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Rice Pilaf; make your own!

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Tired of plain rice?  Looking for something a little healthier than those pre-packaged rice mixes?  Greek Rice Pilaf is a great option, and one that you can actually meal prep ahead and have on hand for those nights when you forgot to plan or make a side dish!

Meal Planning and Meal Prepping is a way of life for me, I couldn’t survive without it, no honestly, it’s really a game changer.  It gives me back so much time each night, saves me stress, ensures my kids eat if I work late and it saves money too!  If don’t do it, we are tempted to order in or drive thru, and that’s a budget breaker when you are feeding 6 people.

Greek Rice Pilaf is a really flexible side dish, you can adjust the seasoning, and honestly make it fit in with almost any main dish you have Meal Planned.

Why this recipe?

There are a lot of things I really like about this recipe, besides the fact that it tastes good and doesn’t take long to cook.


You can batch prep this recipe in volume.   Measure and prepare all the dry ingredients in individual seal able bags, with the assortment of seasoning you prefer, and you’re ready for any last minute cooking you need to do.   I’ll admit, although I Menu Plan, I do forget to figure out sides sometimes, and this comes in super handy.

Second, it has ORZO!  Orzo is a rice shaped pasta, and my kids really like it.  By adding it to the rice, you get two different textures, it’s kind of like Rice a Roni, but, well, better if you ask me.   It is also just that much more interesting so you don’t have to get bored of serving the same old, same old night after night.

Third, I get to control what goes in it, so I can reduce the sodium, make it Asian, Greek, Tex-Mex, Garlic… whatever I like or have on hand.

Fourth, and last but not least, it doesn’t take long to cook.  I can dump out the Flavoured Rice/Orzo Mix and it’s ready in under 30 minutes.   The kids set the table, I set the rice on to cook, put a casserole or sheet pan meal in the oven, or even better, take something out of my crock pot and dinner is served.   This is a good thing.  A really good thing!

Batch Prepping details

The recipe below is for a serving size for 6.  Make as many portions as you want per bag, simply line up all your baggies or mason jars, measure out the rice and orzo, and then season.  Add different flavours to all or some of them, label and stash in your cupboard for later.

For Instant Pot Cooking instructions check out my Instant Pot Garlic Herb Rice Pilaf recipe.

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Greek Rice Pilaf

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Prep Time 3 hours 12 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 12 minutes


  • 1 tablespoons  butter 
  • 1 small onion diced
  • cup  long grain rice
  • tablespoons  orzo pasta
  • cups  chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp  dried parsley


  • In a medium saute pan over medium heat melt butter, add onion and saute until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in rice and orzo and cook another 3-4 minutes to let it brown a bit.
  • Pour in chicken broth, add lemon juice, oregano, lemon pepper and parsley.  Stir.
  • Place lid on saute pan, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until cooked.


To Prep ahead; In a small ziplock bag combine rice, orzo, oregano, parsley.   You can make up batches of this Rice Pilaf and store in a jar in the cupboard for easy weeknight cooking.
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By on November 19th, 2018
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Lara Brooks

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