5 from 5 votes

Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf Recipe 

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Simple yet flavourful, this delicious rice pilaf recipe is what dreams are made of! This easy dish is ready in only 25 minutes (including prep).
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
£1.06
Makes: 5
mains
Middle Eastern
Freezable

Slightly sweet, aromatic, tangy, and with a hint of heat, this easy homemade rice pilaf recipe is great for a quick weekday dinner. Made with coconut milk and aromatics like garlic, ginger, and fresh mint, your mouth will be watering before the dish is done!

This rice dish is also freezable, so you can make a larger batch and reheat it as needed.

Close up of yellow rice with fresh mint, vegetables, pomegranate and lime wedges.

Why you’ll love this recipe

This delicious rice pilaf recipe is a great option for a quick, filling meal in less than 30 minutes. By using frozen veggies, you can slash your prep time down quite a bit while including extra nutrients in this vegetable rice recipe.

It’s vegetarian-friendly, so this vegetable rice is the perfect dish for those trying to cut down on meat or for gatherings with meat-free friends. However, adding a side of meat for a protein boost is also easy. Bonus – This recipe is freezable and will stay good in the freezer for up to three months!

If you need to use up extra rice, consider making one of the following recipes: Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto, Spicy Tuna with Crispy Rice or Prawn Rice.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the golden pilaf rice laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Coconut Milk
This rice pilaf recipe is best with coconut milk, as it adds a delicious subtle coconut flavour and a light sweetness. If you don’t have any in your kitchen, you can also use unsweetened/unflavoured nut milk like almond or cashew.

Frozen Veg
I like using a mixed bag of frozen veg for vegetable rice recipes, as it helps you get nutrients from different vegetables. If you prefer other vegetables like peas and green beans, feel free to use them instead.

Jasmine Rice
Jasmine or white long-grain rice works well in this recipe. You can also use basmati, wild, or brown rice. The amount of liquid you need for this recipe will depend on which rice you use.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities. 

Variations/ Adaptations

This vegetarian recipe is also great for vegans – no swaps necessary to turn this into a meat/dairy-free dish! Great news – this dish is also already gluten-free! As a note, you’ll want to double-check your vegetarian stock, as some brands incorporate wheat into their recipe.

Select a brand that notes gluten-free on the container to ensure your dish is suitable for gluten intolerances and allergies.

How to make rice pilaf with vegetables

  1. Start by adding the coconut oil, onion and ginger into a large saucepan on a medium to low heat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and gently fry for around 6 minutes (Image 1).
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic to fry for a couple of minutes. Add a splash of water, if it’s starting to feel a bit dry. Add the turmeric into the pan to bloom for a further minute along with the lime zest (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with chopped onions and ginger frying in a pan and the second with lime zest being grated over the pan with the onions now yellow coloured in pan.

3. In the same pan, add the coconut milk, frozen veggies, lime juice and stock. Increase the heat, as the veggies will bring the temperature right down and wait for the pot to come back up to a low simmer (Image 3).

4. Add the rice and set a timer for 12 minutes (or as per the packet instructions) and season again with salt and pepper. Stir once half-way through cooking (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with vegetables added to the pan and the second with rice and coconut milk added to pan.

5. Once the cooking liquid is fully absorbed and the rice is cooked, you’ll be ready to go! Serve with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, mint and an extra squeeze of lime. If you like a little heat, add some chilli flakes! (Image 5).

Yellow rice in a bowl with vegetables, fresh mint and pomegranate with lime wedges on a bright pink background next to a bowl of pomegranate seeds, and fresh mint and a lime wedge.

For more recipe inspiration try ; Marry Me Chicken Recipe, Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce and Chicken Pho

Tips for the best result

Use fresh or frozen veggies
I chose frozen veggies for this rice pilaf recipe, which helps reduce prep time. However, you can also use fresh veggies if you prefer. Ensure you chop the fresh veggies to approximately equal sizes before adding them to the veggie rice ingredients.

Let the rice cook with minimal stirring
It’s best to stir as minimally as possible when cooking the rice. If you agitate rice, it will produce more starch, creating a similar rice-cooked texture to risotto. You want this rice pilaf with vegetables to be fluffy, so it’s necessary to only stir the rice a few times as it cooks.

Top with chilli flakes
I love balancing out the sweet/tangy flavour of the pomegranate kernels with chilli flakes. Start with a smaller sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Then, increase if you’d like after tasting the cooked rice and vegetables.

Or, you can serve rice pilaf with a sprinkle of chilli flakes. You can omit the chilli flakes if you don’t enjoy spicy rice pilaf dishes.

If you can’t get enough of this Middle Eastern rice with vegetables, consider making these other Middle Eastern-inspired recipes during the week: Chicken Shawarma Bowl or Whipped Feta Dip with Harissa.

Close up of yellow rice with fresh mint, vegetables, pomegranate and lime wedges.

FAQs

What makes rice pilaf different than regular rice?

The primary difference between rice pilaf and regular rice is how each is cooked. Most rice recipes simply require you to steam it. With rice pilaf, you cook it in a pan first with aromatics. Then, you’ll add a liquid (vegetable broth or water).

 
What is pilaf rice made of?

A basic pilaf rice is made with rice, aromatics, and vegetable or chicken broth. However, you can easily turn it into a rice and veggie recipe or add other ingredients to make it more exciting.

Which rice is best for pilaf?

A few rice varieties, long grain white and jasmine rice, stand out for a rice pilaf recipe. Long-grain white rice is known for offering a fluffy texture once cooked, which makes for an excellent vegetable rice pilaf. Using jasmine rice provides an additional delicious aroma for rice and vegetable recipes.

I love pairing this garlic turmeric rice with chicken to create a more filling, protein-rich meal. Here are a few of my top chicken recipes to make alongside turmeric rice: Garlic Butter Chicken, Easy Chicken Thigh Curry and Chicken Katsu Curry.

A bowl filled with yellow rice with fresh mint, vegetables, pomegranate and lime wedges with a spoon on a pink background next to some fresh mint, a bowl of pomegranate and lime wedges.

If you tried this Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf Recipe

Print
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
£1.06
mains
Middle Eastern
Freezable
Servings: 5
Simple yet flavourful, this delicious rice pilaf recipe is what dreams are made of! This easy dish is ready in only 25 minutes (including prep).

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion, finely diced (£0.09)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (£0.23)
  • 50 g ginger, finely chopped (£0.50)
  • 400 ml (1 tin) coconut milk (£0.82)
  • 1 kg frozen veg, broccoli, cauliflower & carrot (£0.92)
  • 1 lime, juiced (£0.20)
  • 350 g jasmine rice/long grain white rice (£1.40)
  • 1 handful of fresh mint, removed from tough stems (£0.50)
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded (£0.65)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional chilli flakes

Method

  • Add the coconut oil, onion and ginger into a large saucepan/deep frying pan on a medium to low heat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and gently fry until the onions are translucent, around 6 minutes.
  • Then, add the garlic to fry for a couple of minutes. If it’s starting to feel a bit dry, add a splash of water. Add the turmeric into the pan to bloom for a further minute along with the lime zest.
  • To that, add the coconut milk, frozen veggies, lime juice and stock. As the veggies will bring the temperature right down, increase the heat and wait for the pot to come back up to a low simmer before adding the rice. Season again with salt and pepper and set a timer for 12 minutes (check the packet time of your rice), stirring once half-way.
  • When the rice is fully cooked and the cooking liquid is fully absorbed, you’ll be ready to go! Serve with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, mint and an extra squeeze of lime. If you like a little heat, add some chilli flakes!

Notes

  • Opt for frozen veggies to save time; fresh veggies are also an option if preferred, just ensure uniform chopping.
  • Avoid excessive stirring to maintain a light texture; excess stirring can lead to starchiness similar to risotto.
  • Balance flavours with chili flakes, starting conservatively and adjusting to taste; omit if spice isn't desired.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 17g
Calories: 470kcal
Carbohydrates: 60g
Protein: 9g

Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf Recipe

Print
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
£1.06
mains
Middle Eastern
Freezable
Servings: 5
Simple yet flavourful, this delicious rice pilaf recipe is what dreams are made of! This easy dish is ready in only 25 minutes (including prep).

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion, finely diced (£0.09)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (£0.23)
  • 50 g ginger, finely chopped (£0.50)
  • 400 ml (1 tin) coconut milk (£0.82)
  • 1 kg frozen veg, broccoli, cauliflower & carrot (£0.92)
  • 1 lime, juiced (£0.20)
  • 350 g jasmine rice/long grain white rice (£1.40)
  • 1 handful of fresh mint, removed from tough stems (£0.50)
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded (£0.65)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional chilli flakes

Method

  • Add the coconut oil, onion and ginger into a large saucepan/deep frying pan on a medium to low heat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and gently fry until the onions are translucent, around 6 minutes.
  • Then, add the garlic to fry for a couple of minutes. If it’s starting to feel a bit dry, add a splash of water. Add the turmeric into the pan to bloom for a further minute along with the lime zest.
  • To that, add the coconut milk, frozen veggies, lime juice and stock. As the veggies will bring the temperature right down, increase the heat and wait for the pot to come back up to a low simmer before adding the rice. Season again with salt and pepper and set a timer for 12 minutes (check the packet time of your rice), stirring once half-way.
  • When the rice is fully cooked and the cooking liquid is fully absorbed, you’ll be ready to go! Serve with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, mint and an extra squeeze of lime. If you like a little heat, add some chilli flakes!

Notes

  • Opt for frozen veggies to save time; fresh veggies are also an option if preferred, just ensure uniform chopping.
  • Avoid excessive stirring to maintain a light texture; excess stirring can lead to starchiness similar to risotto.
  • Balance flavours with chili flakes, starting conservatively and adjusting to taste; omit if spice isn't desired.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 17g
Calories: 470kcal
Carbohydrates: 60g
Protein: 9g

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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