Sehriyeli Pilav: Turkish-Style Rice Pilaf With Orzo

Sehriyeli Pilav (Turkish rice pilaf) recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
84 Calories
5g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 84
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 421mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 34mg 1%
*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.)

Add some flair to your meat and poultry menus with this easy and tasty recipe for classic sehriyeli pilav, or Turkish rice pilaf. Rice pilaf is famous all over the world and served in some of the finest restaurants as a side dish to poultry or red meats. In Turkey, pilav (pee-LAHV) is the word used to describe not only one but a whole array of dishes made with rice. They can sometimes include meats, currants, and spices or be straightforward and very versatile such as this rice pilaf with orzo recipe.

This particular pilaf is cooked with butter, oil, and orzo. It's a nice side to serve with grilled meats, stewed dishes, and anytime you would serve plain rice. If you want to transform it into an entrée, try Turkish rice pilaf with chicken and chickpeas.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 2 tablespoons orzo pasta

  • 1 cup rice (baldo or Calrose)

  • 2 cups chicken broth or bouillon

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sehriyeli pilav (Turkish rice pilaf)
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. In a shallow saucepan, melt the butter and oil together. Add the orzo and stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta turns a dark golden color. Be careful and keep stirring so the butter and orzo don't burn.

    Melted butter, oil, and orzo in a saucepan
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Add the uncooked rice and stir thoroughly until the grains are coated with the oil. Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and then bring to a boil. If you are using chicken bouillon in place of stock, cut down on or omit the salt.

    Add uncooked rice to orzo
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice slowly simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.

    Turkish rice pilaf covered and simmering in a large pot
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. Without removing the cover, take the pan from the heat and put it aside to cool down for 5 minutes, keeping the lid on at all times. If too much condensation forms on the inside of the lid, open it and cover the top of the pan with a few paper towels, then replace the lid. This will absorb excess moisture and allow the rice to continue steaming at an even pace.

    Remove pot from heat to let cool
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Before serving, open the lid and gently stir the rice to loosen the bottom and separate the grains.

    A pot of sehriyeli pilav (Turkish rice pilaf)
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. You can use a small dessert bowl or ramekin as a mold to ​give it that signature rice pilaf look. Fill the bowl with the rice and use the back of a spoon to pack it down tightly. Invert the bowl onto a serving plate. The pilaf will pop out and should remain in the molded shape.

    Turkish rice pilaf with orzo
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of orzo, sauté 2 tablespoons of rice vermicelli (short vermicelli).
  • For a vegan-friendly pilaf, replace the butter with an additional tablespoon of oil and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

What to Serve With Turkish Rice Pilaf

This pilaf would make an excellent side dish to serve alongside meat, poultry or fish. Try one of these tasty Turkish main dish recipes:

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover Sehriyeli Pilav in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
  • To freeze, transfer the rice pilaf to a zip-close freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat in the microwave, put the pilaf in a microwave safe container and cover with damp paper towels. Heat on 100% for 1 minute. Stir and heat for another minute, or until hot throughout (165 F is the minimum recommended temperature for leftovers).
  • To reheat pilaf in the oven, place it in an oven safe container. Cover with foil and heat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot.

What Is Baldo Rice?

Baldo rice is a type of Turkish rice that is a hybrid of Arborio and another variety. This short-grain rice is milled, plump, and very starchy; it becomes very tender and creamy when cooked. If you cannot find baldo, you can substitute with Arborio or Calrose, which is a medium-grain from California. You will also find pilaf recipes calling for long-grain rice, but that will result in a very different texture.

What Is Calrose Rice?

Calrose is a popular medium-grain rice that originated in California. "Cal" is for California and "rose" indicates the medium-grain shape.