Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf with Cranberries | Turkish Eats

We have been serving this rice pilaf next to our oven roasted Turkey every Thanksgiving for years and getting many compliments from our guests.  So, we thought we should share this recipe with you as an example from the Turkish / American fusion cuisine.  To be fair, this is a classic Turkish recipe with the exception of a critical ingredient: cranberries!


  • 3 cups sushi rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 9 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup dried and sweetened cranberries
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice


  1. We recommend a pot with a non-stick surface for this recipe.
  2. Boil the chicken broth and water and set aside.
  3. Measure the rice, put it in a strainer and wash it under plenty of running cold water until the water runs clear.  This is necessary to get rid of the starch that makes the grains stick to each other.  
  4. Melt the butter and sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes or until they become translucent.
  5. Add the pine nuts and continue sauteing for a few more minutes or until they turn light brown.
  6. Add the rice and continue sauteeing until the excess water evaporates and the rice looks translucent. This should not take more than 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add the broth, water and the rest of the ingredients, mix and cover the lid.  
  8. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes, lid closed.
  9. Turn off the heat, place a paper towel under the lid to absorb the excess moisture in the pan and let the rice rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

© Mehmet Ozturk 2017