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.
Table of Contents
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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).
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, Simple Shakshuka or Whipped Feta Dip with Harissa.
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).
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.
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.
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