Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Chicken and Rice
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
369 Calories
28g Fat
16g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 1048mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 9mg 47%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy chicken and rice recipe is a flavorful pilaf made with cooked chicken, pecans, and rice. Tomatoes and seasonings are added to give it lots of flavor and moisture. It's a one-pot meal to prepare and cook in a saucepan or sauté pan that comes together quickly for a hearty and hot week-night dinner. This is a terrific vehicle for leftover cooked chicken or turkey.

A spin-off of this dish is Indian-inspired chicken and rice with curry powder​​ or slow-cooker chicken curry If you're looking for an entirely different flavor profile, this easy chicken and rice casserole made with Italian dressing will deliver.


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

  • 3 cups chicken broth, boiling

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

  3. Add chicken and onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pecans and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring as necessary. Add salt, pepper, and coriander, and mix until well combined.

  4. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until all the grains of rice are coated with the fat (butter).

  5. Add the boiling broth and undrained can of tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a boil.

  6. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

  7. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered.

  8. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve hot with a salad if desired.

Recipe Variation

  • If desired, while the pilaf is resting for 5 minutes, for a little variety, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen peas, mix, recover and wait 5 minutes. The residual heat should be enough to thaw the peas to a delicious al dente consistency.

What Is Pilaf?

When people hear a dish referred to as a pilaf, they automatically assume it is rice based. But a pilaf is a method of preparation, not the name of a dish itself.

Any type of usually dried whole grain can be used to make a basic pilaf, also known as pilau. The grain is sautéed in some type of hot fat to toast it and keep the grains separate. Then a boiling liquid, usually a broth, is added to the grains, stirred, and then cooked with the lid on until the liquid is absorbed.

Vegetables and meats can be added to turn what would otherwise be a side dish into a whole and filling meal.