Rice pilaf is one of my favorite comfort foods. This Near East copycat is flavorful, light, and made in the Instant Pot – the rice is always perfectly fluffy.

Rice pilaf has always been one of my favorite side dishes – coming from a box, it was fast and easy to make. This recipe is just as quick to make and you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry. I like this homemade version because it doesn’t have any extra sodium or preservatives!

A red bowl filled with Instant Pot rice pilaf and a yellow napkin.
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🥘 Ingredients Needed

An image of the ingredients for instant pot rice pilaf, labeled.

• Long Grain or White Rice
• Orzo
• Butter
• Chicken Broth (Use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian)
• Water
• Turmeric
• Garlic
• Kosher Salt
• Pepper
• Dried Minced Onion

🥣 How to Make It

Making rice pilaf in an Instant Pot is SO easy. All you need to do is add your orzo, rice, salt, pepper, garlic, butter, turmeric, onions, and water to your Instant Pot and stir it up. (Pictures 1 – 5)

A collage of photos showing the process of making rice pilaf in an instant pot, steps 1 - 5.

Then, put the lid on, close the vent, and press the “Rice” button. If your Instant Pot does not have a “Rice” button, just press “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and set your Instant Pot to low pressure for 12 minutes. (Pictures 6 – 7) When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally and then fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with parsley. (Pictures 8 – 9)

A collage of photos showing the process of making rice pilaf in an instant pot, steps 6 - 9.

This rice could not be any easier to make and is always a crowd-pleaser! If you do not have an Instant Pot, here is my recipe to make rice pilaf on the stove.

✏️ Helpful Tips

• Cut your butter up into small chunks before starting your Instant Pot. It will melt more evenly into the rice that way.
• Rinse your rice before cooking. I usually rinse mine in a fine mesh strainer/sieve until the water runs clear.
• When reheating leftover rice in the microwave, cover with a damp towel to add moisture back to the rice.

A product image of a 6 quart instant pot.

🍲 Other Great Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot White Rice
Instant Pot Chili Lime Chicken
Instant Pot Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Have You Tried This Recipe?

Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

A red bowl of rice pilaf on a wood board with a yellow napkin.

Copycat Near East Rice Pilaf – Instant Pot

4.75 from 16 votes
Rice pilaf is one of my favorite comfort foods. This Near East copycat is flavorful, light, and made in the Instant Pot – the rice is always perfectly fluffy.
Author: Kari
Servings: 6
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 12 minutes
Pressure Release: 5 minutes
Total: 18 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth for vegetarian, vegetable broth will work well also
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white or long grain rice
  • cup orzo you can use raw orzo or leftover cooked orzo



  • Add butter, broth, water, rice, orzo, garlic, and all spices to your Instant Pot.
  • Mix everything together.
  • Put the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure the vent is closed. Press the "Rice" button or set the Instant Pot to "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" mode on low pressure for 12 minutes.
  • When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Fluff with a fork to serve.


There are so many variations that you can make with this recipe. You can add extra garlic, diced vegetables, peas, garlic and herb, extra butter, or even a little parmesan cheese.
Instant Pot Disclaimer
I have a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo and a 3 quart Instant Pot Duo. I have made all of my recipes in both of these and they always come out great. I have never gotten a “burn” message on either of these pots and I have been using the 6 quart Instant Pot since I got it in 2016.
I have not ever had to put chicken breasts on a trivet or had to cook rice pot-in-pot – I just throw everything in and let it cook. I have always loved my Instant Pots because of this feature. I believe the newer models have a tendency to get a bit warmer on the bottom and burn things, so if you have a Nova, Lux, or another brand of pressure cooker – use your best judgment when making my recipes. If you know your Instant Pot has a tendency to burn things, place a trivet under your meat after sauteing and deglaze the pot with plenty of water or chicken broth.

Special Equipment Needeed


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 358mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 58IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30minutemeal, copycat, instantpot, rice
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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is so so easy and so good! I love having another recipe to add to my instant pot collection. Thanks!