rice pilaf on serving spoon over skillet

Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Cranberries

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

This delicious Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds is going to be perfect on your holiday table! This rice recipe goes with both turkey and ham!



  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds, divided (*see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Melt the butter in a large (12-13 inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add the chopped garlic, cooking 1 minute longer.
  2. Add the orzo and rice, stirring in with the onions and cook until the rice and orzo are toasted and slightly brown in color. This should take between 8-10 minutes, don’t skip this step as toasting the rice and orzo give the pilaf it’s delicious flavor and texture! Add 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds along with 1/4 cup of the dried cranberries and stir to combine.
  3. Season the rice with salt and pepper and then pour in the chicken broth and stir. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice and orzo are tender and the chicken broth is absorbed.
  4. Remove from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the parsley and pour into a serving dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of almonds and the remaining 1/4 cup of dried cranberries.

Recipe Notes

To make this pilaf ahead of time: Cook the recipe as written, without adding the additional toppings. Cool and transfer to a glass dish or container and refrigerate until ready. Remove from the refrigerator and warm in the microwave or the oven until warmed though. If warming in the oven, cover with foil and warm at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Once the pilaf is warm, transfer to a baking dish and garnish with the additional toasted almonds and cranberries.

This rice pilaf recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American