Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)

4.20 from 5 votes

If you love rice pilaf, you’ll love beef plov! It’s a hearty and flavorful Ukrainian dish that is made with beef stew meat, carrots, onions, chickpeas, and a handful of robust spices simmered in rice. It’s a filling dinner idea!

white bowl with Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)

I’ve been slowly but surely adding to my Balkan and Caucasus recipe box! These are recipes out of places like Georgia, Serbia, Crimea, Slovenia, and Ukraine. If you like this type of cuisine as much as I do, I definitely recommend that you check out my recipes for chebureki (meat hand pies), this Georgian cheese bread called khachapuri, or cevapi, which are Balkan skinless sausages. 

Next up on my list of recipes to try and share is this beef plov. It originated in Uzbekistan, and many other countries now have their own take on it. My favorite is the Ukrainian version. It’s made with savory pieces of beef, chickpeas for even more added protein, and a smattering of vegetables and spices. The added golden raisins are a beautiful pop of sweetness, too.

closeup of Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)


  • Beef – I like to use beef chuck or beef sirloin for my plov. Whatever type you use, make sure to cut it into 1-inch pieces. 
  • Onion – The onion works with the other ingredients and adds a distinct flavor when sautéed alongside the vegetables.
  • Garlic – My absolute favorite flavor enhancer for all savory dishes!
  • Carrots – You’re going to want to work with shredded carrots here. 
  • Beef Broth – Use broth instead of water for even more added flavor.
  • Chickpeas – To make things easier, use chickpeas from a can.
  • Golden Raisins – This special and unexpected ingredient adds an interesting dimension to the dish. 
  • Vegetable Oil – To brown the beef and sauté the vegetables.
  • Salt & Pepper – You don’t need to add much to the meat to bring out its natural flavors. A bit of S&P does the trick just fine.
  • Coriander – This spice is nutty, floral, and citrusy.
  • Cumin – Another one of my favorite spices to add to savory dishes. 
  • Ground Mustard – Sharp and fresh, ground mustard works well with beef.
  • Smoked Paprika – Much smokier and spicier than traditional varieties, it adds a punch to this take on beef rice pilaf.
  • Long Grain Rice – I like Jasmine or Basmati best.
  • Pickles & Hard Boiled Eggs – For serving!


1. Prepare The Rice. To start, rinse the rice in cold water in a sieve until the water runs clear. Place it in a bowl, then cover with 1-inch of water and set aside for later.

2. Brown The Beef. Place a Dutch oven or deep-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the cubed beef with salt and pepper and place inside the pan with a bit of oil. Stir often so that it browns — this step usually takes 3-5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan when finished.

3. Sauté The Veggies & Meat. In the same pan, add the onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté until they become golden brown, or about 5 minutes. Place the beef back in the pan and add the salt, coriander, cumin, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. Stir and cook for about a minute. Next, add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 90 minutes. The meat should be tender when done.

4. Add The Rice. Stir in your chickpeas and golden raisins, then add the uncooked rice. Don’t stir! The rice should form an even layer on top, and make sure that it’s covered in about ½ inch of broth. You can add more broth if you need to.

beef rice pilaf in pan

5. Allow To Cook. Cover and let your beef plov cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the rice is done and the liquid has evaporated. Take it off of the stove and let it sit for 10 minutes uncovered. 

6. Mix Together. Fold the rice and beef together to form your beef plov. If you’d like, you can serve it with pickles and hard-boiled eggs for an authentic Ukrainian meal.

white bowl with beef rice pilaf

What Does Plov Consist Of?

Plov is an Uzbek dish made with rice and some sort of meat. It is also sometimes called pilaf or palov. Although the meal originated in Uzbekistan, other Balkan and Eastern European countries have their own versions. The meat is typically beef or lamb!

Can I Freeze Plov?

Absolutely! This recipe freezes up really nicely. Simply make it as instructed on the recipe card below and allow it to cool completely. Transfer it to a freezer-safe dish and place it inside your freezer. It will keep for up to 6 months! To reheat it, you can place it in the oven or in a skillet. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight for best results.

overhead shot of beef plov in bowls and a plate with pickles

Why Is My Beef Rice Pilaf Mushy?

If you end up with a mushy beef rice pilaf, it means that the rice has absorbed too much liquid. Simply allow the rice, broth, and meat mixture to cook for a little longer, uncovered, until the excess moisture cooks off. Make sure to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

ready to serve Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)
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Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)

4.20 from 5 votes
Beef plov is a Ukrainian take on beef rice pilaf! Featuring savory beef, veggies, chickpeas, spices, and rice, it’s satisfying and delicious.
Servings: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours 35 minutes




  • Rinse the rice in cold water in sieve until water runs clear. Place rice in bowl and cover with water by 1 inch. Set aside.
  • Heat Dutch oven or deep sided saute pan over medium high heat. You want this hot to sear the beef so it doesn’t steam and loose it’s juices when browned.
  • Season the cubed beef with 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Brown the beef, stirring often for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Next, add the onion, carrot and garlic to the remaining oil in pan and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Return the beef and accumulated juices to pan, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and spices and stir everything together, cooking for 1 minute. Add the broth, stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  • Stir in the chickpeas and golden raisins. Sprinkle the drained, uncooked rice over the meat and broth in pan in an even layer, being sure NOT to stir. The rice should be laying on top, but be sure it’s covered with about 1/2 inch broth. Add more broth or water if needed.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, until the rice is done and all liquids have evaporated (See Note 2). Remove from heat and let the rice stand for 10 minutes covered.
  • Before serving, fold rice and beef mixture together. Serve with optional pickles of choice (sweet, dill or hot) or hard boiled eggs.


  1. You can also purchase shredded carrots in 10 ounce bags in the vegetables section of you market to keep things easier.
  2. If all liquid is not absorbed, cook for a few minutes with lid off.


Calories: 690kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1258mg | Potassium: 1092mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3607IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 7mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Balkan, Ukrainian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
side shot of Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf)


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 1 star
    Sorry kevin im going to throw you under the bus. Im Ukrainian so i grew up eating plov this plov recipe was not my favorite. It way over cooks the rice. A good plov has perfect rice consistency. This was mushy 😔

    1. Sorry that was you experience Alina. Myself and others enjoy this one. I’d be happy to try your recipe to see where mine doesn’t level up.

  2. 5 stars
    this looks amazing could I use regular long grain rice? My hubby isn’t fussy on jasmine or basmati 🙁