Cheesy Rice Pilaf

Cheesy Rice Pilaf

A few weeks ago I staged a giveaway and asked my readers to tell me their favorite way to eat rice. I got several good ideas including this recipe from a long-time (although now long-distance) friend named Beth.

Beth is a wonderful cook and why wouldn’t she be. She birthed and raised four boys so she has had plenty of practice. She also lives within walking distance of the campus of Abilene Christian University and frequently feeds her husband’s students and other friends. Since I can’t walk to Beth’s house myself, guess I’ll settle for reliving memories of good times together whenever I make this rice.

Cheese lovers will go crazy for this side dish, although it is delicious even without the cheese. Beth uses Fontina but the originator of the recipe, Emeril Lagasse (according to Google), also suggests Mozzarella which would be cheaper. I suppose you could substitute a different color, but I love using the specified yellow bell peppers which I buy on sale, chop, and freeze so I always have them on hand. The peas and parsley add color, flavor and nutrition.

Thanks for sharing, Beth (pictured below).

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Cheesy Rice Pilaf
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Cook time:
Total time:
Long-grain rice combined with yellow bell peppers, parsley and cheese make a colorful sidedish.
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow bell peppers
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I make my own)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ pound Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, diced or grated
  1. Melt butter on medium high heat in medium saucepan. Add chopped onions and bell peppers. Saute until soft but don't let them brown, about 4 minutes. Add rice, salt, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute. Stir in stock. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is soft, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the peas, cover and continue simmering until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the cheese and parsley, and stir. Serve immediately.


Looking for more easy rice recipes? Check these out!

Hominy Cilantro Rice

Southwestern Jasmine Rice

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mermaido2o2 July 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hi Paula,
Thanks so much for the terrific and Yummy sounding recipes. I’m going to be as fat as a pig !! By any chance do you have an easy microwave Banana Pudding recipe? My Uncle Gene in Mississippi
loves banana pudding.

Thanks my new friend,



mike May 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Another great rice dish! I agree – I’ll start eating more rice if it makes you look that good! There’s something about cheese and rice that turns it into “comfort” food – can’t wait to try this one too – thanks Beth!


Debbie May 14, 2010 at 5:39 am

That girl looks so good!! I love rice and looks like a great recipe. May have to leave off the cheese though as I am not a “cheesy” person. Will it hold together and be just as good without the cheese? Sis, you want to live down the street from Beth and I want to be on the route to Paula’s work. Do you think we can work something out??


Sis May 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Wow, I wish I lived down the block from you so I could eat all your leftovers!!


Karen May 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

This looks delicious, I’m saving it in my recipe file. My rice is always so boring:(


Kayte May 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

Stealing again, this one looks great for the guys here. Thank Beth for me, okay…she looks lovely.


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