Garlicky Rice Pilaf Recipe

Rice pilaf is one of the most popular sides that you can serve for lunch or dinner. It's a classic dish and an excellent way to add a carb to pretty much any meal. With the addition of an entire bulb of garlic, this rice pilaf just got a whole lot more delicious than plain rice. Another part of this recipe that makes this rice special is the fact that you cook it with chicken or vegetable oil instead of water, which also infuses plenty of flavor into the rice itself. Stir in a little bit of fresh parsley, and you've got yourself a side dish that you'll want to make over and over.

Recipe developer Miriam Hahn is the brains behind this tasty recipe, and she says that her "favorite thing about this recipe is the flavor." "Plain rice can be so boring, and it is so easy to bump of the flavor in rice by adding a few simple ingredients that most people have right in their pantry," she shares. "Not to mention, onion and garlic are two very powerful vegetables in the allium family that provide disease protection." We've got to applaud a tasty dish that also boasts health benefits.

Gather the ingredients for garlicky rice pilaf

The first thing you will need to do is gather all the necessary ingredients. Grab a bulb of garlic, olive oil, a white onion, salt, pepper, long grain rice, chicken or vegetable broth, and Italian parsley.

Preheat the oven and slice and cook garlic

Since you will need to use an oven for this recipe, go ahead and preheat yours to 400 F. While you wait for it to get nice and hot, grab the garlic bulb and slice ¼ inch off the top, exposing all the cloves. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the top and place the bulb in an oven-safe dish. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Once the cloves start to brown, you'll know they're done.

Sauté the onion

Grab a saucepan and place in on your stove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat to high. Go ahead and toss in the onion, then lower the heat to medium-high. Sauté the onion for about 8 minutes, frequently stirring, so nothing sticks to the bottom and burns. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.

Add the rice and broth to saucepan

Add the rice to the saucepan and stir for about 1 minute to lightly toast. Next, you can dump in the broth. Crank the heat back up and bring the liquid to a boil. Once you see bubbles reach the top of the surface, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. After that period of time, remove the rice from the heat at let it sit with a cover for 5 minutes.

Chop the garlic and add to the rice

As the rice sits, you can move into the next step. By now, the garlic should be done cooking. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Then, pop out the inside of each clove. Please note that the garlic should be soft and gooey, indicating that it's done cooking. Chop the garlic cloves and then add to the pot of rice.

By the way, the roasted garlic is the secret ingredient. ​​"When you roast garlic, it is milder and a little sweet, and it is a real superstar in this dish," Hahn shares. "It caramelizes during the roasting process and gives the rice a rich, flavorful taste." Yum!

Stir in fresh parsley and serve

Grab your fresh parsley and stir it into the rice. You can keep a little extra for the topping if you'd like. Voila, that's all you need to do! 

This rice would make a good meal by itself, but Hahn shares a few serving suggestions to take it to another level. "It is great as a side dish to any meat, chicken, or fish. Also great with veggie burgers, beans, burritos, stir fry, etc," she shares. "It is very versatile and can cross over to any food theme, American, Mexican or Asian."

If you have leftovers, be sure to keep them. They will last for about five days or so. "I usually store in an oven-safe pyrex and just pop it into the oven to reheat," Hahn shares. "Adding a little water will keep it from drying out when you reheat."

Garlicky Rice Pilaf Recipe
4.9 from 37 ratings
Why make plain, boring rice when you could make this flavorful, garlicky rice pilaf recipe instead?
Prep Time
Cook Time
garlicky rice pilaf in bowl
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups long grain rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Slice ¼ inch off the top of a garlic bulb so all cloves are exposed. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the tops and place in an oven safe dish. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes or until the cloves are browned.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to a saucepan. Heat to high heat and add the onion. Lower heat to medium-high and sauté for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the salt and pepper and stir.
  4. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute to lightly toast.
  5. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Then lower to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. When the garlic is done, let it cool, then pop out the inside of each clove. It should be soft and gooey. Chop them and add to the pot of rice.
  8. Stir in the fresh parsley, saving some for topping.
Calories per Serving 215
Total Fat 3.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 0.7 g
Sodium 411.2 mg
Protein 4.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe