Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to share a really great side dish recipe. This pilaf is super easy to throw together and tastes amazing. Not only do you get an extra serving of veggies thrown into your day, but you get a tasty side dish without all the sodium! Packaged rice mixes usually contain anywhere from 600-1000mg of sodium per serving, which is usually only 1/2-3/4 cup. Which isn’t very much rice, people. I’d rather have a big heaping pile of rice. But I definitely want to avoid all that sodium and artificial flavorings.

Carrot & Zucchini Rice Pilaf 1

My Dad makes homemade rice pilaf all the time, so I got the idea for this recipe from him. His usually includes tomatoes, onions, and regular chicken broth. It’s amazing! I can’t eat onion and tomatoes right now, but if you wanted to throw some into this dish, that would be a great variation!

Carrot & Zucchini Rice Pilaf 2

You can pair all types of protein dishes with this pilaf for a well balanced meal. I ate this almost every day last week with a different protein– one day I had seared scallops, another I had grilled chicken, and another I had teriyaki glazed broiled salmon (that I made in the toaster oven!)

Carrot & Zucchini Rice Pilaf Pinterest

Here’s the recipe for carrot and zucchini rice pilaf!

Carrot & Zucchini Rice Pilaf
Yields 6
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 tsp butter
  3. 2/3 cup orzo
  4. 4 carrots, diced
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  7. 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  8. 2 3/4 cup no salt added chicken broth
  9. 1 small zucchini, diced
  10. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Heat oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the orzo and stir until browned, about 1 minute.
  2. Add carrots, salt, and pepper, stir for another minute.
  3. Add the rice and saute, stirring, until rice is coated with oil and butter.
  4. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the zucchini, then let stand covered for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in parsley before serving.
Zen & Spice https://zenandspice.com/
What’s your favorite way to jazz up your rice?



  1. this looks so simple and delicious.

    1. It really is very easy to throw together, and you can customize it to whatever vegetables you like!

  2. Definitely different then the pilaf my mom used to make – which I think had a whole pound of butter in it ;)

    1. Haha, when my dad makes it for us he likes to use a lot of butter too :P

  3. Looks delicious- this would go so well with a simple grilled chicken or steak!

    1. Yeah it would! Great for a summer side dish!

  4. I love rice, I can’t say that I have one favorite way to jazz it up.

    BUT oh – this looks great! I love that you’re really packed in the veggies in proportion to the orzo – my kinda dish!

    1. It’s definitely veggie packed! Great way to sneak some more in!

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