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