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Rice Pilaf with Pepitas, Fresh Herbs and Lime Zest

By Nancy Savlazky.

Elevate classic rice pilaf with flavor layers of toasted garlic and pepitas (shelled, green pumpkin seeds), fresh herbs and lime. Try this recipe anytime you want a flavorful rice dish with seafood or poultry.


  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 lime, zested then juiced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup toasted pepitas (shelled, green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup chopped, mixed fresh herbs, a combination of at least two: cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, mint, marjoram, and slightly anise-flavored tarragon or chervil


Place rice in a strainer. Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear, then drain thoroughly.

Heat broth and lime juice (reserve the zest) to boil in a saucepan.

Heat the oil in another saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, sauté until golden brown and sticky. Stir in the rice to coat each grain with oil. Pour the hot broth over the rice, add the salt, then bring back to boil. Cover, reduce the heat to the lowest and simmer 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and do not remove the lid for 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork while adding the pepitas, herbs and lime zest.

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