Almond Rice Pilaf is one of my favorite childhood recipes. I would literally eat myself silly when she made this classic side dish.
Almond Rice Pilaf is an easy side dish made with crunchy almonds, mushrooms and savory chicken broth and lemon juice to give it loads of flavor! An easy rice recipe the whole family will love.
When I got to college, I virtually lived off Almond Rice Pilaf for at least 3 months. I supposed when I got to the point of being able to make it myself, I just couldn’t get enough.
You can also transform Almond Rice Pilaf into a one-dish meal by adding shredded rotisserie chicken and frozen vegetables.
I don’t eat it as frequently, but still thoroughly enjoy this crunchy dish. Almonds also have the health benefits of protein, vitamin E and calcium.
I used to think of rice pilaf being any rice with little grated bits of vegetables in it. You know the type of rice with flecks of carrot and red bell pepper? Well, I was wrong. Really rice pilaf is nothing but rice simmered in in some sort of broth.
What makes this pilaf dish different from others? A couple of things, but the first is that the rice is browned before cooking. This give it a different flavor profile, almost nutty, which complements the almonds.
The second is that I use chicken broth or chicken stock instead of plain water. This trick can be used for any rice, couscous or even grain recipe. They soak up liquids and flavor!
Tools for making this easy rice pilaf recipe:
Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.
Wood cutting board – wood won’t dull your knives like plastic and if treated properly, has natural antimicrobial properties.
Good knife – Global is my favorite! They are worth the price, I promise. I am kind of obsessed with them and store them tucked away so no one else can use them. Including hubby. Hands off my good stuff!
If you are looking for more easy side dishes, here are some more!
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add almonds, onions and raw rice. This step is super important- you are going to sauté this mixture until the rice is fully browned, stirring frequently.
- After browning, lightly season with salt and pepper. Add water, bullion cubes and lemon juice. Stir together and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Just when mixture comes to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes. Refrain from opening the lid too often. This will only slow down the cooking process. Also refrain from stirring the rice, this releases starch and can make the rice mushy. Instead, use a large fork and fluff it to make sure all of the liquid on the bottom is filly absorbed.
- Toss in mushrooms and allow to sit for 3 minutes (lid on) with no heat.
If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how it was!