This vegan rice pilaf recipe requires minimal effort and time yet packs so much flavor it will surely become a go-to side dish in your household. Enjoy tender grains of cooked rice combined with fresh veggies like carrots, bell pepper, and onion that are cooked together to create an irresistible one-pot dish you’ll want to come back to night after night.
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Why You'll Love This Vegetable Rice Pilaf Recipe
30-Minute Recipe- This vegan rice pilaf can be made in just 30 minutes, making it an ideal weeknight dinner or side dish.
Flavorful- A blend of spices and fresh vegetables creates an irresistible flavor that the whole family will love!
One-Pot- This easy vegetable rice pilaf is made in one pot, meaning minimal cleanup and effort.
Comforting- A warm, hearty, and comforting dinner that will make everyone feel at home.
- Skillet With Lid
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Reserve Plate
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Rice-Use white rice or brown rice in this vegan rice pilaf; both varieties will provide a texture to the dish.
- Vegetable Broth- Broth adds flavor and an extra layer of umami to the rice.
- Carrots- Adds sweetness, texture, and nutrition.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes- With the liquid adds moisture and flavor to the rice.
- Zucchini- Adds a fresh flavor, color, and texture to the vegan rice pilaf.
- Onion- Enhances the flavor and depth of the pilaf while providing a nice crunch.
- Green Bell Pepper- Slightly crunchy, sweet, and flavorful.
- Dried Basil- Gives this rice a nice vibrant, and herbal touch.
- Dried Rosemary- Provides and sweet earthy taste.
- Salt- Brings all the flavors in this dish together.
- Ground Black Pepper- To taste.
How To Make Vegan Vegetable Rice Pilaf
To start, chop and dice the fresh vegetables. Then, in a skillet with a lid, heat up water on medium heat.
After adding the zucchini, saute it for a few minutes and then transfer it to a separate plate for later use.
Now, in the same skillet, saute the chopped onion and bell pepper for 10 minutes. Then, add broth, the tomatoes with their liquid, uncooked rice, carrots, basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low to let it simmer for around 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Finally, add the zucchini before serving and give it a toss. Enjoy as desired.
Popular Substitutions And Additions
Tofu- If you'd like to make this dish heartier, add some cubed tofu for a protein boost.
Plain Rice- Brown rice, jasmine rice, long grain rice, and basmati rice will all work in this recipe.
Mushrooms- Saute the mushrooms along with the onion and bell peppers.
Garlic- Roasted garlic or minced cloves can bring a whole new depth of flavor to this rice.
Turmeric- A sprinkle of turmeric enhances the flavor and adds a bright color.
Capers- Provides an extra briny punch of flavor.
Other- Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and even lemon juice make great additions.
Fresh Herbs- Add fresh parsley, oregano, or thyme to your vegetable rice pilaf.
Olive Oil- Use olive oil in place of water for sauteeing the veggies.
Can You Freeze Vegetable Rice Pilaf?
Yes, you can freeze vegan rice pilaf; however, I would suggest freezing without the zucchini for the freshest taste and texture when thawed. Place leftovers in a freezer-safe airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To reheat, take the rice pilaf out of the freezer the day before and allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Quickly saute fresh sliced zucchini and toss it with the pilaf. Heat the cooked rice mixture thoroughly in a skillet and fluff rice before serving.
Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe FAQs
Can I use brown rice or wild rice?
Absolutely! Long-grain brown rice and wild rice will take longer to cook than white rice because of its higher fiber content. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly until it is cooked through. Jasmine rice, long-grain white rice, and basmati rice will all make excellent options as well.
Is this vegetable rice pilaf gluten-free?
To ensure this rice pilaf recipe is gluten-free, use a certified gluten-free vegetable broth. The type of vegetable broth used will determine if the vegetarian rice pilaf contains gluten or not.
Can I use other veggies?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different fresh vegetables that you have on hand, such as peas, broccoli, or cauliflower. Frozen mixed vegetables will also work in a pinch; however, they won't taste as fresh, and you will need to adjust the cooking time for frozen vegetables.
How long will this vegan rice pilaf keep in the refrigerator?
If stored properly in an airtight container, this vegetable rice pilaf will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups 2 carrots, measurement is 'about'
- 15 ounces can diced tomatoes with the liquid
- 1 cup zucchini cut into discs - about one medium zucchini
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ¾ cup small green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of water in a skillet that has a tight fitting lid.
- Add the zucchini and quickly saute for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the zucchini and set aside.
- Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet and saute about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with it's liquid, broth, uncooked rice, carrots, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then cover. Lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes.
- The liquid should be absorbed by almost this time.
- Right before serving - add the zucchini and toss.