Delicious Vegetarian Pilau Recipe: A Healthy Option for You!

Are you tired of making the same old boring rice pilaf? Want to add some excitement to your dinner table? Look no further than this Polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau recipe. With bold flavors and a variety of colorful vegetables, this recipe is sure to make your taste buds dance with joy.

This rice dish takes inspiration from the island cuisine of Polynesia, known for its use of tropical fruits, seafood, and Asian spices. But don’t worry, we’ve created a vegetarian version that’ll make you forget about meat entirely.

The key ingredients in our Polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau include brown rice, black-eyed peas, pineapple tidbits, green peas, carrots, celery, green pepper, fresh ginger, onion, and peanuts. A mouth-watering combination that’s both healthy and delicious.

But what sets this dish apart from other rice dishes is the preparation method. Unlike traditional rice pilaf or fried rice recipes where the grains are cooked separately and then mixed together with vegetables and seasoning, our recipe uses a wok pan to cook all the ingredients together for optimal flavor blending.

Whether you’re looking for a new side dish to add to your dinner rotation or want to impress your dinner guests with something fun and flavorful, the Polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau is a must-try recipe. So join us on a culinary journey through the islands of Polynesia and try this amazing vegetable rice dish today.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau
Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau

Are you tired of the same old boring rice dishes? Do you want to spice up your dinner routine with something exotic and flavorful? Then look no further than this Polynesian-inspired vegetarian pilau recipe!

Packed with mouth-watering ingredients like fresh ginger, pineapple tidbits, and crunchy peanuts, this dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. Not only is it bursting with flavor, but it’s also a healthy and hearty option for anyone looking to incorporate more meatless meals into their diet.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily swap out ingredients or add in new ones based on your personal preferences – try stirring in some diced mango for a sweet twist or adding extra soy sauce for a savory kick. And if you’re not a fan of brown rice, you can easily substitute in white rice, quinoa, or even black rice for an added boost of antioxidants.

Not only is this pilau recipe delicious and easy to customize, but it’s also incredibly simple to make. With just a few basic cooking techniques – sauteeing, boiling, and stir-frying – you can have a delicious meal on the table in no time. Plus, since it’s made with pantry staples like butter, vegetable broth, and soy sauce, it’s an affordable option for anyone on a tight budget.

Overall, this Polynesian-inspired vegetarian pilau recipe is the ultimate choice for anyone searching for a delicious and healthy meal that won’t break the bank. So why not give it a try tonight? We promise it won’t disappoint!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to transport to a tropical paradise with this Polynesian-inspired vegetarian pilau!
Get ready to transport to a tropical paradise with this Polynesian-inspired vegetarian pilau!


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Canned Goods:

  • 1 can of pineapple tidbits (20 oz)


  • ½ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted


  • 2 c cooked brown rice
  • 1 c cooked polynesian-inspired pilau rice (click here for the recipe)
  • 1 can of drained and rinsedblack-eyed peas (15 oz)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce


  • Salt to taste

Make sure you have all the ingredients before getting started with the recipe. In case you can’t find some of these ingredients, don’t panic! Check out the next section where I give some alternatives for substitutions and variations.

The Recipe How-To

Let’s Get Cooking!

Now that we have prepared all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking!

  1. Rinse 1 cup of brown rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Then, place the rice in a large pot with 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cover the pot for 45 minutes.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a wok pan over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 diced carrot, 1 diced celery stalk, and 1 diced green pepper. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.

  3. Now, add in 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger to the wok pan. Stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

  4. Time to add the canned ingredients: 1 can of black-eyed peas, ½ cup of pineapple tidbits with juice, and ½ cup of green peas. Stir everything thoroughly.

  5. Add in cooked rice while still hot, stir everything together until evenly distributed.

  6. Finally, garnish pilau with roasted peanuts, chopped cilantro or parsley.

Voila! Now you have a mouth-watering Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau dish that is good for sharing with your family and friends.


Substitutions and Variations

 The vibrant colors of the vegetables in this dish will brighten up any plate and feast for the eyes.
The vibrant colors of the vegetables in this dish will brighten up any plate and feast for the eyes.

As with any recipe, there are always ways to mix things up and make the dish your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations you may want to consider when making this Polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau recipe:

– Vegetables: Feel free to switch up the veggies used in this recipe based on what’s in season or what you have on hand. Some great options include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potato.

– Protein: If you’re looking to add some extra protein to this dish, try adding some tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas. For non-vegetarians, shredded chicken or shrimp would also work well.

– Grains: While this recipe calls for brown rice, don’t be afraid to experiment with other grains such as quinoa or black rice for a unique twist.

– Spices: The spices used in this recipe are just a guideline – feel free to adjust them based on your personal preferences. Adding more ginger will give the dish a stronger kick while adding some cinnamon can provide warmth and depth.

– Pineapple: If you’re not a fan of pineapple or simply don’t have any on hand, try substituting with mango or even papaya for a similar tropical flavor.

Overall, don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing


Once you’ve made this delectable polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau recipe, it’s time for the fun part – serving and pairing! This dish is so versatile that it can be served as a main course or as a side dish. If you’re pairing it with other dishes, then it would make an excellent vegetarian complement to grilled meat or fish. However, I personally love eating this dish on its own since it contains a medley of ingredients that provide a complete meal.

To add more texture and flavor to the dish, try pairing it with an avocado salad or guacamole. The creamy and smooth taste of avocado complements well with the savory and nutty flavor notes of the pilau rice. You can also add some green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale to your salad for added nutritional value.

If you want to indulge a little more, pair this polynesian inspired vegetarian pilau recipe with some crispy fried tofu or vegan chicken. The crunchy exterior of the tofu or vegan chicken pairs perfectly with the soft rice and tender vegetables in the pilau.

To elevate the hawaiian-inspired flavors in the recipe, serve with some pineapple slices on top. Alternatively, you could channel your inner food explorer by pairing this vegeterian pilau recipe with other Polynesian-inspired dishes such as stir-fry chicken fried rice, pineapple fried rice or quinoa stir fry.

Regardless of what you decide to pair this vegetarian pilau recipe with, one thing is certain – your taste buds are in for a delightfully flavorful experience!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won't miss the meat with this pilau loaded with veggies and fragrant spices.
You won’t miss the meat with this pilau loaded with veggies and fragrant spices.

Preparing meals in advance can be a lifesaver, especially for those who lead busy lifestyles. Luckily, this Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau Recipe is perfect for make-ahead meals!

After preparing and cooking the dish according to the recipe instructions, let it cool before transferring it into an airtight container. Depending on your preference, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When reheating from the refrigerator, remove the pilau from its container and transfer it into a microwave-safe dish. Loosely cover the dish with a lid or damp paper towel to prevent excess moisture loss. Microwave the dish on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through until heated evenly.

When reheating from frozen, thawing the pilau overnight in the refrigerator is ideal. Once thawed, reheat as directed above but add an additional minute of heating time.

One thing to note is that reheated pilaf may be slightly drier compared to freshly cooked ones. To add moisture back into the dish, drizzle some vegetable broth over it before reheating or stir in some fresh green peas or diced pineapple tidbits after heating.

Remember that every microwave and freezer are different, so adjust each step according to your kitchen appliances and preferences. Allowing extra time when reheating ensures that you have enough time to correct for any unexpected issues!

Tips for Perfect Results

If you’re like me, you want your meals to turn out perfectly every time. Here are some tips to ensure that your Polynesian-inspired vegetarian pilau dish will be a hit.

Firstly, when cooking the vegetables, add the harder vegetables, like carrots and celery, first before adding others like green pepper and onion. This will help ensure that each vegetable has an ideal texture and taste.

Secondly, make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly before boiling it. Not only will this remove any debris or impurities from the grain, but it also helps prevent clumping during cooking.

Thirdly, if you’re worried about the dish turning out too sweet, opt for unsweetened pineapple tidbits and cut back on the amount of soy sauce you use. It’s always better to start with less soy sauce and add more as needed.

Fourthly, when adding butter to the dish, wait until the rice is fully cooked before doing so. This allows for the flavors of the other ingredients to meld together without being interrupted by an overpowering buttery taste.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe. Add in your favorite protein or switch up the vegetables depending on what’s in season or in your fridge. The possibilities are endless!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau Recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to explore new and exciting flavor profiles. This exotic vegan dish combines the best of traditional Hawaiian and East African cuisine, elevating your taste buds to new heights.

With a comprehensive list of ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe guide, this dish is perfect for any level of cooking skills. Not only is it a visual feast, but it’s also packed with vital nutrients and dietary fiber, making it a healthy option for any occasion.

Everyone deserves to indulge in the rich flavors of different cultures, and this recipe embodies that spirit beautifully. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or meat-lover, this dish’s versatility ensures there is something here for you.

So why wait? Get ready to embark on a culinary journey like no other—try it out today!

Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau

Polynesian Inspired Vegetarian Pilau Recipe

This can be served as either a main course or a side dish. Add more hot pepper sauce if you like it spicy. Note: Prep. Time includes cooking the rice.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Polynesian
Calories 557.7 kcal


  • 16 ounces black-eyed peas, drained
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 4 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced thin
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits, reserve 2Tbl . juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce


  • In a large pan, saute peanuts in 1 Tbl. butter until toasty. Take out the peanuts and set them aside.
  • To the butter in the pan add the grated ginger, the onion, along with another 1 Tbl. butter.Cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the remaining butter, the chopped celery, carrot, and the diced green pepper. Cook until slightly tender.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the rice. Bring just to a boil and then take off the heat.
  • Stir in the cooked rice. Sprinkle toasted peanuts on top.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 359gCalories: 557.7kcalCarbohydrates: 75.8gProtein: 18gFat: 22.2gSaturated Fat: 7.1gCholesterol: 20.4mgSodium: 715.6mgFiber: 10.6gSugar: 8.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Beginner Cook, Brown Rice, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, One-Dish Meal, Polynesian, Rice
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