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Red onion pilaf recipe

Red onion pilaf recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

A simple but tasty rice side dish.

451 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 450ml (16 fl oz) chicken stock

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until almost tender. Stir in rice, and continue cooking until coated with oil. When onion is tender and rice begins to brown lightly, season with pepper and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(479)

Reviews in English (357)

by KShoemaker

Used different ingredients.Our whole family loved this! I used olive oil instead of butter for sauteeing and added a clove of minced garlic to the onion. Basmati rice worked well for this, and I browned it with the oil and onion for a few minutes. I added parsley, thyme and basil. Just a few grinds of pepper was all it needed. Try grating in a few carrots to give it a nice colour. I'll make this again, probably adding almonds or pecans.-15 Sep 2008


Used different ingredients.This was good. I didn't realise that I had no chicken stock in the house, so I had to use beef stock, mixed with water to make 450ml. I loved the onions, and might even add more next time. I used fresh ground pepper and don't think I put a whole teaspoon in. It was still a little too peppery. I used brown rice and just increased the simmer time to 50 minutes.-15 Sep 2008

by txblond

Excellent blend of onion, pepper & rice. A taste thrill!!! My husband said SAVE THIS ONE FOR GUESTS.-15 Sep 2008

Mince Pilaf

500 g Lamb ground mince 1 teaspoon ginger grated 1 teaspoon garlic paste 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes ½ teaspoon red chilli powder 1 teaspoon fine salt 1 teaspoon kashmiri red masala mild ½ teaspoon tumeric powder Pinch Elachi (cardomom) (cardomom) powder Pinch clove powder 1 teaspoon jeera! /dhania (coriander) (coriander) combined 1 teaspoon garam masala 2 green fresh chillies 2 medium tomotoe skinned grated(seeds removed) 1 teaspoon tomotoe puree 2 Tablespoon buttermilk 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or fresh lemon 1 large red onion chopped ½ teaspoon whole jeera 1 small stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder (optional) ¼ cup oil 3 Tablespoon butter ghee (Clarified butter) (Clarified butter) Fresh chopped dhania (coriander) (coriander) 3 medium potatoes chopped cubed, tint egg yellow ¼ cup mixed frozen veggies 1 ¼ cup basmati rice wash and soak 10 minutes

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Love this recipe and have made it numerous times. I cut the cumin amount in half, add more chicken broth and omit the cilantro.

This was great as written. The cumin and chilli powder amounts were perfect. Didn't find them dominating at all. Served with salmon and the lime butter sauce from this site. I used long grain brown rice in this recipe and cooked it for the hour on low.Excellent!

Wonderful taste and flavours. I agree with the cumin, but I served it with homemade flautas and it was perfect. The colors really add to the presentation.

I love this rice! It makes way too much as stated in the recipe so I always just make half. and still have leftovers! I only add half of the recommended cumin..otherwise I think it's way too much. You can add peas or corn for added color/texture. I served with grilled chicken, black beans, southwestern caesar salad, and corn bread. Yummy!!

I made this as a side for roast duck along with some steamed broccoli and it was simple, lovely and prefectly matched. I agree with a previous comment that one needs to be thoughtful when pairing pilaf as a side dish. Generally, I think roasted poultry & broiled fish dishes are best-suited. This recipe makes a lot of pilaf. In the past I have made fried rice with leftover pilaf a great idea for a 2nd weekday meal!

Ok - but not worth making again. I normally like cumin and chili powder, but didn't particularly like these spices in this rice dish. There are many better rice dishes Iɽ rather eat/serve.

This is a DELICIOUS rice dish. I made it several nights ago, and it lived on again tonight as leftovers. I had originally divided the recipe in half to make 4 servings, but it made more like 6. For my half recipe I did add 3/4 cup of frozen corn kernels. The night I originally made this I served it with BBQɽ chicken leg 1/4's, and the delicate flavor of the rice dish was overpowered by the BBQ sauce. Tonight I served leftovers with "Pan-Roasted Veal Chops With Arugula" (also on this site) and the combo of the two recipes made for a delicious meal. Be careful what you serve this with. My husband raved over tonight's dinner.

Very, very easy and very, very delicious. will definitely make again.

I LOVE this rice. I made it several times & and always get great reviews. It is a really excellent rice dish.

I wanted a dish to compliment both grilled salmon and grilled steak. I made this dish for Father's Day and am more than pleased that I did. My family loved it. I used a whole stick of butter and four cans of chicken broth, because the recipe calls for so much rice. Like other reviewers, I stirred constantly because I was afraid it was going to burn. The finished product is colorful, with a great taste. I gave my first print of the recipe to my son who loved the dish, and e-mailed it to a few close friends :). I can't wait to make again.

This is a very colourful and pretty pilaf. I halved the chili powder and cumin and found it still came pretty close to overpowering the shrimp dish I served it with. I agree with Ottawa's suggestion to omit the spices completely.

This is definitely one of the best rice side dishes that I have made. When I made it for my friends & I the first time, we couldn't believe how something so easy and simple could be so good.

I was looking for a good recipe to use my leftover peppers and onions. This was not great. Not much flavor, and not worth the effort. I halved the recipe, maybe it turns out better if you use the full recipe.

Despite all the previous rave reviews, I was extremely disappointed in this dish. The rice was hard (even with added broth) and all I could taste was the cumin. I took about three bites and then threw away the rest.

My boyfriend and I tried making this last weekend and it was absolutely wonderful! We made it again this weekend! It makes quite a large portion, so I halved everything except the cilantro, which I love!

Excellent dish! I omitted the spices, so it can be served with just about anything. The cooking time is much less than noted in the recipe though - check on it after about 18 minutes so as not to overcook.

Very good--and makes a lot! It was quick and easy too. I unfortunately didn't have cilantro so omitted it but it was still good. It cooked much more quickly than the time stated. Received compliments from picky BIL.

Wow, I read all the ingredents and didn't think this could be much, I was wrong, it was incredibly easy to make and really good!

I wanted a colorful dish for a buffet and this fit the bill perfectly. It was very tasty, easy to make, and reheated wonderfully.

I have made this pilaf on several occasions and have always been pleased with the results, although I always halve the recipe when cooking for just the two of us. It's sooo easy and dependable. Last night, I served it with grilled chicken kebobs and the flavors were MARVELOUS together - we used an old standby marinade with soysauce, honey, red wine vinegar, oil and herbs. I highly recommend the menu!

Have made this often. Everybody always loves it! Makes lots, but never have had a problem having the leftovers, just turn it into a new meal with chicken added to it or whatever is around. Its a predictable tasty dish and it looks great!

Excellent dish, would defitnately make it again, the whole family loved it.

This was a great tasing rice. The spices were just enough. I wouldn't change a thing. I added frozen peas at the end of cooking time for added color. Any vegtables would add a nice variation. This recipe does make a lot of rice. As a side dish I had so much leftover. I may grill chicken and/or shrimp and create another whole meal. This was certainly a favorite rice recipe.

Black Bean and Onion Pilaf

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From the author, Renee Press: This Black Bean and Onion Pilaf is a simple, hearty meal full of tasty immunity-boosting alliums (red onion, garlic, and chives). This dish will give you an energy boost and help prevent those persistent colds that start appearing this time of year. It makes quite a bit of food, so set some aside for later and save yourself some cooking time. Get creative with which veggies you use, whatever you have on hand will work. The power of simple fresh ingredients and a few spices….Keep it easy, guys!

From Plant-Based on a Budget: This delicious Black Bean and Onion Pilaf are a bit like a vegetable paella and it has so many amazing flavors! It is one of those one-pan wonders and we think it will come in handy whenever you’re lacking inspiration but hunger is abundant. Packed with healthy veggies and grains, it is a family-approved recipe and one we think you should add to your weekly repertoire.

What is a Pilaf?

Originated in Persia, pilaf has spread all over the world over time and has become a common meal in places like the Middle East, Latin America, Indonesia, and Spain. It refers to a preparation of rice (or other wheat-based grain) cooked in broth with vegetables and other ingredients typical to the place where it’s being prepared.

Can I Buy Plant-Based Broth for This Black Bean Pilaf?

Absolutely! There are many brands out there that have fully plant-based broths available like Better Than Bouillon, Edward and Sons, Knorr, and more. If you can’t find them easily or you simply want to use your leftover veggie scraps you can make your own which is great because you can flavor it however you like. They will make this Black Bean Pilaf absolutely delicious!

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Very good recipe. It makes enough for 4 people. I added more veggies than called for and the bulgur needed more chicken broth than called for and took about 10 minutes to cook.

This was a good recipe, not great, but good. Because of the healthiness of the recipe and the fact that it's mild flavor could go well with several main dishes, I will make it again.

yummy! and healthy too. I've made this several times. I didn't have any bulgur so I used Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend (Couscous, Orzo, mini Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa). I added garlic and used vegetable stock in place of chicken broth. I agree. make extra pine nuts!

Simply yum! Great, high-fiber alternative to rice. Toasted the pine nuts for extra flavor. Definitely makes MORE than 2 servings unless you're only serving it with grilled veggies or a nice salad.

Great! My only complaint is that this makes a lot more than two servings--more like four.

I added extra pinenuts and chives. Iɽ probably add parsley and garlic, too, next time. We liked it and it was a good change of pace from rice and potatoes.

I didn't have chives, so I used scallions, I also added fresh cooked peas, and a little chopped celery. I sprinkled parmesan on top when serving. Next time I will also add chopped fresh grape tomatoes. I used veggie broth instead of chicken broth as I am a vegetarian. Omitted the salt. This dish is awesome. The toasted pine nuts were great, I added extra.

Excellent and easy. I used yellow pepper and red onion since that's what I had. didn't really taste the chives so I used some fresh basil. i also used veg. stock. Bulgur is yummy!

Wow! I was a little aprehensive to try bulgar for the first time (so was my boyfriend), but we loved it! DIfferent alternative to the usual rice or pasta. Added garlic as I can never seem to get enough, but I'm sure the flavour would have been wonderful w/o it.

This pilaf is so good, you could serve it as the main dish. Don't forget the pine nuts.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Pour oil into a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots cook and stir for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Using a strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water. Drain well. Stir into the vegetables cook and stir for 1 minute. Add water, bay leaf and lemon rind and juice bring to boil. Cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

Discard bay leaf. Stir in peas, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.


  • Serving Size: 1 (462.7 g)
  • Calories 309.2
  • Total Fat - 6.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 15.3 mg
  • Sodium - 1456.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 59.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 6 g
  • Protein - 4.2 g
  • Calcium - 86.5 mg
  • Iron - 1.3 mg
  • Vitamin C - 35.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan.

Step 2

Add onion and sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

Step 3

Add chilies, ginger, garlic, orange zest, salt, pepper and perilla, and stir well. If necessary add a tablespoon or two of water or orange juice to moisten.

Step 4

Add water and rice and stir well. Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to a high simmer and cook covered for about 30-40 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Check the rice occasionally, but don’t stir too much. When rice is done let sit covered off the heat for at least 10 minutes before serving while preparing the other ingredients.

Lentil Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

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A warm and comforting lentil rice pilaf with caramelized onions. This pilaf is known as ‘mujadara’ in the middle east and is vegan-friendly and perfect as a side for holidays or weeknight dinners!

Soul-warming Lebanese mujadara.

Mujadara or middle eastern style lentil rice pilaf has been on repeat in our house for last week and a half, and we have gobbled up bowlfuls of this stuff without a single complaint. In fact, Anees polished off the last of it for lunch on Sunday, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t mind having it again and again. This uncomplicated pilaf has warming spices, tender lentils, and boatloads of caramelized onions. It’s a vegan-friendly recipe that’s great as a main meal or as a side. It’s simple and flavorful, and in my world, those are always the best kind of dinners.

It’s about that time. You know, when you’re almost into the month of NOVEMBER, and you’re like, how did that even happen? Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? Are you an on the fly kinda person, or do you meticulously map your spread? Do you have a consistent menu year after year or do you experiment? I’d like to suggest this lentil rice pilaf, which is like red beans and rice but heavier on the spices and done middle-eastern style with lentils, as an option. If you’re in charge of showing up with a side, this is a good one. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

No matter the dietary restrictions, everyone can have a piece of this pie.

The last few weeks have been nice and cool in Houston, and we’ve taken full advantage with hearty meals loaded with spices and lentils and so, so many soups and stews. This weekend I made two batches of soup in my instant pot, and we devoured them all weekend long along with homemade lentils and rice.

I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to lentil recipes I’ve shared with you on the blog. Almost all of them are big in the flavor department, and nearly all of them are made using brown lentils. What can I say, I certainly do know what I like! Remember the Moroccan sweet potato soup with lentils? Or my favorite brown lentil daal? Or that autumn lentil salad with kale and parm? Brown lentils are a staple in our house because they’re so good in so many ways. But let me also mention that green lentils would work just as well for this recipe if that’s more your thing, but steer clear of red lentils. They aren’t going to work for this one.

Okay, let’s walk you through this lentil rice pilaf recipe. It’s not a difficult one, but when we hear things like ‘risotto’ or ‘pilaf’ often some major anxiety kicks in.

How to make bomb-diggity lentil rice pilaf:

  1. Lentils: As I mentioned, use either brown or green lentil (affiliate links) for this one. No need to soak your lentils. Just add them to a small saucepan along with water, you want there to be about 1-2 inches of water above your lentils, and you need to cook the lentils for 15-18 minutes or until they’re almost cooked through. If your lentils have been around for a while in the pantry, they’ll take more time to cook than if you’ve just purchased them recently.
  2. Rice: For this recipe, I highly recommend using good quality basmati rice. I like to use Indian basmati rice as it’s the most fragrant and it works beautifully with all the spices we’ll be adding to this recipe. You’ll need to soak the rice for about 20 minutes so right before you start on the caramelized onions, rinse your rice and soak them in a bowl of cold water. Here’s(affiliate link) the basmati rice I use in case you’re looking for a good brand.
  3. Caramelized Onions: take your time when you’re caramelizing the onions. You’ll need two medium onions for this recipe, and you’ll want to slice them thinly, about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Use good quality olive oil(affiliate link) to fry the onions, trust me it makes all the difference. Also, babysit the onions, they’ll take in the ballpark of 20 minutes. You’ll need to stir them quite a bit during the last 10 minutes so don’t go too far. Know that I’m not lying when I say, homemade lentil rice pilaf is so worth it.
  4. Spices: We’re using cumin, coriander, turmeric, allspice, and cinnamon in this recipe and the smells that come from this lentil rice pilaf are just a tad bit insane. It’s warm and hearty and smells just like fall.

If you’re looking for things to serve this with: how about a little homemade baba ganoush, hummus, or beef shawarma made in the instant pot? You could even make these shawarma bowls and swap out the vermicelli rice for this pilaf.

I serve my pilaf with a simple Shirazi salad. Just chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, a glug or two of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a handful of chopped mint or parsley if I’ve got it on hand. Truthfully, this recipe will take you about 30 minutes of hands-on time, but it’ll be well worth it at the end.

May your cold winter nights be just a tad bit more comfy with this soul-warming lentil rice pilaf!

What is bulgur?

Bulgur is made by parboiling whole wheat and drying it (usually in the sun), and then grinding it into various grain sizes from fine to coarse. Fine bulgur is usually used for salads such as Turkish bulgur salad (Kisir), tabouli or stuffed aubergine with bulgur. More coarse bulgur is usually used to make pilaf. Since bulgur is almost pre-cooked, it takes less time to cook it compared to whole wheat. Bulgur has a nutty texture and flavor that makes it a great option for side and main dishes. It should be noted that bulgur should not be confused with cracked wheat. Cracked wheat is made from wheat when it's not par-boiled.

How did bulgur become a staple in the Turkish kitchen? During the Ottoman era, rice was considered a luxury item that wasn't available to everyone, leaving bulgur to be a staple in the Turkish kitchen. Up to this day, bulgur remains as a main ingredient in almost every Turkish home and many people prefer it to rice. Turkish cuisine offers so many ways to use coarse or fine bulgur such as using it to make side dishes, salads and even vegan "meatballs".

Is bulgur good for you?

Bulgur is very healthy and is packed with fiber and is a low calorie vegetarian and vegan staple in the kitchen. However, bulgur is not gluten-free since it's made of whole wheat. If you are following a gluten-free diet, please keep that in mind.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or canola oil
  • 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (or to taste)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Place rice in a deep saucepan and rinse rice with cold water until water runs clear. Let rice soak in cold water 20 minutes. Drain rice, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Pour rice through a fine wire-mesh strainer, and discard cooking liquid. Return rice to saucepan, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rice steam until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium. Add sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Tip seeds into a small bowl set aside. Add oil to pan and, when hot, add curry leaves, if using. When the curry leaves crackle, add the red onions and cumin, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, golden, and sweet, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tamarind paste, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Remove pan from heat.

Using a fork, add rice to onion mixture. Return pan to heat over medium, and fold rice into onion mixture until fully incorporated and hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.