Instant Pot Rice Pilaf

Tender, flavorful pilaf made in the Instant Pot. It doesn’t get any easier than this! Simply add the ingredients and let the pressure cooker do the rest.

Just when you thought I was done posting pilaf recipes (I’m not by the way ?), I’m back with another one!

My perfect rice pilaf recipe has been a popular post here on Life Made Simple for almost two years now. It’s a family favorite! I mean, what’s not to love about a buttery rice dish with toasted pasta? Nothing friends, absolutely nothing.

The only problem is that I can’t have it. Butter is still a no-go. We’re working on it!! ?

So I took our beloved pilaf and made it in the Instant Pot with olive oil. And you know what? It tasted just as good. You’d have a hard time deciding which is better when eating them side by side.

Yeah, I know!

Why use an Instant Pot to cook rice?

I personally find that the Instant Pot yields fluffier results. I also that I don’t have to “babysit” it.

That said, you can easily make this on the stovetop, however, you MUST use a wide pan. Preferably as wide as the Instant Pot. The Le Creuset Buffet Casserole (affiliate link) is my pan of choice.

What kind of rice and pasta should I use?

  • Any long grain white rice
  • Any short, thin pasta (like orzo or vermicelli)

To start you’ll want to turn the Instant Pot onto SAUTE and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, toast the pasta for a few minutes (it will deepen in color), then add the rice and cook until it turns bright white.

Pour in the broth and seasonings, bring to a simmer, then place the lid on and select MANUAL, high pressure for 3 minutes. In the time that it takes for the Instant Pot to build and release the pressure, your rice will have been perfectly cooked.

It’s practically magic. ✨

I personally like stirring a tablespoon or so of freshly minced parsley in at the very end. It adds a little vibrance to the dish. The choice is yours friends. You could easily stir in a teaspoon of dried parsley too.

If there’s any liquid remaining let it sit in the Instant Pot on KEEP WARM until all of it has been absorbed. Enjoy with just about anything- seriously! It is so good and the perfect side dish for chicken, pork, beef, and dare I even say it on this blog, seafood!

Go and make it ASAP friends!

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO SERVE WITH THIS INSTANT POT RICE PILAF? TRY THESE RECIPES:


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Instant Pot Rice Pilaf

Tender, flavorful pilaf made in the Instant Pot. It doesn't get any easier than this! Simply add the ingredients and let the pressure cooker do the rest.
4.61 from 112 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salads & Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins
Additional Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 33 mins
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Natalie Dicks
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. olive oil or butter
  • 1/3 c. orzo or vermicelli
  • 1 c. white rice - rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. freshly minced parsley OR 1 tsp. dried parsely

Instructions

  • Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. Add the olive oil (or butter). Once hot, add the pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Add the rice and cook until it turns bright white, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Carefully pour in the broth along with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Place the lid on. Make sure valve is switched to sealing. Turn SAUTE off and select MANUAL mode (high pressure) for 3 minutes. Once cooked, allow the pressure to come down naturally. This will take anywhere from 12-15 minutes.
  • Open the lid and stir in the parsley. Let the rice sit for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. I’m new to the whole Instant Pot thing. I got one this Christmas from my son and daughter-in-law. I am going to be cooking for a larger crowd (12-14 people). Do you think there will be a problem if I double or triple the recipe. Can the Instant Pot handle it. Would it change the cooking time? Can’t wait to make it – thanks!

    1. I do not recommend using parboil rice for this recipe. The amount of liquid and butter is written for regular rice.

  2. What a great recipe! I have made a similar rice pilaf on the stove top, but this is much easier, faster, and came out perfect. I doubled the recipe and am so glad I did, as it was a big hit at the dinner table. Since I live at high altitude (5,000 feet) I increased the cooking time one minute for a total of four minutes. I will surely make this again!

  3. I made mine with Basmati rice, Orzo and Better than Bouillon and it came out great, I will definitely be making this again!

  4. Ive had my IP for over a year and every single time ive tried to make pilav it comes out a mushy mess. Just made this recipe and it came out perfect! Just like on the stovetop! 

      1. Yes but what if wanting to make the rice pilaf with brown rice? Are you saying to follow the recipe but follow the cooking time and liquid for brown rice by itself?

  5. Could you add chicken to this (chicken tenders or thin cutlets)? What would the cooking time look like? This looks so good.

    1. Hi Tara, we make this and add pulled rotisserie chicken during the last 5 minutes (and a splash of additional chicken broth). It’s delicious!

  6. Tried your recipe. I needed a couple extra minutes for the rice to be done. Love it and will make again!

    1. 5 stars
      This reminds me so much of my Mom’s Rice Pilaf, but so much easier! Thank you for giving me that memory of her home cooking!

  7. Do you think it would work if I added seasoned chicken to the rice? How would my cooking time change?

  8. I tried your recipe and it was super yummy! I didn’t have the right pasta so I improvised. My kids and I broke spaghetti into small pieces and it was perfect. Thanks!

  9. Excellent side. I broke up gluten free spaghetti for the pasta. I also left it on warm in my IP for over an hour after stirring in the parsley.  Love recipes that aren’t fussy!

  10. Can’t wait to try this! I’m thinking of doubling the recipe – should I double everything including the olive oil/butter? 

  11. 5 stars
    This was fantastic!! My husband is usually pretty “meh” about rice but he went back for seconds of this and commented how good it was. This is definitely going into the regular rotation. 

  12. How much can I fit into a 6qt instant pot? Double, triple, quadruple, etc? Would I keep the times the same, or increase?

    1. I have doubled it in there & kept everything the same. I can’t remember how much room was left, to know if you could triple it.

  13. I just made this and found the instructions super easy to follow, so thanks for the recipe! I do have a couple questions though. First, it didn’t natural pressure release like the recipe said (12-15 minutes) so around 17 minutes in, I did a quick release – the texture was perfect, but wonder if I did something wrong which made it take so long? Also, the seasonings were perfect but it was distinctly lacking salt – is this expected as per your recipe or did I somehow do something wrong? I used the exact quantities of everything listed in the recipe. Just wondering if I can “perfect” it next time but this is definitely my new go-to rice recipe!!

    1. It’s so hard to know. Maybe all instant pots are different & yours just needed a few more minutes. You could definitely add more salt. Maybe up to a teaspoon total or more..it’s a preference. Thanks for trying it!

  14. 5 stars
    I made this and really liked it. We doubled it and 1/2 cup of oil seemed like way too much so I added just enough to coat the pasta and rice and it came out perfect. I will for sure make this again. 

  15. 5 stars
    As someone who loves those shelf-stable boxed rice sides more than I’d care to admit, I am sooooo pleased to find this recipe that is so easy and 110% more yummy. I feel so much better about eating this. This was so perfect and is going to be a regular in my house! Thanks so much!

  16. I am cooking for 12 people. Can this be 4 timed in the instant pot? Also, I heard you should not cook rice in the instant pot unless you rinse it. Hence, I have been rinsing mine. Are you finding that is not necessary? 

    1. I personally have quadrupled it, but you sure could. I have not always rinsed mine & it was fine 😉

  17. If i need to make twice or three times the amount of rice – do i increase the cooking time accordingly to 6 and 9 minutes??? 

    1. Hello was wondering if you ever tried doubling the recipe and if so did you double the cooking time? I had the exact same question. Thanks!

      1. The cook time will stay the same. The time it takes your Instant Pot to come up to pressure will be longer, but the cook time itself should remain the same. And then like the recipe says, let the pot naturally release. Also, just be cautious to not overfill the pot. The rice will expand as it cooks!

  18. Loved the flavors of this recipe, but the instant pot gave me a BURN notice and never got to pressure. Somehow, i think I saved the rice. However, any tips for preventing this? It’s terrible because your pot becomes useless and you have hungry people waiting for dinner.m 

  19. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! I didn’t have orzo, so I just added another 1/3 cup of rice, and didnt bother rinsing it, but it still came out great!

    1. Great option!! I am happy you liked it! Thank you for letting me know what you did!

  20. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe many times now, and it always comes out perfectly. We eat half of it and I freeze the other half in a ziplock bag, thaw and reheat in the microwave later. I was wondering if I could add some roasted, slivered almonds; do you think that would work?

  21. 3 stars
    It was very good after I cooked it longer. 3 Min is not enough time to cook rice,  even with the natural release, which took 22 min.
    I also added some more garlic and onion powder.

  22. 4 stars
    The flavors wre great, but I think it needed a few more minutes of cooking time. I used Jasmine rice. Could that have made a difference? 

  23. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I didn’t have any short pasta so I broke up some angel hair pasta and used that. It was excellent. I can’t see me doing pilaf on the stovetop ever again.

  24. 5 stars
    The best recipe for rice pilaf! If you 1.5 x or double it I recommend you don’t double the butter or oil amount.

  25. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few times and I love it! I’m interested in trying it with butter instead of olive oil. Should I use the same amount of butter as you would olive oil?

    1. Butter is always a yummy choice!! Yes, it would be the same amount as the olive oil.

  26. 5 stars
    Made this again tonight to serve with seared scallops. It is a delicious pilaf recipe and we love it! Plan on trying it with whole grain orzo and brown jasmine rice next time. Will follow this recipe, but the timing on your Insta pot brown rice recipe. Will let you know how it turns out!

    1. Ooh yes, let us know! Sounds like a yummy twist on the recipe. So glad you love the rice pilaf!

  27. 4 stars
    I kept getting the burn notice when I tried to pressure cook it. Instead I steamed it for 30 minutes. It was perfect.

    1. Oh no, I have never had that happen! I’m so glad you were able to find another option that still turned out great!

  28. 5 stars
    Honestly the best rice I’ve ever made and I make rice on the daily. First time with the insta pot and it was perfect. A little too salty for my taste ( next time would decrease ) but definitely a keeper.
    Also if I were to triple the recipe, do I Triple the time in the insta pot when cooking???

    1. I’m so glad you love the rice! The cook time will actually stay the same. The time it takes your Instant Pot to come up to pressure will be longer, but the cook time itself should remain the same. And then let the pot naturally release as the recipe states. Just be cautious to not overfill the pot, since the rice will expand as it cooks!

  29. So I am reporting back on making this using whole grain orzo pasta and jasmine brown rice! It turned out perfect! Followed recipe as is with amounts, but used timing from your brown rice insta pot recipe…23 minutes. It was delicious! Love I can make this with healthier pasta if I choose! This is a favorite of ours! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome!! Thanks for sharing what you did with the brown rice and whole grain orzo. I may have to just give that a try myself! 🙂 Sounds tasty!