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Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

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An easy rice dish is the perfect way to round out any meal. This Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds is simple enough for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough for company! 

Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds in a shallow casserole dish

Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

This Italian Rice Pilaf has been an Indianapolis favorite since it appeared in our out of print, Junior League cookbook, Winners: Winning Recipes from the Junior League of Indianapolis. I’ve had it at dinner parties and made it for company. Cooked in the oven, this rice is easy to make ahead, park in the fridge, then bake up when guests arrive.

Overhead view of Italian Rice Pilaf in a round casserole

Easy Side Dish

When planning a dinner menu, whether for a big family gathering or a dinner party, I love easy, make ahead dishes. I love to focus on an unforgettable entree and a spectacular dessert. The rest should be delicious, memorable, yet easy! So it’s great to have a handful of terrific side dishes that can practically be made blind folded. Well, maybe not that easy since there is some mushroom sauteing involved!

The almonds can be toasted ahead of time, then the rice, mushrooms, onions and season cooked in butter, before pouring it all into a baking dish. The broth and almonds are added, then the whole shebang is popped in the oven. As Ina would say, “How easy is that???”

Do you have  a favorite, easy side dish? Any delicious, simple rice recipes? 

Used in This Recipe:

Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

An easy rice pilaf that's perfect to round out nearly any meal!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup rice (I use long grain)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions, plus more to garnish if desired
  • 2 2/3 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Met butter in a large skillet. Stir in rice, mushrooms, bell pepper, Italian seasoning and green onions. Stir and cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  3. Pour rice mixture into baking dish. Stir in broth and almonds.Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Check to see if rice is cooked and broth is absorbed. Cook longer if needed.



Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 177mg Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 5g




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27 comments on “Italian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds”

  1. A baked rice pilaf…now this is really fun, easy, and not to mention it’s so delicious too.

  2. What are those red dices on top? Paparika or tomatoes?

  3. The word pilaf makes me hungry. I’ve been a rice ultra fan forever, and always remember a dish I ate growing up that was made in the stove, similar to this one. In the oven it’s much easier! You made me remember a junior league book I had; I wonder what became of it. Have a great week Liz!

  4. this looks like a perfect side dish with any meal I would cook! love this!

  5. I love slow cooked rice, this is a wonderful dish!

  6. make ahead dishes are so handy, too. I love the addition of mushrooms to this pilaf!

  7. So many great flavors! Colorful and so tasty!

  8. Such incredible flavors! I especially love the toasted almonds. Can’t wait to try this.

  9. This is such a pretty side dish. So perfect for Labor Day festivities!

  10. I could eat rice every night of the week. Can’t wait to try this on my family!

  11. This looks and sounds wonderful Liz. I love the delicious combination of ingredients. And yes, it would be perfect for a dinner party!

  12. Lizzy I love rice with toasted almonds. This sounds amazing !
    hugs !

  13. OH WOW this looks absolutely stunning. I Love alll the flavours and colour in this dish.

  14. I still can’t believe this is baked. I definitely have to try this recipe.

  15. Sounds like a wonderful side dish. It looks very stunning, I can see why it would be perfect for company.

  16. Love those colours, babe! xoxo

  17. I find pilafs to be one pot comfort meals and this one looks absolutely delicious.

  18. What a delicious result for a nice and easy process! Love this idea.

  19. Junior League cookbooks are the best. I have quite a collection and pick one up whenever we travel. (Just haven’t made it to Indianapolis yet. ) L)

  20. Lovely post, dear! It’s visually stunning! xoxo

  21. Brilliant, Liz! Love how baked rice gets that ever so slightly crispy taste on top. Saving this recipe and pinning =)

  22. I’m a rice fan and the Mr. prefers potatoes. He’ll eat this but will probably pick out the almonds. Can’t win ’em all Liz!

  23. This is a keeper! I can see why it was a winner. I have a couple of Junior League Cookbooks. I’m going to have to see if it’s in there. Thanks for bringing it back.

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