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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add rice, pasta, and onions; cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until pasta is lightly browned and onions are nearly tender, stirring occasionally. Carefully add broth, the water, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and broth is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork. Gently stir in parsley, thyme, and, if desired, cranberries. (To serve today, omit Steps 2 and 3 and continue as directed in Step 4.)
Using a fork, gently transfer pilaf to a 2 1/2- to 3-quart microwave-safe bowl or casserole. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for up to 2 days.
Keep the bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap. Microwave on 70 percent power (medium-high) for 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through (160°F), stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.