This one pot ground lamb and rice dish is packed with bright and fresh basil leaves, sweet and tart sun-dried tomatoes and loads of flavor. It’s a simple one pot meal that’ll have everyone going back for seconds.
We have been eating this Italian pilaf pretty regularly over the past few weeks. It’s my new favorite way to eat ground lamb – spiced well and combined with basmati rice, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. It’s so flavorful and so easy to make, especially in an instant pot. In our house, we’ve been calling this “Italian keema pulao” lol because it’s basically the Italian version of my keema biryani/pulao. Is Italian biryani a thing? I guess it is now…
I first came up with this recipe sort of by accident. I had a lot of leftover basmati rice in the fridge, a pack of ground lamb waiting to be used, a jar half full of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil – which is an herb I don’t typically keep in the house (unlike cilantro which basically moved into my house and refuses to leave). Fortuitous, right? It was basically a leftover jumble that turned out to be so good that my husband asked me to make it again the following week – so I did, but the next time I made it, I did so using my favorite kitchen appliance, my electric pressure cooker: an Instant Pot. Since then I’ve made this several times – I have no idea why it has taken me so long to get this on the blog but now that it’s on here, you guys need to make it asap! Make it while fresh basil is still super abundant!
This Italian pilaf is a little spicy thanks to the serrano pepper and the cayenne but you can definitely leave those out if you prefer. It also has a decent amount of garlic, don’t (ever) skimp on garlic y’all!
I hope you love this delicious and flavor-packed Italian ground lamb pilaf! I’m really excited to hear what you guys think of this recipe so leave me a comment here on the blog to let me know!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound ground lamb (or another ground meat)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, optional adjust to taste
- 1 cup rice, soaked for 5–10 mins in cold water
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
- 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves (approx 5 ounces)
- Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow the pot to heat up for a minute. Then add the ground lamb, onion, serrano pepper, garlic to the pot. Cook until the lamb is no longer pink.
- Add the paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne and mix well.
- Add the drained rice and 1 cup of water to the pot and mix well.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Stir in the sundried tomatoes and fresh basil. Once the tomatoes are warmed through and the basil wilts, serve.
- typically sun-dried tomatoes have salt in them which is why my recipe calls for a bit less salt than usual (¾ teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon). You may need to add a bit more salt at the end to taste.
okay just one more pic… yum!