Easy Rice Pilaf for Family Dinner
This easy rice pilaf is to die for! All you need is a few simple ingredients, a rice cooker (or pan) and a Dutch oven!
This is great as a meal on its own. And you can make a huge batch, too! This is the perfect meal to make when you have a large crowd.
This makes for great leftovers and it freezes beautifully! Make a batch and enjoy.
We’ve all heard the amazing health benefits of garlic. This is by far one of my most favorite ways of eating roasted garlic. I can eat an entire head of roasted garlic.
The flavors of this dish are amazing. Whenever you cook meat and let your veggies cook in the brown bits right after, there’s an amazing flavor explosion.
You Can Choose Your Meat Too
If you don’t eat lamb or simply don’t like it, you can switch it out with chicken, beef or pork.
Try this with a small pork roast or with sliced sirloin. There are lots of options for anyone who avoids certain meats. You can also try this dish with tofu or seitan if you’re vegetarian.
Try this easy rice pilaf next time you’re looking to switch up your weekly rotation!
More Easy Dinner Recipes:
- One-Pot Shrimp and Veggies. Perfect for Lunch or Dinner
- 20 Fast and Easy Dinner Ideas For Kids
- 20 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for an Easy Dinner
This rice pilaf recipe is to die for! It's also super easy and has tons of great flavors. Try this out next time you have a family dinner.
- 5.5 lbs lamb shoulder (or your choice of meat)
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 5 medium carrots
- 3 medium onions
- 3 tbsps cumin
- 1-2 hot chillies (optional)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1.5 tsp pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 5-7 cups water (divided) Used in two different parts of the recipe
- 4 whole garlics
- 10 cloves of garlic
Prep your veggies by cutting carrots into 1/2 inch pieces, dice onions into similar size pieces, and cut your meat into 2-inch pieces as well. You can leave the bones in for more flavor or remove them.
In a 10 qt Dutch oven or high top pan, add the olive oil over high heat. One the oil seems like it's about to smoke, add in your meat and braise the meat. Cook in 2-3 batches until it gets a nice crust on each side. Turn the meat over a few times to give the meat a nice brown color. Don't fully cook the meat! Just brown the outside.
Once you finish your meat, place on a plate and set aside. It's okay if it isn't cooked all the way through, we're gonna cook it further later on.
In the same pan, you can cook your veggies. The brown bits from the meat will give them extra flavor, so be sure to scrape the pan. Add another 1-2 TBSP of olive oil. First, add the carrots since they take longer to cook. This will take about 10 minutes depending on how big you cut your carrot.
Next up, add the onions and cook another 5 minutes, until they are translucent.
Add the meat back in. Lower the heat to medium and add the water to cover the meat and vegetables. You can add your whole Red chilies here (if using.) Cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes to an hour until the water has evaporated and the meat is juicy. Remove the Red chili. Resist the urge to stir! Add the salt and pepper.
Now it's time to add the rice and more water. Gently pour all your rice into the Dutch oven with the meat and veggies. Add 5-6 cups of water. Carefully mix everything together. Before all the water is gone, taste the dish to see if you need to add more salt and/or pepper.
Add the garlic bulb and garlic cloves
Cook covered for another 40-60 minutes, turning up the heat to medium. After about 20 minutes, start to stir frequently.
When ready to serve, take out the garlic bulbs and set aside so they do not get damaged as you are preparing to serve the dish. Once you're done, add the garlic bulbs to the top of your dish. Serve with salad or a side of veggies. Enjoy!