The Best Vegan Rice Pilaf is a lofty claim, but I guarantee it is true. This recipe is easy to make, uses humble ingredients and tastes like the rice pilaf from a box that we all loved as kids. While it tastes the same, there are some major differences. Mine is dairy and chicken stock free and lower in sodium from most box mixes.
Just like boxed rice pilaf, mine has orzo. It is important to toast the orzo to get that slightly golden color and toasty flavor. For me, orzo is really what gives the pilaf a super appealing texture. I love how it is slightly tender and chewy and give some textural variation to this Best Vegan Rice Pilaf Recipe.
I always start cooking with aromatics like garlic and onions. Sautéing them in a little olive oil works so well to bring out the flavors. Adding some celery chopped very small also gives that old home flavor that we all love. Taking the extra time to brown everything gives this rice pilaf major flavor.
For my best Vegan Rice Pilaf recipe, I do use some of my favorite broth, Mala Girl broths. This recipe was developed in partnership with them. Their Soulful Classic broth which is a vegan chicken style powdered soup base works perfectly in this recipe. You can buy their broth here. Of course if you have another brand of bouillon you may certainly substitute it in the recipe. However I recommend Mala Girl broths because they are lower sodium and taste great.
When choosing rice for this recipe, choose an organic basmati rice. Rice is one of the food items that I always choose organic. I have read and heard things about non-organic rices containing higher levels of arsenic and micro-plastics so I try to avoid them. Jasmine rice will also work for this recipe as well as brown rice. However if using brown rice, you will need to adjust the liquid as brown requires more liquid and a longer cooking time.
I developed this recipe to show you that vegan side dishes are delicious and easy to make. This one is perfect for your holiday table. If you like this Best Vegan Rice Pilaf Recipe check out these others Crispy Smashed Potatoes , Vegan Baked Ziti, Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Best Vegan Rice Pilaf
- saute pan or soup pot
- ½ cup orzo
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- ½ onion chopped small
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp celery minced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Soulful Classic broth heaping
- 1 cup basmati
- Heat a sauté or fry pan over medium and heat the oil. Then fry the garlic, onions and celery for 5-8 minutes stirring often until toasty and fragrant.
- Add the orzo and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often until slightly golden.
- Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes until distributed and beginning to get toasty
- Add the water, the Soulful Classic or bouillon of your choice and salt and give a stir
- Bring the pan to a boil, then turn heat to low and cover. Cook until all liquid is absorbed about 15 minutes. At the ten minute mark check the rice. If the flame was too high the water will evaporate quicker than you want and you can add ¼ cup more water to the pan. Do not stir! Only fluff the rice with a fork when it is ready so as not to break the grains and make mushy rice.