Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Leeks

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Published: Jan 19, 2023 by Vaishali · This post may contain affiliate links · Leave a Comment

Rice pilaf in skillet with text that says Rice pilaf in skillet with text that says

This simple but delectable rice pilaf with caramelized leeks needs just three ingredients and 30 minutes to make! It’s so full of flavor and perfect with a cozy vegan stew or curry.

Rice pilaf with leeks in skillet with spoon.Rice pilaf with leeks in skillet with spoon. Table of Contents

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Tasty and full of flavor. One-pot rice dishes that include veggies, like carrot rice, tomato rice and zucchini rice, are effortlessly flavorful and nutritious. This rice pilaf with leeks is the perfect side dish for any meal you cook up, and it is loaded with healthful nutrients.
  • Easy to make. You only need to chop a few leeks for this dish, and the rest is just putting the ingredients together in the skillet.
  • Suited to all diets. The recipe is nut-free, gluten-free and soy-free. If you are eating low-carb, make it with cauliflower rice.

Ingredients

  • Leeks. The leeks are the chief flavoring ingredient in this recipe and their mellow, oniony, rich deliciousness infuses the rice.
  • Basmati rice or any long-grain rice. Like rice for biryani, rice for pilaf should be long-grained and separate after cooking. Use basmati rice or any long-grain rice for this leek pilaf.
  • Garlic. The garlic is the only other ingredient here that adds flavor. I like to use lots of it, but you can tone it down to your tastes.

Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks and spoon.Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks and spoon.

Pro tip

Add a little extra salt to the water when you cook rice — the water should taste just a little saltier to you than you want the final dish to be. This will ensure your rice is perfectly seasoned.

Recipe FAQ

Can I make this rice pilaf with brown rice?

Yes, but increase cooking time to 45 minutes for brown rice, and also increase the amount of water from 4 cups to 6 cups.

Can I make this recipe in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely. Saute the garlic and leeks in the liner on the saute mode of the Instant Pot, then add the rice, saute until opaque and add water and salt. Close the IP lid and set to pressure cook for 10 minutes. You can let the pressure release manually or force-release 10 minutes after cooking is complete.

Can I add more veggies to the pilaf?

Green peas would be great here, as would grated carrots. Replace a portion of the leeks with the other veggies.

Serving suggestions

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Freeze: Spread the pilaf on a baking sheet and flash-freeze for an hour or two. Store the frozen rice in airtight bags or a freezer-safe container for up to four months.
  • Reheat: Reheat the rice pilaf on the stove in a saucepan set on low heat, or in the microwave, until warmed through.

More yummy rice recipes

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Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks in skillet.Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks in skillet. Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks in skillet.Rice pilaf with caramelized leeks in skillet.

Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Leeks

This simple but delectable rice pilaf with caramelized leeks needs just three ingredients and 30 minutes to make! It’s so full of flavor and perfect with a cozy vegan stew or curry.

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Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Fusion

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 223kcal

Author: Vaishali · Holy Cow Vegan

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Instructions

  • Place garlic and olive oil in a cold skillet. Turn on heat to low and let the garlic infuse in the olive oil until lightly golden.

  • Add the leeks to the skillet along with salt and pepper and mix them in. Cook the leeks over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn golden brown.

  • Add washed and strained rice to the skillet and mix. Saute the rice for a minute until the rice begins to turn opaque.

  • Add 3 cups water and more salt to taste, if needed. Mix, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Set the timer for 10 minutes.

  • After 10 minutes stir the rice for the last time. Cover again and set the timer for 10 more minutes. Once the rice has finished cooking, don’t open the lid. Leave it undisturbed for at least 10 more minutes before opening. Fluff the grains of rice with a fork before serving.

Recipe notes

Pro tip Add a little extra salt to the water when you cook rice — the water should taste just a little saltier to you than you want the final dish to be. This will ensure your rice is perfectly seasoned. Serving suggestions

  • Serve the pilaf with a hearty chili, a vegan stew, or a spicy curry.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Freeze: Spread the pilaf on a baking sheet and flash-freeze for an hour or two. Store the frozen rice in airtight bags or a freezer-safe container for up to four months.
  • Reheat: Reheat the rice pilaf on the stove in a saucepan set on low heat, or in the microwave, until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 742IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Vaishali


Hi! I’m Vaishali, a journalist turned food blogger. At Holy Cow Vegan I share easy, tasty recipes made with clean, wholesome ingredients that the entire family can enjoy.

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