California Pilaf

This gluten-free California Pilaf recipe combines rice, ground beef, and tomatoes and in an easy weeknight meal. At

California Pilaf can be made in the slow cooker or on the stove top.  It is easy to make, well liked, and naturally gluten and dairy free.  It also uses common ingredients and is perfect for those evenings when it is time for dinner and you don’t know what to make.

4.7 from 3 reviews
California Pilaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 + 1 / 3 cups raw white rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef and onion.
  2. Clear space in the center of the skillet and add the garlic. Cook for about one minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Drain the beef mixture and place it in a large pot.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid. About 20 minutes.
For a slow cooker, follow steps 1 and 2, then place all ingredients in the crock. Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours or high 3 – 4 hours. Keep an eye on it and turn it off when the liquid is absorbed.

This gluten-free California Pilaf recipe combines rice, ground beef, and tomatoes and in an easy weeknight meal. At

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  1. says

    Hi Linda,

    This looks great! I love rice dishes since they are usually naturally gf and I’m aways on the look out for more ideas.

    I’ve never even heard of Californian Pilaf before (not something we get in the UK), so thanks for the idea :-) A variation from my usual jambalaya, risotto and paella.


    • says

      Hi Suzanne. You’re quite welcome. I hope you enjoy it. I’m sure you will if you like rice dishes. Thanks for commenting.

    • Jacqui Cherry says

      Linda, would you be willing to share your paella recipe? I’ve been looking for a good one since I visited Spain! Please feel free to email it to me, if you prefer. :) Also, I’m on Facebook as Jacqui Kennedy Cherry.
      Thank you!

  2. Yvonne says

    Thanks for the last minute meal idea on Facebook today, it is just simmering now. I had this ground turkey out and I was just asking myself what the heck I was going to do with it! I couldn’t resist adding some greenery, so chopped in a little kale and cilantro… also used half turkey stock and half water. I think I may toss in some chick peas at the end too… the possibilities are endless!

  3. audra says

    Hi, do you drain the tomatoes? it doesn’t specify and I don’t want it to turn out dry. Thank you for sharing all of these great recipes! it really helps mix things up!

  4. says

    Thanks for the recipe! I modified it a bit – using Trader Joe’s brown rice and adding taco seasoning to it and a can of black beans. Will top with olives and maybe some guacamole. Mexi-pilaf! Just what I need for a week night dinner.

  5. Destinee says

    I just made this, substituting chicken for the ground beef and chicken stock in place of the water. I also added fresh spinach for some green ????

If you have a question about a recipe (especially substitutions and nutritional information), please read my FAQ page before asking the question in a comment.

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