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Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests!

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests! ohsweetbasil.com

Rice was always the same at my house growing up, white. White with butter, white with a can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, and white in a casserole like our viral cheesy ground beef and rice casserole. That’s it. We didn’t ever have brown rice or wild rice, and certainly never a vibrant orange cranberry almond rice pilaf. We were missing out and we didn’t even know it.

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests! ohsweetbasil.com

My parents came to visit over the last General Conference weekend and we, they especially because they are all kinds of amazingly hard workers, busted our buns on our yard. When we moved in everything was full of weeds and totally overgrown. I’m sure that it was a beautiful yard (and it still is) at one point but it needed things hedged, trimmed, pulled etc as the original owner must have been an amazing gardener. The hard thing is if you don’t keep up with it the yard just turns into a headache and it was stressing me out.

Mom and Dad have been working hard on trying to make healthier choices, Mom especially so I wanted to be really thoughtful and serve something filling after all of that hard work, but also a little on the lighter side, plus something that I could test on them for the holidays. Phew, that was a mouthful. So is this healthy? No, but it’s healthier and since we served with grilled chicken and a tomato cucumber salad I wasn’t worried about it.

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests! ohsweetbasil.com

I love working with Fisher Nuts because they are all natural and the product tastes fresh and wonderful, and when I started to think about lighter, filling and holidays my mind immediately went to nuts. They just fit the bill with all of those requirements. As I started playing around with things I realized that sauteing a little wild rice with shallots, and orange zest then adding in orange juice and craisins to plump them up a little screamed warm holiday meal without a crazy amount of work.

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests! ohsweetbasil.com

While the rice finished off in the rice cooker I toasted up some beautiful sliced almonds, but you could totally use pecans instead. Just make sure you choose good quality nuts and do not use old nuts as they do expire. I know people keep them around forever, but you really shouldn’t. Anyway, toss everything together at the end and add additional salt if needed then a little fresh parsley to bring a brightness back to the dish. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or all year round. And you can head over to see what one of my kitchen heroes, Chef Alex has created with Fisher!

How Long Will Rice Pilaf Keep in the Refrigerator?

Refrigerate in covered airtight containers or resealable plastic bags.

Rice pilaf will keep 4-6 days in the refrigerator.

Is Rice Gluten Free?

All rice is naturally gluten-free.

This includes all varieties: white rice, brown rice, and wild rice.

Are Almonds Good For You?

Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

Almonds can help lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.

Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

One of our favorite side dishes that looks fancy and is a piece of cake to make! Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf ohsweetbasil.com
Totally loving this orange cranberry almond rice pilaf this winter. So much flavor and it's easy! ohsweetbasil.com

Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove minced
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 2 Cups Rice
  • 1/2- 3/4 Cup Craisins
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the butter and shallots and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and orange zest, stirring a few times then add the craisins, orange juice, salt, cinnamon and sugar and cook for an additional minute then dump in the rice and a drizzle of olive oil if the pan is dry.
  • Cook, stirring every now and again until the rice begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add into a rice cooker or pot.
  • Add the orange juice and chicken broth and cook according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, toast the almonds, stirring occasionally, in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat until just starting to turn golden in color, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Set aside.
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and toss with the almonds, sprinkling the parsley over the top as garnish.
Nutrition Facts
Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 10.3mg3%
Carbohydrates 63.8g21%
Fiber 1.8g8%
Sugar 19.1g21%
Protein 7g14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests!

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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22 comments

  • This was really good

    I was worried that it would be too orange-y because the zest smelled so strong when sautéing in the beginning but the flavor mellowed nicely when cooked

    Love the crunch of the almonds and tart zing of the cranberries

    Great addition to any holiday table

    • Reply
    • Thank you Brian! We love this dish too! It is such a nice and refreshing side that is different from the usual! Thanks for the feedback!

      • Reply
  • I made this for Christmas Dinner! What a wonderful side dish!!! I forgot the parsley in all the holiday chaos, but otherwise created it as directed. I paired it with the Crockpot Cranberry Pork Loin (by Julie’s Eats and Treats-also on Pinterest), with oven roasted skinny asparagus (just a little olive oil while in the oven, then fresh lemon juice before serving) and a spinach salad with dried cranberries, blue cheese and candied walnuts! A huge hit. Thank you!!!

    • Reply
    • Good heavens Shelley, it’s late at night and yet I’m suddenly hungry all over again. I looooove asparagus like that and so thrilled you loved the pilaf! Happy Holidays!

      • Reply
  • This looks so good! I love how healthy it is

    • Reply
  • This sounds like the perfect rice pilaf recipe for me!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Julianne!

      • Reply
  • This looks so good and would go with any meal! Love the flavors and those toasted almonds!

    • Reply
    • Thank you!! xoxo

      • Reply
  • Can you made this without a rice cooker?

    • Reply
    • Yes, just use a pan on the stove. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Recipe sounds wonderful love orange and cranberries together and the almonds add another layer of flavor.

    I was wondering if this could be made into risotto? The tang from Parmesan cheese in risotto would pair well with the sweet cranberries. Have you experimented with this recipe as risotto? Thanks

    • Reply
    • I haven’t tried that but I totally agree, it would be delicious! Let us know if you try it!

      • Reply
      • I did make this as a rissitto last night, I sautéed hald a medium onion, about two cups of roughly chopped mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil then added the 2 cups of arborio rice. I used 2 cups of Orange juice along with approx 7 cups of chicken stock, about half way through I stirred in the orange zest and cranberries. I finished the rice with a tablespoon of butter and a cup of fresh grated parmsean cheese. I got rave reviews from my family. Will make again.

      • I forgot I added the toasted sliced almonds on top for crunch.

  • I have never even thought of cranberries and rice pilaf together until now… but your recipe looks and sounds amazing! 🙂 My dad is a lover of both cranberries and rice and I know he would so much enjoy this at our annual Christmas Eve dinner!

    • Reply
    • It’s seriously so yummy!

      • Reply
  • The recipe calls for wild rice but the photo looks like brown or white rice. Can you clarify? Thanks

    • Reply
    • Oh! Sorry about that. I’m testing multiple recipes and wrote in the wrong rice. Brown or white works

      • Reply
  • This pilaf sounds incredible! I love the almonds and cranberries together! Beautiful!

    • Reply
    • Thank you Anna!

      • Reply

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