Join us for an adventure in flavor!

    The 25 BEST Pilaf Recipes

    If you’re looking to up your rice cooking game, this collection of Pilaf Recipes is just what you need!

    Each recipe has been selected for its unique twist on the traditional dish, ranging from aromatic spices and herbs to an assortment of vibrant, nutritious mix-ins.

    Whether you’re in search of a comforting weeknight dinner or an elegant side dish for your next dinner party, our roundup offers a pilaf to suit every occasion.

    Get ready to transform simple grains into extraordinary feasts with each forkful capturing a world of taste and texture.

    Collage of four pilaf recipes.

    Pilaf Recipes:

    1. Hashweh (Lebanese Rice with Ground Meat)

    This Lebanese hashweh rice is a hearty one-pot meal whereby rice is cooked with ground meat and plenty of warm Middle Eastern spices.

    Top it off with fresh parsley and a variety of nuts, and you have a company worthy dish that you can serve as an entrée or a side.

    Get the Recipe: Hashweh

    2. Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

    This bright and flavorful, Greek lemon rice recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients, yet it elevates your rice so, so much. 

    It’s the perfect side for many of your favorite Mediterranean dishes, boosting your meal’s flavor profile to another level!

    Get the Recipe: Greek Lemon Rice

    3. Havij Polo (Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken)

    This Havij polo is an amazing Persian jewelled carrot rice with saffron chicken that is simply outstanding. Topped with fried nuts and sultanas, it’s like a tasty adventure through colors and flavors!

    And with just a few easy steps, you’ll end up with a super tasty and vibrant rice dish that your whole family will absolutely love.

    Get the Recipe @ peanutswirls

    4. Chicken Maqluba

    Looking for a mind-blowing dish to impress your guests? Look no further than this Middle Eastern chicken maqluba!

    This amazing dish features flavorful chicken, fried veggies, and rice. And the best part? It’s really easy to make.

    Also, this chicken maqluba is never alone! It’s always served with plain yogurt or a fresh salad. Go for yogurt if you want more toppings, or pick the salad for a healthy veggie side dish…

    Get the Recipe @ falasteenifoodie

    5. Orzo Rice Pilaf

    This rice pilaf recipe is bursting with flavor, it’s a real one-pot wonder with fluffy, toasted rice and orzo cooked to perfection in herb-infused chicken stock with onions and celery .

    All you need is 35 minutes to get this on your table, plus it lends itself to customization so you can easily put your own twist on it.

    You’ll absolutely love this! It’ll be your new go-to, holiday-worthy, favorite easy side dish that goes perfectly with everything.

    Get the Recipe @ carlsbadcravings

    6. Sabzi Polo (Persian Herbed Rice Pilaf)

    Sabzi polo is the heart and soul of Persian cuisine! And you know what? This fragrant rice is an absolute must-have for Nowruz, the Persian New Year!

    This amazing rice dish is all about fresh herbs and the art of making fluffy rice with a crispy coating known as tahdig.

    And, if you want a traditional feel, serve it with pan-fried white fish and enjoy a hearty meal with your family. Mmm, so good!

    Get the Recipe @ thekitchn

    7. Shirin Polo – Persian Jeweled Rice

    Check out this Shirin polo – it’s seriously the most incredible rice dish ever!

    This pilaf is loaded with dried fruit, nuts, and candied orange peel. The sweet and savory flavors in this dish are absolutely show-stopping.

    This special jewelled rice really shines at weddings or any other ‘occasion’ meals. It’s not just delicious, it’s a masterpiece.

    Get the Recipe @ proportionalplate

    8. Uzbek Plov

    Craving some mouthwatering Uzbek-style plov but short on time? Fear not, we’ve got you covered! Discover an awesome one-pot Plov recipe that tastes just like the real deal.

    You need rice, loads of carrots and onions, a selection of spices, and beef. The secret to the chef’s plov is Lawry’s seasoned salt. If you don’t have that to hand you can easily substitute it with some extra salt and paprika.

    This plov recipe will surely get promoted up the ranks of your favorite rice dishes.

    Get the Recipe @ alyonascooking

    9. Wild Rice Pilaf

    This wild rice pilaf recipe is a fantastic side dish that’s packed with incredible flavor!

    Perfect for holidays and everyday meals, plus, you can prep in advance as it reheats so well.

    Get the Recipe @ chewoutloud

    10. Moroccan Style Rice Pilaf 

    Are you in the mood for some exotic flavors? Then we recommend trying this Moroccan-style rice pilaf. It’s a breeze to make at home and cooks in under 30 minutes.

    Fragrant basmati rice is cooked in a lightly spiced vegetable stock, loaded with nutty pistachios and sweet dried apricots, all of which combine to make a flavour sensation.

    It’s the perfect side dish for baked fish, Moroccan spiced pork kebabs, or chicken for that matter, so why wait?

    Get the Recipe @ juliascuisine

    11. Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa

    If you’re up for experiencing the diverse flavors of Saudi Arabian cuisine, then this authentic Saudi chicken kabsa is our go-to!

    The rice is cooked to fluffy perfection here, soaking up all those sumptuous flavors from the spices and chicken broth.

    It creates a unique dish that’s perfect for hosting a family get-together or a special event, guaranteed to wow a crowd.

    Get the Recipe @ falasteenifoodie

    12. Lentil Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

    Lentil rice pilaf with caramelized onions is a mouthwatering Lebanese mujadara that’ll warm you through, right down to your soul!

    This Middle Eastern pilaf is loaded with spices, tender lentils, and heaps of caramelized onions. It’s a vegan-friendly recipe that works perfectly as a main dish or a side to your favorite mains.

    You’re going to love this dinner – it’s simple, flavorful, and the absolute best!

    Get the Recipe @ littlespicejar

    13. Rice Pilaf With Dried Fruit and Nuts

    Pilaf is a delicious alternative to plain rice and pairs perfectly as a side with any of your favorite meat or vegetable dishes!

    It’s made with stock, caramelized onions, dried fruits, mild spices and butter, giving it an amazing flavor and aroma. So tasty.

    Serve this delight with grilled, roasted, or even saucy meat dishes, and everyone will be bowled over.

    Get the Recipe @ theflavoursofkitchen

    14. Lebanese Chicken and Rice

    Lebanese Chicken and Rice also called riz a djej or riz ala dajjaj hits the spot every time.

    The dish kicks off with a scrumptious hashweh style rice ie Lebanese rice, spiced up with ground beef or lamb. It is then loaded up with some shredded chicken and lots of toasted nuts to make it insanely delicious and seriously hearty.

    Get the Recipe @ everylittlecrumb

    15. Kalam Polo Shirazi – Kohlrabi and rice pilaf with meatballs

    Kalam polo, a traditional and popular dish from the city of Shiraz, is a delightful combination of kohlrabi, small meatballs, and flavorful rice.

    This recipe is all about seasoning it well with a tantalizing blend of spices and herbs, all of which make it absolutely delicious.

    If you’re tired of the same old pilaf please do please give this outstanding kalam polo Shirazi a try.

    Get the Recipe @ thecaspianchef

    16. Afghani Chicken Pulao 

    This Afghani chicken pulao is seriously tasty and a total hit with everyone!

    Follow this easy recipe, and you’re sorted for life. We have no doubt that this will become, hands down, one of your firm favorites.

    You can easily double it up to feed a crowd, so don’t miss out on this flavorful pulao.

    Get the Recipe @ marocmama

    17. Chicken Mandi (Yemeni Chicken & Rice)

    The classic Yemeni chicken mandi is a much loved chicken and rice dish.

    Seriously, what’s not to love about this mandi? You’ve got perfectly spiced, moist chicken, layered on top of irresistible yellow rice, and then finished off with crispy fried onions, almonds, and raisins.

    Trust us, this recipe is a winner and there’s nothing quite like it.

    Get the Recipe @ hungrypaprikas

    18. Kabuli Pulao (Spiced Lamb Pilaf)

    Kabuli pulao, or spiced lamb pilaf, is a popular dish in Afghanistan that’s often prepared for special occasions like weddings as it’s a real crowd-pleaser.

    It’s an amazing rice dish whereby lamb is cooked with a delightful blend of spices and then piled high on top of the rice and served with carrots, raisins, and toasted almonds. Divine.

    This recipe is on the time consuming side, but trust us, it’s totally worth the effort!

    Get the Recipe @ foreignfork

    19. Chicken Machboos

    Chicken machboos is a Middle Eastern marvel!

    It involves spiced rice cooked in chicken broth, topped with roasted chicken and toasted nuts. So incredibly delicious.

    You can make it with chicken, meat, or even seafood. Why not try every version?

    Get the Recipe @ everylittlecrumb

    20. Qidreh

    This Palestinian dish called qidreh is absolutely stunning.

    The tasty mix of spiced rice, garlic, chickpeas, and tender lamb is wonderful. Believe us, once you start digging in, it’s hard to stop!

    This pilaf is awesome for get-togethers with friends and family because everyone is going to love it.

    Get the Recipe @ fufuskitchen

    21. Vegetable Pulao

    Vegetable pulao is a super tasty Indian one-pot rice dish.

    This pulao recipe is made with fresh veggies and aromatic spices, perfect as a light and flavorful main or as a side dish.

    Also, this simple vegetable pulao is great to enjoy with a mild curry or on its own. It’s also travels and reheats well, whether for a lunchbox or a potluck, Try it.

    Get the Recipe @ jcookingodyssey

    22. Lebanese Rice With Vermicelli

    This Lebanese rice with vermicelli can be paired with almost anything!

    You need only 3 ingredients initially: rice, vermicelli pasta, and olive oil. Sprinkle some toasted almonds and pine nuts on top to dress it up, and it’s ready.

    We’re sure you can find space for this recipe in your favorite pilaf collection.

    Get the Recipe @ littlesunnykitchen

    23. Spicy Mutton Pulao (Gosht Pulav)

    Spicy mutton pulao (gosht pulav) is an enticing recipe that brings together aromatic spices, fluffy basmati rice, and tender goat mutton.

    It’s a super easy one-pot dish that you can make in no time using an instant pot or a pressure cooker. And guess what? It’s gluten-free too!

    So don’t miss out on this amazing treat for your taste buds. Give it a go!

    Get the Recipe @ whiskaffair

    24. East African Pilau – Kenyan pilau

    This East African pilau is stunning! It’s a classic rice dish bursting with aromatic spices that really bring out the most incredible flavors in the meat.

    Picture this: perfectly cooked rice in a flavorful, seasoned broth of meat or chicken. This version is not as spicy as the others, so have no fear.

    It’s also perfect for special occasions as it’s fancy enough to dazzle everyone.

    Get the Recipe @ cheflolaskitchen

    25. Uyghur Lamb Pilaf

    Here’s another pilaf recipe that you’ve got to try! This Uyghur lamb pilaf is seriously addictive and oh-so-delicious!

    This recipe is packed with tons of flavor from the lamb, cumin, and chili peppers, creating a taste sensation.

    The onions and carrots take on a tender, buttery texture that when you combine them with the lamb is like a flavor explosion that you won’t be able to resist.

    Get the Recipe @ omnivorescookbook

    So many great pilaf recipes! Which one will you try first?

    Pin or bookmark this collection of great dishes so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes!

    Check out these other great recipe collections!
    Rice Recipes
    Rice Side Dishes
    Brown Rice Recipes
    Wild Rice Recipes
    Mediterranean Recipes
    Moroccan Recipes
    Middle Eastern Recipes

    Featured image for pilaf recipes post.

    25 BEST Pilaf Recipes

    Explore a variety of flavorful pilaf recipes from around the world, including Greek lemon rice, Persian jewelled rice, and more!


    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1.5 cups uncooked white rice
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp fresh dill
    • juice + zest of 1 lemon


    1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté till it starts to become translucent. Add in garlic and cook for another minute.
    2. Add rice and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    3. Pour in chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat, open the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Add in parsley, dill, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

    Get griddling! Try these Blackstone Recipes!

    Never miss a recipe!

    Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Search by Cuisine

      Travel a word of flavors with GypsyPlate. Sort our recpes by regions:

      GypsyPlate logo.
      Skip to Recipe