Mushroom Rice Pilaf is an easy and flavorful one-pot recipe made with wild mushrooms, garlic, herbs, and sprinkled with buttery, crunchy slivered almonds. Enjoy this delicious Mushroom Rice Pilaf with all your dinner favorites or make it your own by adding soft cubes of roasted acorn squash or butternut squash.
Rice Pilaf, like this super fun holiday Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf, remains one of my favorite dinner sides. Easy to prepare and cook, and always delicious leftover, it’s hard to go wrong with rice.
This Mushroom Rice Pilaf, a personal favorite and a recipe which I have been making for years, is my go-to whenever I want a stand-out side dish with simple ingredients. Filled with mushrooms, garlic, shallots, and topped with slivered almonds, it’s the perfect savory complement to any chicken or fish dinner and is loved by all ages.
The ideal side dish for entertaining, this easy one-pot mushroom rice pilaf is easily customized to be completely vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Mushroom Rice Pilaf Ingredients
- Butter (or olive oil)
- Shallots (or onion)
- Dried thyme
- Italian seasoning
- Mushrooms- crimini, white, and Shiitake (all three or just one)
- Long grain white rice
- Stock- chicken, beef, veggie
- Dry sherry (or white wine)
- Salt+ Pepper
As you can see, there are many ways to substitute, add, or subtract ingredients to make it work just for you and your own personal dietary needs.
Before I share with you HOW to make this Mushroom Rice Pilaf, let’s get a little background on what we’re going to be eating.
WHAT IS PILAF?
Pilaf is believed to have originated in ancient India. Made by cooking rice in a seasoned broth, pilaf is an essential dish throughout the Middle East, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, India, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Depending on the method of cooking, sometimes the rice is sauteed in butter or oil first, before adding broth, to give it a golden brown color. Other times, and in many recipes, meat (chicken, beef, lamb, rabbit) will be added, in addition to vegetables and dried fruit.
Every country, region, and cook will have their own unique method for preparing pilaf.
The cooking method that I have grown to know and love involves cooking the dish in stages…
How to make Mushroom Rice Pilaf
In order to have delicious tasting Mushroom Pilaf with every single bite, the rice must be cooked in stages.
First, the aromatics, or garlic and shallots, are cooked slow and low in some kind of fat. In this case, I chose butter, but to keep it dairy-free or vegetarian/vegan-friendly, olive oil will work just as well. These aromatics are the first layer of flavor and a must in nearly all pilaf dishes.
Any vegetables will be added next. In this case, we have mushrooms. The mushrooms, a huge contributing factor to the overall flavor of the rice, are cooked just until they start to drop their water. At first, it will appear that you have a TON of mushrooms, but the mushrooms will shrink once they have cooked.
The rice is added after the vegetables have been cooked and the herbs have been added. Some people choose to add the rice and broth at the same time, however, I like to toast my rice for a minute with the aromatics and vegetables before adding any broth. As you may have guessed, this adds even more flavor to the rice. Depending on how much liquid is in the pot when you add the rice, take care not to burn the rice by stirring frequently.
The rice is toasted, now add the broth. If you are not vegetarian or vegan, I highly recommend a flavorful chicken stock, beef stock, or even better, homemade bone broth. A great tasting stock has the chance to really amp up the flavor of any rice dish.
I also added dry sherry, a wine which has been fortified with brandy. Dry sherry adds a beautiful, somewhat complex flavor to this Mushroom Pilaf and perfectly complements the mushrooms. If you can’t find dry sherry, a dry white wine is a great substitute, or if you prefer no alcohol at all, simply substitute with additional broth or water.
The rest of the cooking process is easy! Cover and simmer over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Garnish with fresh thyme, parsley or other fresh herbs and sprinkle with crunchy slivered almonds.
Tips for making Mushroom Rice Pilaf
- Use a damp paper towel to gently remove dirt and clean your mushrooms. If your mushrooms are really dirty, submerge them in cold water and transfer directly to a soft towel to dry completely. Do not submerge for longer than a second or so and dry completely as soon as possible.
- For the best flavor and therefore the best Mushroom Rice Pilaf, don’t skip the sherry.
- Simmer over low heat (not medium, not high) as to prevent burning the rice.
- Add a mix of different mushrooms like crimini, white, and Shiitake or any other favorites!
- Mix it up! Add some dried cranberries for a little sweetness, shredded rotisserie chicken to make it an easy and complete meal, or other vegetables such as carrots, spinach, or sweet potato.
If you try making this Mushroom Rice Pilaf, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
For more rice recipes check out,
- Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe (Mixed Rice)
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Turmeric Broth Soup with Wild Rice
- Wild Rice Salad with Beets, Oranges and Whipped Lemon Ricotta
- One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice
- Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
- Easy Thai Fried Rice Recipe (Khao Phat Kaphrao)
- Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf
DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE THIS MUSHROOM RICE PILAF FOR AN EASY AND FLAVORFUL DINNER SIDE DISH.
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Mushroom Rice Pilaf
- 4 tbsp butter, divided
- 3 large shallots, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
- 1.5 cups long grain white rice, thoroughly rinsed
- 2.5 cups low sodium chicken stock, or water
- 1/3 cup dry sherry, or dry white wine
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh thyme, to garnish
- slivered almonds, to garnish
- Cook the shallots. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft (approximately 6-8 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low if the shallots start to burn. Once softened, add the garlic, dried thyme, and dried Italian seasoning. Mix well to combine. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Prepare the Mushrooms. As the shallots are cooking, prepare the mushrooms. Remove any tough stems and clean by gently wiping away any dirt with a damp paper towel. Slice the mushrooms or chop into smaller pieces. Set aside until ready to use.
- Cook the mushrooms. With the shallots softened and the garlic fragrant, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to the pan followed by the mushrooms. Gently mix the mushrooms with the shallots and garlic, stirring often for even cooking. Continue to cook the mushrooms just until they start to release their water.
- Add the rice and broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the rice to the pan and mix well to combine. Allow the rice to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the chicken broth (or water) and dry sherry (or white wine), salt, and pepper.
- Simmer and cook. Mix well to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Cook the rice for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
- Rest and serve. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork. Season to taste and serve garnished with fresh thyme and slivered almonds, if desired. Enjoy!
- To make this recipe Vegetarian: substitute the butter with olive oil and use water or vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
- To make this recipe Dairy-Free: substitute the butter with olive oil.
- Is Sherry gluten-free? Yes. Sherry is made from a combination of wine and brandy which are both made from grapes and are gluten-free.