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Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Paula Nemzek of KCTS 9

Episode: KCTS 9 Cooks on the Side

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.