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One-pot spring rice pilaf with asparagus and peas is a bright, fresh and easy side dish that’s topped with Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and (optional) pine nuts!
This recipe first appeared on Real Housemoms, where I am a contributor.
Hiya friends! So I know we are unofficially into summer but I just couldn’t let the last days of spring go by without sharing this recipe!
It’s got one of my favorite seasonal combinations: asparagus and peas. And basil mixed in for good measure. Cause basil. 💚🌿
(I have a simple veggie side of asparagus with peas and basil with these same flavors!)
But mixing them into this one-pot spring rice pilaf and topping it with some Parmesan cheese and pine nuts for a rich, nutty finish is just taking it over the top. In a really good way. 😉
Spring in a bowl!
All the freshness and all the lightness we want this time of year and still all kinds of delicious. And so easy!
Plus, this side dish goes great with so many dishes – grilled or baked chicken, roasted fish or pork chops. It would be super yummy with my 3-ingredient easy balsamic pork tenderloin too.
Notes on how to make spring rice pilaf:
- You need to get the slender thin asparagus for this. Those huge thick stalks won’t steam up quickly enough in the pot during the end of the rice cooking time. If all you can get are the big stalks, I’d suggest steaming or sautéing them separately, until tender, and adding them in at the end with the peas.
- Parmesan cheese, or at least a hard Italian cheese, for serving is kind-of a must here in my opinion. However, you could use nutritional yeast to make this vegan.
- Don’t skip the basil either. It adds such a great hit of freshness at the end and pairs so well with these veggies.
- Pine nuts, however, are optional. I’ve made it both ways and while they add a great nutty flavor and a good crunchy texture on top, the rice pilaf is delicious even without them. They can be super expensive, so don’t feel like you have to buy them just for this dish.
I especially love that this can all cook together in one pot.
Not only is it easier clean-up, but it helps the flavors meld and just brings the dish together!
Oh, and lastly, we are a brown rice, whole grain loving family here but if you prefer white rice, you can still make this dish!
Everything works the same, you’ll just adjust the cooking time – initially cooking the rice for about 10 minutes instead of 20. 👍
So as we bid farewell to spring and coast into the long days of summer, I wish you all kinds of delicious veggies and easy side dishes, like this spring rice pilaf. 💚
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cups brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch long pieces
- 1 cup peas (thawed, if frozen)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Add rice and stir to get it mixed with the onion and coated in the oils.
- Add vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add trimmed asparagus on top of the rice in the pot then cover and cook another 10 minutes.
- Uncover, add peas, then turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Stir peas and asparagus into the rice and season pilaf with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and basil.
You need to get slender asparagus for this. Those huge thick stalks won’t steam up quickly enough in the pot during the end of the rice cooking time. If all you can get are the big stalks, I’d suggest steaming or sautéing them separately, until tender, and adding them in at the end with the peas.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 299mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5g Protein: 12g