This bright and flavorful Greek Lemon Rice recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients, yet it elevates your rice so, so much.
It’s the perfect side for many of your favorite Mediterranean dishes, boosting your meal’s flavor profile to another level!
I’m a big rice eater. In its basic form, it’s a must with all of my favorite curries and stews.
But when it’s time for some tasty Greek night, the only way to go is this tangy Lemon Rice!
Why We LOVE Greek Lemon Rice
- Flavor Profile: This dish boasts a tantalizing blend of citrusy zing from the lemon and aromatic herbs like dill and parsley. It’s fresh, vibrant, and utterly irresistible.
- Texture: Using basmati rice ensures a light, fluffy texture that perfectly absorbs the delectable lemon-infused broth, creating a consistency that’s neither too dry nor too mushy.
- Simplicity: With a handful of staple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this recipe is a breeze to make. But the result? A gourmet side dish worthy of a fancy restaurant.
- Versatility: This lemon rice is the perfect companion to a variety of Greek mains, as well as many other dishes.
Greek Rice Ingredients
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté and release flavors, imparting a rich Mediterranean aroma.
- Onion – Provides a sweet base, enhancing the dish’s depth.
- Garlic – Offers a pungent kick.
- White Rice – The main element, it’s fluffy and absorbs flavors beautifully.
- Chicken Broth – Adds savory notes and boosts the flavor profile.
- Parsley – Introduces a fresh herbaceous touch, brightening the dish.
- Dill – Brings in a unique aromatic flavor, complementing the lemon.
- Lemon – Gives the rice its signature citrusy zest, making the dish refreshing and tangy.
Easy Lemon Rice Recipe
In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté till it starts to become translucent. Add in garlic and cook for another minute.
Add rice and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, open the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Add in parsley, dill, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Rice Choice: While basmati is our favorite for its light, fluffy texture, other long-grain white rices can also work. If using regular long-grain rice, rinse it well to remove excess starch and prevent it from becoming sticky.
- Herb Freshness: Always opt for fresh parsley and dill. They make a world of difference in flavor compared to dried versions.
- Lemon Zest: Be sure to zest the lemon before juicing it. It’s much easier! Also, using a fine grater or zester ensures you only get the outer yellow layer, avoiding the bitter white pith.
- Broth Options: Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken broth, but the flavor profile will change slightly. For a vegetarian version, vegetable broth is ideal.
- Adjusting Tanginess: The acidity of lemons can vary. Taste and adjust the lemon juice accordingly if you want a more or less pronounced lemon flavor.
- Sautéing: Don’t rush the sautéing process. Ensuring the onions are translucent and not browned, and letting the rice toast a bit enhances the overall depth of flavor.
What to Serve with Greek Lemon Rice
We also have a wonderful lamb recipe called Kleftiko, which goes so good with this rice. Another top contender is Psari Plaki, a Greek fish dish.
- Swap white rice with brown rice for a nuttier flavor and added nutrition. Adjust cooking times as necessary.
- Sometimes Greek rice includes orzo, similar to rice pilaf. Add it in and toast it along with the rice.
- While dill and parsley are classic, for a little different flavor profile add in a little fresh mint.
- Sprinkle in toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds at the end for crunch and nutty flavors.
- Add some veggies. Think peas, carrots or bell peppers.
Leftovers and Storage
You can refrigerate leftover lemon rice in an airtight container for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat the leftovers in the microwave.
TIP: Cooked rice can grow bacteria quickly if not kept at proper temperature. After cooking, allow rice to come to room temperature, then refrigerate within one hour.
If you wish to freeze the leftovers, spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator. Then once it has completely cooled, portion the rice into zip top bags, then freeze.
Give your basic rice a bright and lively makeover with this easy Greek inspired recipe. It just might become one of your go-to ways to cook rice!
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Greek Lemon Rice, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups uncooked white rice (see note 1)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill
- juice + zest of 1 lemon
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté till it starts to become translucent. Add in garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add rice and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, open the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Add in parsley, dill, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
- We prefer to use basmati, as it is more forgiving than regular long grain rice.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 258Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 2mgSodium 488mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 4g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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