Rice pilaf is a delicious and versatile side dish that can be served with just about anything.
But what should you serve with it?
Rice pilaf pairs well with grilled or roasted vegetables, chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Serve it up with a light green salad for a complete meal. If you’re looking for something a bit more indulgent, try topping your rice pilaf with sautéed mushrooms and onions or serve it alongside balsamic glazed salmon.
If you are looking for the perfect sides to go with your rice pilaf, then you have come to the right place.
I’m sharing 15 of my favorite side dishes to serve with rice pilaf including veggie sides, salads, proteins, and more.
Whether you are looking for something light and healthy or something hearty and comforting, there is sure to be something on this list that will make your meal complete!
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Rice Pilaf?
Serving side dishes with rice pilaf is a great way to add flavor and texture to the meal.
Here are three reasons why:
- Variety – Rice pilaf can be served as a side dish for many different types of main courses, from grilled meats and fish to vegetarian dishes. Serving it with other sides adds variety and interest to the plate.
- Balance – Side dishes like vegetables, salads, or beans provide balance by adding freshness, crunchiness, or creaminess that complements the soft texture of the rice pilaf. This helps create an overall more enjoyable eating experience.
- Nutrition – Adding side dishes also increases the nutritional value of your meal by providing additional vitamins and minerals that may not be present in just plain rice pilaf alone. For example, serving roasted vegetables alongside your rice pilaf will give you extra fiber and antioxidants that help keep you healthy!
What To Serve With Rice Pilaf? 15 Best Side Dishes
Rice pilaf is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served as the main course or side.
If you are looking for some ideas on what to serve with rice pilaf, here are fifteen tasty sides that will complement it perfectly:
- What Is It? Creamy Potato Cauliflower Soup is a vegan soup made with potatoes, cauliflower, and a variety of herbs and spices. The soup is creamy and flavorful, making it the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf pairs perfectly with Creamy Potato Cauliflower Soup for a delicious vegan dinner. Serve the soup with some crusty bread or a side salad for an easy weeknight meal. For something heartier, try adding cooked lentils or chickpeas to the soup for added protein. You can also serve the soup alongside roasted vegetables or grilled tofu for an even more filling meal.
- What Is It? Crispy Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken is a delicious and easy to make dinner that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. The chicken is roasted in a garlic herb butter sauce, giving it an incredibly flavorful and crispy skin.
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf is the perfect side dish for this roast chicken. Serve it alongside steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad for a complete meal. For added flavor, top the rice pilaf with toasted nuts or dried fruit before serving. You can also add some cooked bacon or sausage to the mix for extra protein and flavor.
- What Is It? Chickpea salad is a simple and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. It’s made with cooked chickpeas, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. The combination of flavors creates a light and refreshing salad that can be served as an accompaniment to any meal.
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf and chickpea salad make for a great dinner when served alongside grilled chicken or fish. For a vegetarian option, try adding roasted vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini to the mix. You can also serve it as part of a larger spread by adding other sides like couscous or quinoa salads.
4. Crab Cakes
- What Is It? Crab cakes are a classic seafood dish made with lump crab meat, bread crumbs, and seasonings. They can be served as an appetizer or main course.
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf is the perfect side dish for crab cakes. The nutty flavor of the rice pairs well with the sweet and savory flavors of the crab cakes. Serve it alongside a simple green salad for a light but satisfying meal. For a heartier dinner, add roasted vegetables or grilled shrimp to your plate. You can also serve it with steamed broccoli or asparagus for added nutrition and color.
- What Is It? Roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicious and nutritious side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. The Brussels sprouts are cut in half, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted until they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Dinner Ideas: Roasted Brussels sprouts can be served as a side dish to any main course. They pair especially well with grilled or roasted meats such as steak, chicken, pork chops, or salmon. For a vegetarian option, try serving them alongside a veggie burger or tofu stir-fry. Rice pilaf is also an excellent accompaniment for these roasted veggies; the nutty flavor of the rice complements the earthy taste of the Brussels sprouts perfectly!
- What Is It? Broccoli cheese soup is a creamy, cheesy soup made with broccoli and cheddar cheese. The soup can be served as an appetizer or main course, depending on the size of the portion. It’s also a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables!
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf pairs well with many dishes, but it’s especially delicious when served alongside broccoli cheese soup. The combination of flavors creates a comforting meal that will satisfy everyone at the table. For an extra special touch, top the rice pilaf with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving. You can also serve this dish with grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.
- What Is It? Instant Pot Pinto Beans are a quick and easy way to make delicious, flavorful beans in the comfort of your own home. This recipe uses dried pinto beans, which are cooked in an Instant Pot with aromatics like onion, garlic, and spices. The result is a creamy and hearty side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf or other grains.
- Dinner Ideas: Instant Pot Pinto Beans can be served as a side dish for any meal. Serve them alongside grilled chicken or fish for a light dinner, or pair them with tacos or burritos for a Mexican-inspired feast. They also make an excellent addition to salads and grain bowls. For vegetarians and vegans, they can be served as the main course along with some steamed vegetables or roasted potatoes.
- What Is It? Juicy skillet pork chops are a delicious and easy-to-make dinner option. The pork chops are cooked in a hot skillet with butter, garlic, and herbs until they’re golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside.
- Dinner Ideas: Juicy skillet pork chops pair perfectly with rice pilaf for a complete meal. The savory flavors of the pork chop combined with the nutty flavor of the rice make for an irresistible combination. You can also serve them with roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes for a heartier meal. For something lighter, try serving them over a bed of greens or alongside some steamed vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.
- What Is It? Grilled zucchini with Parmesan is a simple and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. The zucchini is sliced into thick rounds, brushed with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper before being grilled until lightly charred. Once cooked, the slices are topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor.
- Dinner Ideas: This flavorful side dish can be served alongside any number of main dishes such as roasted chicken or pork chops. For a vegetarian option, try serving it alongside a veggie burger or portobello mushroom steak. Rice pilaf makes the perfect accompaniment to this dish as it helps to soak up all the delicious flavors from the grilled zucchini and Parmesan cheese.
- What Is It? Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that combines the flavors of lemon, garlic, and butter with salmon. The result is a flavorful and juicy fish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf.
- Dinner Ideas: To make a complete meal out of this dish, serve it alongside some steamed vegetables such as broccoli or green beans. For an extra flavor boost, add some freshly chopped herbs like parsley or dill to the vegetables before serving. You can also pair it with a side salad for added nutrition. Rice pilaf makes an excellent accompaniment to this dish as its light texture complements the rich flavors of the salmon.
11. Greek Salad
- What Is It? Greek salad is a classic Mediterranean dish that consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, feta cheese and herbs. The vegetables are usually diced or sliced and tossed with a vinaigrette dressing.
- Dinner Ideas: Rice pilaf pairs well with Greek salad for a light dinner. Serve the rice pilaf alongside the salad and add grilled chicken or fish for protein. For an even heartier meal, serve the rice pilaf as a bed for roasted lamb chops or pork tenderloin. To make it more substantial, top the rice pilaf with sautéed mushrooms or cooked shrimp.
- What Is It? Oven Roasted Honey Garlic Butter Carrots is a simple and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. The carrots are roasted in the oven until they are tender and caramelized, then tossed in a honey garlic butter sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
- Dinner Ideas: Oven Roasted Honey Garlic Butter Carrots can be served as part of a larger meal or as a stand-alone side dish. Serve it alongside grilled chicken, steak, pork chops, salmon, or any other protein of your choice. For vegetarian options, try serving it with roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. Rice pilaf makes the perfect accompaniment to this flavorful side dish!
- What Is It? Greek Stuffed Tomatoes (Gemista/Yemista) is a traditional Greek dish made with tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables stuffed with rice and herbs. The vegetables are usually roasted in the oven until they are tender and the stuffing is cooked through.
- Dinner Ideas: Greek Stuffed Tomatoes (Gemista/Yemista) pairs well with a variety of dishes such as grilled meats, fish, or poultry. Serve it alongside a simple salad for a light meal or pair it with roasted potatoes for a heartier dinner. For an even more filling meal, serve it alongside some crusty bread or pita to soak up all the delicious juices from the tomatoes and peppers.
- What Is It? Herb and garlic roasted red potatoes are a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf. The potatoes are cut into cubes, tossed in olive oil, herbs, and garlic, then roasted until golden brown and crispy. The result is a flavorful side dish that can be served with just about any main course.
- Dinner Ideas: Herb and garlic roasted red potatoes make an excellent accompaniment to rice pilaf. Serve them alongside grilled chicken or fish for a light dinner or pair them with steak or pork chops for a heartier meal. They also go well with vegetarian dishes such as lentil stew or vegetable curry. For an easy weeknight dinner, serve the potatoes over cooked quinoa or couscous for a complete meal.
- What Is It? Cream cheese stuffed mushrooms are a delicious and easy appetizer or side dish. They are made by stuffing mushroom caps with a creamy mixture of cream cheese, herbs, garlic, and spices. The mushrooms can then be baked until golden brown and served hot or cold.
- Dinner Ideas: Cream cheese stuffed mushrooms make an excellent accompaniment to any meal. Serve them as part of a larger spread for dinner parties or family gatherings, alongside grilled meats such as steak or chicken. For a vegetarian option, serve the mushrooms with roasted vegetables and grains like quinoa or rice pilaf for a complete meal.
In conclusion, rice pilaf is a delicious and versatile side dish that can be served with a variety of other dishes.
From cauliflower potato soup to pan fried salmon, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The best dishes to serve with rice pilaf are juicy roasted chicken, chickpea salad, crab cakes, roasted Brussels sprouts, cream of broccoli soup, instant pot pinto beans, juicy skillet pork chops, grilled zucchini with pesto, pan-fried salmon, Greek salad, buttered carrots, and stuffed tomatoes.
These sides are all full of flavor and can be easily prepared in a short amount of time.
With these 15 side dishes, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect accompaniment for your rice pilaf.
What To Serve With Rice Pilaf? 15 Best Side Dishes
- Creamy Potato Cauliflower Soup (vegan)
- Crispy Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken
- Chickpea Salad
- Crab Cakes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Juicy Skillet Pork Chops
- Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan
- Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
- Greek Salad
- Oven Roasted Honey Garlic Butter Carrots
- Greek Stuffed Tomatoes (Gemista/Yemista)
- Herb and Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all of the required ingredients.
- Prep a meal in 30 minutes or less.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.