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Rice Pilaf with Cranberries

Perhaps the best side dish ever this Rice Pilaf with Cranberries pairs perfectly with so many meals like chicken and seafood! Easy to make with only a handful of ingredients this rice with cranberries is one you will be making again and again.

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Rice Pilaf with Cranberries in a white oval serving dish with a matte gold serving spoon, garnished with dried cranberries and fresh parsley.

Cranberry Rice Pilaf

I LOVE cranberries. Anything cranberry flavored or has cranberries in it, it could probably be assumed I love it. Dried or fresh I think they have such a unique flavor that adds so much to any dish.

So when I was playing around with different pilaf recipes this past summer to pair with grilled chicken I felt like I hit a huge winner with this dish.

It is simple yet delicious and can be paired with so many meals.

And if cranberries remind you too much of thanksgiving good news for you my favorite paring for this side dish is poultry. This could definitely be a new fun side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table if you are looking for something new!

Aside from Thanksgiving I actually have been pairing this recipe a lot with Mediterranean inspired dishes like my Greek Chicken Kabobs or Grilled Chicken Shawarma. It is really quick and simple to make so I found myself making this a lot during grilled dinners over the summer. Besides dried cranberries are all-year-round food!

A white serving dish with a gold spoon in white rice pilaf with dried cranberries and fresh parsley.

So what is Pilaf and how it it different from Rice?

Pilaf is rice, Pilaf actually refers to the method of cooking the rice. And as Americans we are actually being redundant when we say Rice Pilaf, but that is a whole rabbit hole we could go down.

Pilaf refers to how the rice is cooked. Traditionally Pilaf is made by cooking the rice with broth, spices, and other add-ins such as meat or veggies. Whereas just plain rice you cook with water.

So this is a Rice Pilaf with Cranberries. Pilafs in general are a pretty global dish, although they will differ greatly region to region by using local items. So really some of the most famous regional dishes are spinoffs of rice pilaf, in India the famous Biryani dish is actually a form of Rice Pilaf as well as the Spanish Paella.

But this side dish keeps it simple…

Ingredients

The nice thing about this side dish is that most of the ingredients are pantry items. You will need:

  • butterUnsalted works best.
  • white or yellow onion
  • white rice A longer grain white rice like basmati or jasmine works best.
  • bay leaf
  • better than bouillon chicken baseOne of my favorite fridge items, but if you don’t have any regular chicken broth can be used.
  • fresh parsley
  • dried cranberries

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

Ingredients needed for cranberry rice pilaf laid out on a table with a kitchen towel.

How to make Rice with Dried Cranberries

This recipe should come together fast, the hardest part is probably dicing an onion!

Start by melting the butter in a small pot (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion to the melted butter and sauté 1-2 minutes. 

Next add the rice, bay leaf, and chicken bouillon base to the onions. Sauté 2-3 minutes spreading out the chicken base and slightly toasting the rice. 

Add the water and cover. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 10 minutes until the rice is tender. 

Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf from the rice and fluff the rice a bit. Gently stir in the cranberries and parsley into the rice, serve immediately.

Voilá so easy to make Rice Pilaf with Cranberries right?!

Overhead view of a serving dish full of white rice with onions, dried cranberries, and parsley to garnish.
Close up of a dish filled with white rice pilaf garnished with dried cranberries and parsley.

What Pairs well with this Cranberry Rice Pilaf?

I love this dish with poultry or seafood like mentioned above, I also think it would be good with:

Obsessed with Cranberries like me?? You might like any of these recipes:

Rice Pilaf with Cranberries in a white oval serving dish with a matte gold serving spoon, garnished with dried cranberries and fresh parsley.

Rice Pilaf with Cranberries

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

The perfect side dish to poultry and seafood this rice pilaf is super easy to make! With tons of sweet flavor from the cranberries your family will want this rice side dish again and again.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon better than bouillon chicken base
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a small pot that has a lid melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion to melted butter and sauté 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add rice, bay leaf, chicken bouillon base to the onions. Sauté 2-3 minutes spreading out the chicken base and slightly toasting the rice.
  3. Add water and cover. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered 10 minutes until rice is tender.
  4. Remove from heat, remove the bay leaf from the rice. Gently stir in the cranberries and parsley into the rice, serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe works best with a longer grain white rice like Basmati or Jasmine.

Instead of water and the better than bouillon chicken base 1 ½ cups of chicken broth may be used.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the final dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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