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Easy Cheesy Rice Pilaf: Featuring Long-Grain Rice at Its Best

Cheesy Rice Pilaf is long-grain rice combined with yellow bell peppers, parsley, peas, and cheese to make a colorful side dish.

CHEESY RICE PILAF-in a serving dish

Recipe Inspiration

A few weeks ago I staged a giveaway and asked my readers to tell me their favorite way to eat rice. I got several good ideas, including this recipe, from a long-time friend named Beth.

Cheese lovers will go crazy for this flavorful rice. Green peas add color and interest.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • RICE: Extra-long rice by Mahatma is my first choice but any long-grain rice is good. You could also substitute basmati or jasmine if you prefer.
  • ONIONS: Yellow onions work perfectly.
  • BELL PEPPERS: The recipe calls for yellow bell peppers. The color makes them blend in with the cheese. Red or orange peppers will change the look, but not the flavor. Using green bell peppers will add a slightly bitter flavor profile.
  • CHICKEN BROTH: Homemade stock is the best but certainly not a necessity. Use canned chicken broth if it’s more convenient. Or use a bouillon cube or powder to make broth.
  • PEAS: Frozen peas are my first, second, and third choice. Otherwise, leave them out.
  • CHEESE: My friend uses Fontina, but the originator of the recipe, Emeril Lagasse (according to Google), also suggests Mozzarella, which would be somewhat cheaper.

    Although I doubt if you would have clicked on this recipe if you didn’t like cheese, you could leave it out.

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pinterest image for cheesy rice pilaf

Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at

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Cheesy Rice Pilaf

Cheesy Rice Pilaf

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Long-grain rice combined with yellow bell peppers, parsley and cheese make a colorful sidedish.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell peppers
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 pound Fontina (or Mozzarella) cheese, diced or grated


  1. Melt butter on medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add chopped onions and bell peppers. Saute until soft but don't let them brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add rice, salt, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute. Stir in stock. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is soft, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the peas, cover and continue simmering until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the cheese and parsley, and stir. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

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Thursday 4th of July 2013

Hi Paula, Thanks so much for the terrific and Yummy sounding recipes. I'm going to be as fat as a pig !! By any chance do you have an easy microwave Banana Pudding recipe? My Uncle Gene in Mississippi loves banana pudding.

Thanks my new friend,



Saturday 15th of May 2010

Another great rice dish! I agree - I'll start eating more rice if it makes you look that good! There's something about cheese and rice that turns it into "comfort" food - can't wait to try this one too - thanks Beth!


Friday 14th of May 2010

That girl looks so good!! I love rice and looks like a great recipe. May have to leave off the cheese though as I am not a "cheesy" person. Will it hold together and be just as good without the cheese? Sis, you want to live down the street from Beth and I want to be on the route to Paula's work. Do you think we can work something out??


Thursday 13th of May 2010

Wow, I wish I lived down the block from you so I could eat all your leftovers!!


Thursday 13th of May 2010

This looks delicious, I'm saving it in my recipe file. My rice is always so boring:(