Holiday Pecan-Rice Pilaf


This pilaf is a lovely entree for entertaining.  It is delicious as the central entree or as a beautiful side.  I like to serve it with meatballs and a chili sauce, or a gravy.  It is so easy to add some individual baked squash, a salad and dinner rolls.

I have used this many times when entertaining groups from 20 to 300 and it has always been appreciated.


The pilaf can easily be done 1-2 days ahead by cooking the rice and prepping the veggies and nuts.  That way all you have to do when serving your meal is to sauté the veggies and then heat it altogether for a few minutes.  Meatballs always freeze nicely and can be made in advance, and the same with a chili sauce or gravy.  Squash can bake in the oven while you are putting everything else together, including a beautiful green salad and some dinner rolls.



Holiday Pecan-Rice Pilaf

Yield: 12 servings, 2/3 cup each
Total Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 45-50 minutes


1 3/4 cup Basmati brown rice – please do not substitute other kinds of rice

2 teas chicken-style seasoning


broth or water for sautéing

1 1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup julienned carrots

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 teas minced garlic


2 cups frozen petite peas

1/2 teas dried basil

1 teas salt

1/4 teas garlic powder, this is in addition to the minced garlic


3/4 – 1 cup pecan halves or large walnut pieces – I prefer to break the pecans into quarters

  1. Combine rice, chicken-style seasoning and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer approximately 40 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  Fluff with fork and set aside.
  2. While the rice is cooking, roast nuts in a 300 degree oven for 10-12 minutes—check often!
  3. Sauté onions, carrots, raisins (or cranberries) and garlic 5-7 minutes, just until they are slightly tender, do not overcook.
  4. Add the peas, basil, garlic powder and salt to the sauté and cook 2-3 additional minutes.
  5. Stir in the rice, and heat through.
  6. Add the nuts and plate.