Nutrients per serving

  • Calories  180
  • Protein  4 g
  • Carbohydrates  30 g
  • Fat  5 g
  • Cholesterol  11 mg
  • Sodium  154 mg
  • Potassium  87 mg
  • Phosphorus  68 mg
  • Calcium  22 mg
  • Fiber  1.1 g

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

Made-from-scratch is always better than packaged foods in both flavor and nutrient content. DaVita dietitian Brooke from California created this kidney-friendly, lower sodium rice pilaf. It's easy to make and an excellent choice, especially when compared to packaged rice pilaf.

Diet types:

  • CKD non-dialysis
  • Dialysis
  • Diabetes

Recipe submitted by DaVita renal dietitian Brooke from California.

Portions: 6     Serving size: 3/4 cup


  • 2 ounces vermicelli noodles, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup parboiled rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cube chicken-flavor bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash® Onion and Herb seasoning blend


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. Break vermicelli noodles into 2″ pieces and cook, stirring often until noodles begin to brown.
  3. Add rice and stir to coat rice evenly with remaining melted butter.
  4. Crush chicken bouillon and add to skillet along with water and Mrs. Dash herb seasoning. Stir to blend ingredients.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cook 20 minutes. Do not remove the cover.
  6. Turn off heat and allow to sit covered for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Renal and renal diabetic food choices

  • 2 starch
  • 1/2 fat

Carbohydrate choices


Helpful hints

  • Angel hair or thin spaghetti noodles can be used in place of vermicelli.
  • For comparison, packaged rice pilaf prepared with salted butter or margarine contains 400-650 mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving.
  • If you substitute a low-sodium bouillon cube, sodium content is reduced to 5 mg per serving.  Be aware, potassium content increases additional 130 -180 mg depending on the bouillon brand because potassium chloride replaces the salt. This change is not recommended if you are on a low potassium diet.
  • Freeze extra portions and reheat in the microwave for a very quick starchy side later. 

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What's everyone saying?

6 Comments | Average User Rating:

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

PstrJames says:


This is awesome-I absolutely love it. My wife used to make Rice-a-Roni, but not anymore. This recipe beats it 1,000 times over-I could eat it everyday

Oct. 10, 2013, 9:57 AM - Inappropriate review?

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

Tinabell says:


We thought this was great. Even my husband,, who isn't on a kidney diet, enjoyed this. Will definitely make again!

Jul. 09, 2013, 6:08 PM - Inappropriate review?

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

mathenym says:


Everybody in my family really liked this recipe. I have made it twice already.

Jun. 27, 2013, 2:09 PM - Inappropriate review?

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

BBQBarb says:


Cut down on the mushrooms (apprx 75 mg of potassium each) for more strict renal diets calling for less potassium. Happy healthy eating! BBq Barb Dietitian Comment: There are no mushrooms in this recipe but you could add them. If you add 1/2 cup of mushroom peices to the recipe the potassium goes from 87 mg to 105 mg per serving of rice pilaf.

May. 31, 2013, 2:20 PM - Inappropriate review?

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

ChefBrooke says:


I would use broth or low sodium broth for myself, but I know that my patients in the clinic are using bouillon cubes because they are more affordable. Either version will yield tasty pilaf. :)

May. 27, 2013, 7:22 PM - Inappropriate review?

Better Than Packaged Rice Pilaf

lydia07 says:


why not use reduced sodium chicken broth instead of at least one cup liquid or both...Dietitian comment: Yes you could substitute 1 to 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth to replace the bouillion cube and equalk amount of water. Sodium will be approximately the same. Bouillion cubes range from 650-950 mg sodium and reduced-sodium broths range from 400-550 mg sodium.

May. 22, 2013, 4:40 PM - Inappropriate review?

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