will it remove the starch and dust from your rice, which means fluffier rice, it also softens the rice, so it absorbs the garlic flavors and cooks evenly in the broth.
How to rinse rice
Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Use your hand to turn the rice over in the bowl, be gentle as you don’t want to break the grains. Carefully drain the water away and repeat this process twice more. Once you have rinsed the rice three times, use a fine-mesh sieve to drain the rice. To ensure you have washed away as much starch as possible, place the sieve under the flow of running water for 10-15 seconds. Leave the rice to drain dry.
How to make Garlic Rice Pilaf
To start this rice, we want to rinse it well (see above) then leave it to drain.
While the rice is draining, we need to chop plenty of garlic. The recipe calls for ten cloves of garlic, which is about one head of garlic. Don’t worry though, the garlic is simmered with the rice, so it does mellow down. If you want a milder flavor, then you can reduce the number of cloves.
This garlic is cooked over low heat in butter (you can use oil, but butter gives the rice more flavor – think of this as Garlic Butter Rice!) Use a large shallow pan (one with a lid) as this will help the rice to cook evenly.
Once the garlic has softened, use a spoon to remove one tablespoon of garlic and butter from the pan, reserve this to drizzle over at the end. Then add in the drained, washed rice, it will splutter and spit a little, but this is normal, just stir it around to coat it in the butter
You want to add in hot vegetable broth; this helps to cook the rice evenly. It is essential to turn the heat to low while cooking the rice; the broth needs to be absorbed into the rice rather than evaporating away. This is why a large shallow pan is best, it allows the rice to sit in a thin layer, and it will cook more evenly.
Once the broth is added, you need to pop a lid on the rice and reduce the heat to low, again all designed to make sure the rice cooks through.
Cook everything for 15 minutes and then turn the heat off, but don’t look at the rice. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes with the lid on to ensure everything steams and cooks thoroughly.
Serve with the reserved butter spooned over.
What to serve with Garlic Rice
You can pretty much serve this with anything!! It really is a great side dish. It works with saucy dishes, or because it is soft and buttery with drier mains like a seared chicken breast.
Some of our favorite options are:
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken
- Creamy Bacon Chicken
- Thai Scallops
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Italian Chicken Breasts
- Creamy Tuscan Mushrooms
For more delicious rice side dishes, why not try:
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Easy Garlic Rice Pilaf Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups rice – see note 1
- 10 cloves garlic – see note 2
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, hot – see note 3
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh parsley – optional garnish
- Rinse the rice in cold water at least three times to remove any excess starch. (see note 3)
1 ½ cups white rice
- Peel and finely chop the garlic.
10 cloves garlic
- Add the butter to a large shallow skillet/pan (one with a lid).
3 tbsp butter
- Add the garlic and place over low heat.
- Once the garlic has softened and is smelling aromatic, remove a tablespoon of butter and garlic from the pan and set to one side.
- Add the washed rice to the remaining butter in the pan and stir to coat.
- Pour in the hot broth and the salt, then bring to a simmer.
1 ½ cups hot broth
½ tsp salt
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat, but don’t lift the lid. Let the finished pilaf stand for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Serve the cooked rice with the reserved garlic butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
- Use a long grain white rice for this recipe; that way, the broth volumes will give you perfectly cooked rice.
- 10 cloves of garlic are roughly one head of garlic. The cooking process will mellow it.
- You can use vegetable or chicken broth, just ensure that it is a well-flavored broth.
- Rinse the rice thoroughly to ensure the finished pilaf will be fluffier.
How to rinse rice: Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Use your hand to turn the rice over in the bowl, be gentle; you don’t want to break the grains. Carefully drain the water away and repeat this process twice more. Once you have rinsed the rice three times, use a fine-mesh sieve to drain the rice. To ensure you have washed away as much starch as possible, place the sieve under the flow of running water for 10-15 seconds. Leave the rice to drain.