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Lebanese Restaurant Rice Pilaf

Rated as 4.25 out of 5 Stars

"Took me three tries but I finally nailed a restaurant style Lebanese rice pilaf. Nothing I tried online came close to this and I guess the secret is the right kind of rice, the right rice/water ratio and of course, plenty of butter and oil! Find yourself a good Lebanese yogurt marinade, grill some meats, and get a hold of some hummus. If you're from Southeast Michigan or anywhere else with a large Middle Eastern population, you will feel like you're eating at your favorite place! Trust me."
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55 m servings 203
Original recipe yields 12 servings (6 cups)


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  1. Soak rice in a bowl of water for 10 minutes; drain and rinse until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir orzo until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add drained rice and increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir orzo-rice mixture until rice is coated in butter-oil mixture and starts to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour water over rice mixture and season with salt; stir and bring to a boil. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rice is fluffy and tender yet firm, about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat; cook and stir almonds until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and stir in tahini until almonds are evenly coated. Mix almond mixture into rice mixture.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Squeeze a little lemon over the top of the rice at the end for some added tartness.
  • Use other roasted nuts like pistachios or cashews or even add some golden raisins for variety.
  • Some restaurants also use little pieces of vermicelli or angel hair pasta instead of orzo so you can substitute those, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 203 calories; 13.4 18 2.8 20 641 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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This is not too similar to what Lebanese rice I've had but it is tasty nonetheless. I added a lot more nuts--2 or 3 times the stated amount--and a bit of golden raisins. Thanks for a good, versa...

I like rice. And, I really like Lebanese food. But, I was hoping for more with this one. I guess the photos led me to believe this rice dish was going to be much more flavourful than it is. It’s...

My family and the groups I have made it for loved this recipe. Our local Lebanese restaurant puts carrots in theirs, so I dice up some carrots and put them in about halfway through with the ric...

I made this rice to pair with shish tawook for a Lebanese dinner with friends. The rice turned out delicious, but looked nothing like the picture. It was nowhere near that yellow. I added about ...