This Greek Lemon Rice Recipe is quick and easy to follow and yields four servings of delicious Greek Lemon Rice aka Greek Rice Pilaf! Ready in 30 minutes, this dish is fun, summery, and absolutely packed with flavor (think sauteed onions + garlic, Mediterranean herbs, spices, and lemons!).
GREEK LEMON RICE RECIPE
Hello, internet babes! Today we’re traveling to Greece… NOT!!!! We’re bringing Greece to our freakin table because it’s 2020 and traveling is a problem.
We’re making Greek Lemon Rice. I love this rice because it’s ready in 30 minutes and is absolutely packed with flavor thanks to the onions, garlic, cumin, black pepper, oregano, dill, parsley, and fresh lemons!
Oh – and before I forget: see how bright and yellow my Greek Lemon Rice is? Yea! That’s thanks to the broth I used in this recipe: it has a dash of turmeric in it and it’s enough to turn a whole pan of rice bright yellow! I’m loving the look so I’m definitely not complaining, it’s just a heads up in case your rice doesn’t turn out as bright and yellow!
Also, now you know how to make it fun and colorful: simply add a pinch of turmeric to your rice :).
SO! Get your basmati rice out & let’s get started!!
WHAT IS GREEK LEMON RICE AKA GREEK LEMON PILAF
Greek Lemon Rice is a Greek side dish made with basmati rice, sauteed onions, garlic, fresh lemons, chicken broth, dill, parsley, oregano, cumin, and black pepper!
Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian Greek Lemon Rice but the end result will be slightly different (still delicious though, I already tested it!).
THE KEY TO A DAMN GOOD GREEK LEMON RICE
This rice is really simple and easy to make *but* you need high-quality ingredients to make it worth it! The flavor is all in the onions, garlic, lemons, and herbs so you want to use fresh, top-notch stuff. I recommend visiting your local farmer market and getting all the ingredients there.
Stock up on the lemons! You’ll need 1/4 cup lemon juice + zest + more lemons for serving (this way people can customize their rice and add more lemon or make lemon-water to go with the pilaf).
Also, *LIFE HACK*, when visiting your local farmer market, ask if they give away complimentary herbs. My local farmer market does that and will give you tons of fresh herbs if you ask (yes, for free)! I had no idea they did that! Now, not all farmer markets will do the same thing but… if you don’t ask you’ll never get anything in life, right?! lol
No, seriously, if it’s appropriate at your local farmer market, it won’t be tacky so don’t let that hold you back from asking. Oh and if you end up with 5 bunches of parsley (… it has happened to me before), use it to make this Easy Chimichurri Sauce!
1 TIP FOR SUCCESS
Soak the rice! Please don’t skip this step! It’s what will make your rice super fluffy instead of mushy.
Soaking and draining basmati rice gets rid of all the extra starch that would otherwise cause your rice to be sticky (we don’t want sticky for this one!). Simply fill a bowl with water, add the rice to the bowl, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then transfer it to a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under running water until the water runs clear. Done!
WHAT CAN I ADD TO THIS GREEK LEMON RICE?
To elevate this delicious side dish you can add a few extra drops of fresh lemon right before serving, crumbled feta cheese, and/or 2 tbsp of unsalted butter.
Most Greek restaurants will add butter to their Lemon Rice. I’m personally not a fan but you can give it a try and see how you like it!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH GREEK LEMON RICE?
- Baked Feta Cheese with Tomatoes
- Pan Fried Feta Cheese With Honey And Sesame
- Watermelon Salad With Feta, Mint And Cucumber
- Baked Cajun Popcorn Chicken
- Healthy Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Spicy Lebanese Potatoes
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
– and pretty much any other Mediterranean dish!
HALP! WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
- Can you store leftover rice? Yes. As soon as you’re done eating your Lemon Rice, immediately store any leftovers in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. When cooked rice stands at room temperature for too long (longer than an hour), all the spores that are naturally present in rice can potentially turn into bacteria. You shouldn’t be scared of storing Lemon Rice, but you should definitely pay attention!
- How long is leftover rice good for? If properly stored, your Lemon Rice rice will last for 2-3 days. Some people say it can last up to a week but I personally don’t feel safe eating rice that has been stored for longer than 3 days. Other people say it shouldn’t be stored for longer than a day. Do you. I’ve always stored it for 2-3 days and never encountered any problems but if you want to be on the safer side, you can follow the 1-day rule.
- Can you reheat Lemon Rice? Yes, but you shouldn’t do it more than once for safety reasons. You can reheat your leftover rice on the stovetop with a dash of water or broth or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. Make sure the rice is steaming hot before serving!
HAPPY COOKING BABES!! I hope you’ll love this delicious Greek Lemon Rice as much as I do!!
OH! YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE MY:
- Spiced Somali Rice
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Veggie Vermicelli Stir Fry (Vegan)
- Simple Cream Cheese Garlic Pasta
Greek Lemon Rice Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion (I like red but yellow onion would be ideal) chopped
- 1 cup basmati rice soaked and drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp organic lemon zest
- 2 cups chicken broth (I recommend low-sodium)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2/4 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter optional, for serving
- Extra lemon juice optional, for topping
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant (4-5 minutes).
- Add in the soaked and drained basmati rice and lemon zest, sautee for another minute, stirring from time to time to keep the rice from sticking to the pan.
- Pour in the broth, water, lemon juice, dill, parsley, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Bring the rice to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water and broth mixture has evaporated and the rice is tender but not sticky*. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Stir.
- Remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit covered for 10 minutes, then add in extra lemon juice or butter if desired. Serve immediately!