Easy Greek Rice (Pantry Meal, GF, Vegan)

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This simple Greek Rice is easily made with pantry staples and a few minutes of active cooking. With just a few basic ingredients, you can turn this into a delicious Mediterranean Rice into a whole meal! 

Suitable for vegan and gluten free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the completed greek rice pilaf recipe

Tired of boring plain rice? I know I am, so that’s why I’ve been digging around my pantry to see how to mix things up a bit without having to spend extra money or head out to the store.

After some searching, I found Greek seasoning in my cupboard and decided to try to make this restaurant favorite Greek rice at home.   

Folks, I’m here to say that this homemade Greek Rice Pilaf is full of flavor, requires a minimal amount of prep and is made entirely with budget-friendly pantry staples so you can quickly whip it up for weeknight suppers, impromptu lunches and more. #pantrystaplesforthewin

Related Link : Easy Homemade Greek Seasoning.

So what is a pilaf exactly? Pilaf is when you cook your rice in stock or broth and add spices to it. This is an easy way to add lots of flavor to plain rice without spending a lot of money.

You can even make this into a complete from-the-pantry meal by adding in other Greek-inspired staple ingredients such as olives and chopped sundried tomatoes!

greek rice in a cooking pot

You Will Love This Recipe Because

  • it is made from everyday pantry staples
  • this is a budget-friendly dish
  • it pairs well with many other recipes
  • this is great for meal prep
  • it is SO easy to prepare

Ready to learn how to make this simple Mediterranean rice? Gather up your ingredients and I will show you…..

What You’ll Need To Make Flavorful Rice At Home

  • olive oil
  • diced frozen onion (or fresh onion)
  • minced garlic
  • Greek seasoning (or simply use 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp dill)
  • bay leaf
  • rice
  • reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • toppings to make this into a complete meal: chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives

How To Make Greek Rice Pilaf

  1. Rinse the rice till water runs clear and let it drain for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and cook the diced onions for 6 minutes or until they have softened.
  3. Stir in garlic and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the rice into the saucepan and stir until rice coated.
  5. Add in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, and greek seasoning (or oregano and dill weed), cover the saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer before turning the heat down to low.
  6. Cook for about 12 minutes or until water is mostly evaporated.
  7. Leave the saucepan covered, reduce to the lowest heat setting (use the smallest hob on the stovetop), and let steam for about 10 minutes. 
  8. Let the rice rest for 5 minutes, stir through, and serve warm
  9. To make a complete pantry meal, serve with chopped sundried tomatoes and olives.
image collage showing the steps for making greek rice

Instant Pot Greek Rice

  • Rinse the rice till water runs clear and let it drain for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in Instant Pot and cook the diced onions for 6 minutes or until they have softened.
  • Switch off the saute mode and add in the vegetable broth, lemon juice Greek seasoning (or oregano and dill weed), garlic and rice scrapping the bottom of the Insert to free anything that might have stuck to the bottom
  • Close the lid, seal, choose the pressure cook (or manual setting) and set the timer for 4 mins and let cook.
  • When done, perform a quick pressure release, fluff the rice and serve with olive and sun-dried tomatoes.

Mediterranean Rice Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to drain the rice well before cooking to avoid soggy rice.
  • Add more dill for an extra infusion of flavor.

Recipe Variations

  • add in butter (or vegan butter) at the beginning to make the rice more velvety and rich.
  • use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.
  • add some lemon zest and additional herbs to increase the flavor profile.
finished greek rice with olives sundried tomatoes and lemon

Do I have To Rinse And Dry This Rice?

To make sure the rice is light and fluffy, you have to remove the surface starch by rinsing and drying the rice. I recommend rinsing it in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water as a simple mess-free way to do it. Make sure to drain well before cooking to avoid soggy rice.

close up view of greek rice pilaf

Meal Prep and Prep Ahead

Mediterranean Rice is ideal for meal prep because it can be easily stored in the fridge or freezer until you need it. Why not make a double batch, then divide and store in the freezer? You’ll feel good knowing you have a super tasty rice dish ready to reheat whenever you need!

Prep Ahead – Make ahead and refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Freeze – Follow the handy tips below on how to freeze this:

  • Let the rice cool before storing them in your storage containers or Ziploc bags. 
  • Squeeze out all the extra air and seal the bags.
  • Label the bags and then lay them flat in the freezer.
  • Store in the freezer for 3 months.

Thaw and Reheat

  • Thaw and reheat in the microwave according to your microwave instructions.
  • Or you can put the container in the refrigerator the night before to thaw and then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Meal Prep

This recipe is so versatile, which means it’s perfect for meal prep. It stands on its own as a complete meal or can be added to all sorts of other dishes. Here are some suggestions:

  • You can easily turn this Mediterranean Rice into a hearty and filling soup.
  • Roll it up with some feta cheese to make delicious wraps.
  • Add leftover rice to omelets and frittatas.
greek rice with olives and a slice of lemon

Serving Suggestions

Other Easy Rice Recipes

Weight Watchers Points

If you replace the olive oil with no-calorie cooking spray, there are 8 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Thank you for reading my Mediterranean recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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the completed greek rice pilaf recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Greek Rice Pilaf

This flavorful Greek rice recipe is a comforting meal you can make for dinner tonight with pantry ingredients.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Western
Servings: 4
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced frozen onion or one onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp greek seasoning or 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups rice washed and well-drained
  • 2.5 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Optional toppings: chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives

Instant Pot Version

    Reduce broth to 1.75 cups of broth.

      Instructions

      • Rinse the rice till water runs clear and let it drain for at least 30 minutes.
      • Heat oil in a saucepan and cook the diced onions for 6 minutes or until they have softened.
      • Stir in garlic and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
      • Add the rice into the saucepan and stir until rice coated.
      • Add in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, and greek seasoning (or oregano and dill), cover the saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer before turning the heat down to low.
      • Cook for about 12 minutes or until water is mostly evaporated.
      • Leave the saucepan covered, reduce to the lowest heat setting and let steam for about 10 minutes.
      • Let the rice rest for 5 minutes, stir through, and serve warm
      • To make a complete pantry meal – serve with chopped sundried tomatoes and olives.

      Instant Pot Greek Rice

      • Rinse the rice till water runs clear and let it drain for at least 30 minutes.
      • Heat oil in Instant Pot and cook the diced onions for 6 minutes or until they have softened.
      • Switch off the saute mode and add in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, garlic and rice scrapping the bottom of the Insert to free anything that might have stuck to the bottom.
      • Close the lid, seal, choose the pressure cook (or manual setting) and set the timer for 4 mins and let cook.
      • When done, perform a quick pressure release, fluff the rice and serve with olive and sun-dried tomatoes.
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      Notes

      Recipe Tips

      • Make sure to drain the rice well before cooking to avoid soggy rice.
      • Add more dill for an extra infusion of flavor.

      Recipe Variations

      • add in butter (or vegan butter) at the beginning to make the rice more velvety and rich.
      • use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.
      • add some lemon zest and additional herbs to increase the flavor profile.

      Serving Suggestions

      Weight Watchers Points

      If you replace the olive oil with no-calorie cooking spray, there are 8 Blue Plan SmartPoints in a serving of this rice pilaf.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 593mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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      Recipe Rating




      5 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        The Easy Greek Rice and buffet images look absolutely mouthwatering! The vibrant colors and enticing presentation make me want to dive right in. The rice appears perfectly cooked and seasoned to perfection, while the buffet spread showcases a delightful variety of dishes. It’s clear that a lot of care and attention to detail went into creating this culinary masterpiece. I can almost taste the flavors through the screen! Kudos to the chef for creating such a visually appealing and appetizing feast.

      2. 5 stars
        I came to this site with the introduction of a friend around me and I was very impressed when I found your writing. I’ll come back often after bookmarking! casinocommunity

      3. I am very impressed with your writing slotsite I couldn’t think of this, but it’s amazing! I wrote several posts similar to this one, but please come and see!

      4. After four minutes and a quick release the rice wasn’t cooked and it was still quite soggy.