Plov is a Russian Rice Pilaf Dish that can be interchanged with pork, beef, chicken, or lamb! This plov recipe is the ethnic food of Russia and Ukraine made from rice, carrots, cumin, and meat!

Rice Pilaf Recipe, PLOV {ПЛОВ}Plov is best with a Creamy Tomato Salad or Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. 

Russian Plov Recipe (Rice Pilaf)

What comes to mind when you think of comfort food? We all have our favorites! Russian Plov, also known as Rice Pilaf, is the ultimate Slavic comfort food! Plov is to Russians and Ukrainians is what pasta is to Italians, hamburgers to Americans, or poutine to Canadians. Made with dozens of variations, each family has its own spin on this popular, traditional dish. Interestingly, I featured a Russian Plov recipe in my very first blog post in 2015.

Russian Plov is simply a one-pot rice and meat dish, packed with flavorful veggies and aromatic spices (cumin) that beg you to take just one more bite! Traditional plov is made with a lamb; however, pork, beef, and chicken work equally well and are each tasty in their own right. Although similar to Uzbek Plov–Ukrainian plov is made over the stovetop and doesn’t always have raisins.

Stovetop Pilaf

Though the cooking process is somewhat lengthy, plov is very easy to create, as you will see in the instructions below. Russian Plov is great for feeding a crowd! If you’ve ever attended a Russian or Ukrainian wedding, there’s a good chance plov was among the many dishes served. Plov is traditionally cooked outdoors in a large heavy pot (called a Kazan) over a fire, which makes it super easy for feeding a big group. But no worries! This recipe is written in proportions that can be cooked on your stovetop.

The key is to use a pan with a heavy bottom, such as a Dutch oven, so it doesn’t burn or stick. Wondering what you’ll do with leftovers? No problem; it’s super freezer-friendly! Make a big batch tonight and freeze some to serve later on a busy day.

Q&A

What is Plov?

A plov recipe (ллов) is a rice dish popular in Eastern Europe similar to pilaf. Pilaf is not only a European dish but big in the Middle Eastern region too. Depending on what region you are from, pilaf can look different and have various add-ins.

Russian or Ukrainian Plov is a one-pot rice and meat dish made from rice, meat, carrots, and spices. The spices are what make this dish outstanding!

What Goes in Plov? Russian Plov is typically from rice, beef, carrots, onions, and spices. Uzbek plov on the other hand has an addition of raisins and sometimes chickpeas.

Ingredients For Plov:

The ingredients for Plov are super basic! To make this recipe you will need rice, water, meat, a few staple veggies, and spices.

  • Meat- traditional plov is made with beef or lamb. I typically have pork on hand which works too. If using poultry meat like chicken the cooking time be much shorter and the water will have to be adjusted.
  • Rice- brown rice, jasmine, or basmati rice are all great choices to make a plov recipe!
  • Carrots- cut carrots into strips for traditional plov.
  • Onions- I usually dice my onions.
  • Garlic- you can insert a whole head of garlic like seen in traditional Plov recipes, however, I like to peel my cloves when making it over the stovetop for our family. Using a whole head of garlic makes for a pretty presentation and can be squeezed out easily to eat.
  • Water- beef broth or other stocks can be used instead of water.

How To Make Plov?

To make simple Plov over the stovetop you’ll want to prep all of your ingredients while the meat simmers. It is important to simmer the meat after it has browned to make it fall-apart tender. If using chicken you do need to cook nearly as long.

  1. To begin, fry the meat. Then pour over with a broth or water and simmer until the meat is fork-tender (1 hour.)
  2. In a large pot saute the onion and carrots in oil. Add the garlic cloves, rice, and spices. fry until fragrant.
  3. Strain the meat from the simmering water into a large measuring cup. Add the meat to the rice and pour additional water into the measuring cup to make 4 cups of liquid in total. Pour into the rice and stir.
  4. Cover Plov with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes then turn off and steam for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with dill pickles, hearty wheat bread, or ketchup!

What Rice Is Best to Use For Making Russian Plov?

The best rice to use for plov is jasmine or basmati rice. However, brown rice or Uncle Ben’s rice can be used too; your results will vary according to the kind of rice used. Uncle Ben’s long grain rice has a “fall-apart” texture which doesn’t stick together, and some people like that. Jasmine rice will give you the stickier consistency I prefer in plov. My current ultimate favorite is Weldon Jasmine rice!

What Cuts of Meat should I use in Plov?

Plov is traditionally made with lamb, but beef, pork, or chicken can all be used. Cuts of meat that have a good amount of fat in them give good flavors, such as chuck roast, ribs, and shanks. Pork tenderloin also works well, as well as boneless chicken breast or thighs. The chicken will take the least amount of time to cook; the rest should all be simmered for the time recommended in the recipe.

How Long Should I Cook Plov?

From start to finish, the whole process takes about two hours of cooking time. If you are using lamb, beef, or pork it is important to simmer the meat an hour before adding it to the veggies and spices to ensure that the meat is tender. Chicken takes less time. You can add chicken and veggies to the pot at the same time and save yourself an hour of cooking time!

What Size Pot Should I Use To Cook Plov?

It’s best to cook Plov in a cast-iron Dutch oven pot or similar pot with a heavy bottom so that the rice will not burn or stick. A 7-quart pot can cook up to 4 cups of uncooked rice and a 5-quart pot can easily cook 2 cups of uncooked rice.

How To Cook Russian Plov for Large Crowds?

Making plov outdoors in a huge cast iron pot (Kazan) is the most frugal way to feed a party! However, doubling a recipe in a standard heavy cast iron Dutch oven will work too. When feeding a smaller crowd of guests, I like to double the recipe and once it’s finished, I’ll bundle up the pot in a heavy blanket and head off to church. We come home to a warm pot of plov with its heat retained by the blanket – and all ready to serve!

Is Russian Plov Healthy?

Absolutely! Rice, meat, and veggie dishes are generally low fat (depending on the cut of meat used) and full of protein to give you strength and keep you going! Use healthy oils or animal fat when sauteing.

Is Rice Gluten-Free?

Yes!

What Sides Go With Russian Plov?

My creamy Classic Olivye Salad is a great side! Other delicious options on the blog include Mushroom Carrot Salad, Cabbage Salad with Cucumbers, and Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Moist Wheat Bread and vinegary pickles also pair well with plov.

How To Store Plov?

Leftover Plov stores well in the refrigerator or freezer.

Storing: Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. To reheat; heat in a 350°F oven until hot and heated thoroughly. Plov can also be microwaved.

Can you Freeze Plov?

Yes! Like fried rice, plov freezes well. Cool and freeze prepared plov in freezer bags. Keep frozen for up to 6 months. Russian Plov is a very freezer-friendly meal! Make a big portion and put some in the freezer for a busy day when you don’t have time to cook.

To Reheat Frozen Plov in the Oven: bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for around 1 1/2 hours.

For Heating Instructions In The Skillet: Cook frozen plov in a skillet; covered until hot.  

Handy Tools To Make Plov:

Tips To Make Pilaf:

  1. Simmer meats like beef, pork, or lamb for tender meat. 
  2. Chicken can be added to the carrots instead for a quicker dinner!
  3. Cut Carrots into match sticks for authentic Plov.
  4. Look for Plov Seasonings found online or Russian Markets, they will enhance the rice pilaf! 

More Rice Recipes To Make:

How to Make A Plov Recipe:

Plov (Russian Rice Pilaf)

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Alyona's Cooking
Plov is a Russian Rice Pilaf dish that can be interchanged with pork, beef, chicken, or lamb! This plov recipe is the ethnic food of Russia and Ukraine made from rice, carrots, cumin, and meat!

Equipment

  • 5-quart pot

Ingredients

Pork Plov:

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork or beef
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 carrots (cut into strips)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 10 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water

Instructions

Directions:

  • Brown the meat in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour 4 1/2 cups of water over the meat and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, chop the onions and carrots. Then heat 1/2 cup oil in a large pot. Sauté the onions and carrots 10 minutes.
  • When the meat has finished simmering strain meat from water, reserving the liquid (add enough water to make 4 cups, set aside.) Add the meat pieces to the carrots and onions. Then add whole garlic cloves, rice, and spices. Fry for 2 minutes. Pour reserved liquid over the top and bring to a boil.
  • Then, reduce heat. Cover with lid and simmer on low for 30 min. DO NOT OPEN THE LID. When 30 minutes have passed turn off and let sit 15 min not opening the lid to allow the rice to steam.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

To omit Goya Sazon increase the salt to 1 tsp and add 1/2 tsp of pepper. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 14gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 578mgPotassium: 310mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2150IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1.1mg

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6 comments

    • Fearga McEvoy

    Hi Alyona – just found your Plov recipe and would love to make it, it looks delicious, but I can’t find Goya Sazon – what can I substitute instead? Many thanks Fearga

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi, you can use seasoned salt and a little paprika.

    • Anna

    Can i substitute vegeta seasoning for the gayo sazon if I don’t have it?

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      You can but the Goya packets help give the plov color since the seasoning is orange. Using paprika can give the plov an orange hue so it can be that and just the staple spices like cumin, salt, and pepper, Vegeta is not really necessary.

    • olga

    What type of pork did you use for this recipe? The exact name? I’m not good with meat.

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      I believe I used pork loin in the plov, Olga.

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