This Greek Lemon Rice Recipe is quick and easy to follow and yields 4 servings of delicious Greek Lemon Rice aka Greek Rice Pilaf! Ready in 30 minutes, this dish is zesty, summery, and packed with flavor (think sauteed onions + garlic, Mediterranean herbs, spices, and lemons!).
GREEK LEMON RICE RECIPE
Today I’m sharing with you this Greek Lemon Rice recipe!
I love this dish because it’s packed with flavor thanks to the onions, garlic, cumin, black pepper, oregano, dill, parsley, and fresh lemons!
It comes together in just 30 minutes and it’s zesty and refreshing!
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!
You can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian! It’ll still taste delicious but the flavor will be slightly different.
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’s market and getting all the ingredients there!
Stock up on the lemons! You’ll need 1/4 cup lemon juice + zest + extra lemon juice for serving (this way people can add more juice to their rice 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 away tons of fresh herbs if you ask (yes, for free)! I had no idea they did that!
1 TIP FOR SUCCESS
Soak the rice for 15-20 minutes! Please don’t skip this step: it’ll help your your rice get super fluffy!
Soaking and draining basmati rice gets rid of all the extra starch that would otherwise cause your rice to be sticky and mushy (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 15-20 minutes, then transfer it to a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under running water until the water runs clear.
How to make greek rice yellow?
See how bright and yellow my greek lemon rice is? The broth I used contains turmeric which is responsible for that bold yellow hue!
If you want your rice to be just as yellow, simply add a pinch of turmeric in it (you can do this in step 3 when you’re adding the other ingredients).
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, crumbled feta cheese, and/or 2 tbsp of unsalted butter right before serving.
Most Greek restaurants will add butter to their Lemon Rice and it definitely makes it richer. 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?
These are some of my favorite options:
- Baked Feta Cheese with Tomatoes
- Chicken Gyros
- Pan-Fried Feta Cheese with Honey and Sesame
- Greek meatballs
- Oven-Fried Cajun Popcorn Chicken
- Baked Honey Dijon Chicken
– or pretty much any other Greek or Mediterranean dish!
HALP! WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
- Can you store leftover rice? Yes. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Do not allow the cooked lemon rice to seat at room temperature for too long (longer than an hour) for safety reasons.
- 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 had any problems but if you want to be on the safer side, you can stick to 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 adding a splash 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)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill or to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 pinch turmeric optional, for coloring
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter optional, for serving
- Extra lemon juice optional, for topping
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant (4-5 minutes).
- Add the soaked and drained basmati rice and lemon zest, sautee until slightly toasted (about 1 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, salt, and turmeric (if using). 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 the rice to sit covered for 10 minutes. Top with extra lemon juice, crumbled feta cheese or butter if desired. Serve immediately!