Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Presented by: Paula Nemzek, KCTS 9 Cooks

Cook's Note: This easy pilaf is quick, versatile, and pairs well with grilled chicken. No almonds? Use chopped cashews or pistachios. No cranberries? Use sun-dried currants, cherries, golden raisins, or chopped dried apricots.

serves 4


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped


In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the rice, pasta, and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Once the rice has cooked, quickly stir in the cranberries. Cover and set aside for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the rice and cranberries finish cooking off the heat.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the yellow onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the almonds and carrots, then cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the rice and cranberries to the skillet; toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then mix in the green onions. Serve immediately.


this post was really very awsome as i hvae enjoyed teh very single bit of it to
i think that my variation of tsi recipe is a lot better than any other recipe

What is the nutrional information for this dish: calories? etc?


How can the rice be fully cooked in 10 minutes?


I would like to know .. What is orza paste, can you leave it out??
What kind of flavour does it have?? And is it easily available in ordinary grocery stores??


orza paste is pasta but looks like rice, you can find it in pasta isle.
the flavor is like pasta, and yes is easily available in ordinary grocery stores


Oops, meant to say that Orzo pasta is found in a box, rather than a BAG, as some pasta is. We love to have just cooked Orzo (with butter, parsley, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of cheese) as a side dish.


Orzo is pasta, shaped like rice, but it is definitely a "noodle". Like most pasta, it does not have any real taste. It is easily found at Safeway, QFC, and most all grocery stores, with all the different pasta shapes. Usually found in a small box, rather than a box. I know Ronzoni makes it, and many other Pasta companies.


Is there a way to substitute or reduce the butter to reduce the fat content of the dish?


Butter gives it a richer taste, but you could definitely sub a light olive oil (I usually used a canola-oliva blend) and it would be fine. Cooking the grains in chicken broth is the real key to flavor in this dish.


This sounds wonderful, definitely one I will try.


This looks devine and highly nutritious given the mix of almonds and berries. For a gluten free/wheat free version, leave out the pasta and enjoy. Cheers Sharon

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