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Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe (Red Lobster Copycat)

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This hearty Instant Pot wild rice pilaf recipe is a side dish full of flavor and satisfying texture, while being colorful, fragrant and nutritious.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat pin

Diced veggies, flavored broth and seasoning make this rice pilaf fantastic on its own. But this rice dish becomes extraordinary when it soaks up the butter sauce from the main dishes.

That’s really one of the things that makes a seafood restaurant special. The butter sauce that mixes in with the rice pilaf and can be soaked up with the vegetables.

Be sure to serve a main dish that has a butter sauce, like shrimp scampi, lobster tails, salmon fillets, to really take advantage of this flavor combo.

Likewise, savory sauces like the one in maple glazed salmon or Cajun as in salmon New Orleans also pair beautifully with wild rice pilaf.

A tasty sauce that complements the rice just takes this rice pilaf to the next level.

Of course, a little goes a long way and it’s best to consume butter and sauces in moderation, but it is a large part of what makes a seafood restaurant such an amazing treat.

But, since the rice pilaf and main courses with butter garlic sauce are super easy to make, we can enjoy tantalizing seafood dinners at home more often.

If you love Red Lobster, check out our amazing Red Lobster copycat recipes with classics like crab alfredo linguini, crab queso and more!

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Why You’ll Love This Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

This is a super easy recipe to make in a pressure cooker. Using an Instant Pot ensures that you won’t have to watch over the stove top to prevent the water from boiling over. I love that I can just set the Instant Pot and walk away, preparing appetizers and such, until it beeps.

The recipe is forgiving, in that you can substitute seasonings, like all purpose for Old Bay, or add in something a little spicier if you like it. You can omit a vegetable or substitute one for another. You can add more fresh herbs to it.

Wild rice pilaf is versatile and goes well with a variety of seafood and meat dishes. It’s a perfect side dish for your homemade seafood menu. Inspired by Red Lobster, it conjures up an endless array of seafood dinner possibilities.

Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe Ingredients

Many of these are common ingredients that you may already have in your pantry and fridge. Otherwise, they should be easy to find at most grocery stores.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat ingredients mise en place
  • Wild Rice — we used a blend of wild and long grain rice.
  • Chicken Broth — or vegetable broth.
  • Carrots — peeled and shredded.
  • Bell Peppers — finely chopped, you can use any color you like.
  • Celery — finely chopped
  • Butter — can use salted or unsalted, just adjust the amount of salt if necessary.
  • Seasoning — Use Old Bay or an all purpose seasoning blend.
  • Dried Basil — you can sub other herbs like oregano, and you can use fresh herbs instead if you like.
  • Cilantro — finely chopped, you can substitute parsley.
  • Black Pepper — freshly ground black pepper provides flavor.
  • Himalayan Salt — ground pink salt for additional flavor.
  • Bay Leaf — also adds flavor.

Optional ingredient variations — you can add in other veggies, like finely diced onions, diced mushrooms and green onions.

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How To Make Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

This Red Lobster inspired rice pilaf is easy to make, especially since it’s made in an Instant Pot.

You won’t have to constantly check on it to ensure it doesn’t boil over, as when rice is made on the stovetop.

That’s what I really love about it, because well, I can get distracted sometimes…

Now where was I?

Ah yes, the steps.

STEP 1: Rinse the Rice

Rinse the rice in fresh water using a rice strainer.

instant pot wild rice pilaf Red Lobster copycat step 1 rinse the rice

STEP 2: Prepare the Veggies

Grate the carrot and finely chop celery and bell peppers. Add the vegetables, butter and seasoning to the Instant Pot.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 1

STEP 3: Add Chicken Broth

Pour in chicken broth, or vegetable broth if you prefer it. We use store bought broth for convenience although homemade is excellent if you have some.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 2

STEP 5: Pressure Cook

Give it a good stir. Secure the lid and set the pressure valve to SEALING.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 3

Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure and NORMAL temperature for 20 minutes.

Allow to natural release pressure for 5 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by turning the pressure valve to VENTING.

Carefully remove lid and fluff up the rice with a rice paddle. Transfer to a serving bowl.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat recipe

What To Serve With Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe (Red Lobster Copycat)

Instant Pot wild rice is a common restaurant style side dish that is easy to make. It’s versatile and goes so well with a variety of main courses.

It is Red Lobster style and perfect with all of our Red Lobster copycat recipes.

We love it with the following:

red lobster copycat shrimp scampi recipe
Wild Rice Pilaf Shown With Shrimp Scampi and Crispy Brussel Sprouts

This is a wonderfully easy and perfect side for chicken and meat dishes. We are crazy for Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs with its truly addictive gravy that tastes fantastic with wild rice pilaf.

Wild rice pilaf pairs fabulously with easy seasoned vegetables, like Brussel sprouts, green beans and broccoli that are all super easy dishes.

More Easy Side Dishes For A Homemade Seafood Dinner

If you’re a fan of Red Lobster, check out these easy Red Lobster side dishes to make at home. We share recipes for plenty of favorites like the following:

Similar to rice pilaf, many of these Red Lobster inspired side dishes are also easy Instant Pot recipes.

red lobster lobster mac and cheese featured
Lobster Mac and Cheese Shown With Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Salmon New Orleans With Shrimp in background

We also love these side dishes with our seafood dinners:

root vegetable mash (rotmos) presentation and cucumber tomato salad - more side dishes to try
More Easy Side Dishes For Seafood Dinner: Root Vegetable Mash and Cucumber Tomato Salad

Best Uses For Leftover Wild Rice Pilaf

This is a perfectly flavored rice medley that you can add to soups to make them heartier.

Use the leftover wild rice as a base for a quick Red Lobster inspired salmon or shrimp bowl for lunch or dinner. Add your favorite toppings and sauces. You can also make similar rice bowls with cooked chicken or steak that you can cut into slices and place over the rice.

You can also repurpose the leftover rice pilaf in an easy Chinese style fried rice on the stovetop. Add diced cooked chicken, diced fried egg (plain omelet), soy sauce, sliced green onions and a dash of hot sauce if you like it.

Storage Tips For Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

Cooked wild rice pilaf can be stored in the refrigerator, covered in an air tight container, for up to five days. Although, it’s recommended to enjoy leftovers the sooner the better for freshest flavor and texture.

You’ll Also Love

Enjoy these easy Red Lobster Copycat Stuffed Mushroom Caps With Crabmeat — The perfect appetizer for your next seafood dinner party!

stuffed mushroom caps with crabmeat presentation

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instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat recipe

Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe (Red Lobster Copycat)

Susan & Björn
Full of flavor, color and texture, this popular seafood restaurant style side dish is perfect with all of your favorite entrées. Especially delightful when served with butter sauce based dishes like garlic butter shrimp, lobster tails and salmon fillets.
No ratings yet
servings6 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Red Lobster
Calories 96 kcal
Fiber 2 g
Carbohydrates 15 g

Equipment

1 Instant Pot 6 Quart

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups Wild Rice
  • 2-½ cups Chicken Broth, no salt added
  • ¼ cup Carrots, shredded
  • ¼ cup Bell Peppers, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoning, Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Instructions
 

  • Rinse rice in a colander.
  • Grate the carrots and finely chop the bell peppers and celery. Add all of the dry ingredients into the instant pot.
    instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 1
  • Pour in the chicken broth or vegetable broth.
    instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 2
  • Give it a good stir.
    Secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the pressure valve to "Sealing" and pressure cook on HIGH pressure and NORMAL temperature for 20 minutes. Natural release for 5 minutes when pressure cycle is completed and then quick release (by setting pressure valve to VENTING).
    instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat step 3
  • Carefully remove lid and fluff up the rice with a rice paddle. Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!
    instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 2g Net Carbohydrates: 13g Protein: 4g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 453mg Potassium: 200mg Sugar: 1g Vitamin A: 1287IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 17mg Iron: 1mg

Note

The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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