Skip the plain rice and add a burst of brightness with a side dish of Lemon Rice.
For those meals where plain white rice is just too… well… plain, look to this Lemon Rice to liven up your dinner table. As the name suggests, it’s full of bright, lemony flavor, which complements main dishes like roasts, seafood, and grilled meats and vegetables incredibly well. It’s also one of those easy side dishes that you can quickly pull together with ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Just How Lemony Is This Rice?
Let me assure you the level of lemoniness in this lemon rice recipe is just right. Though I found other recipes that included lemon juice and/or lemon pepper, I found that lemon zest gave the rice the brightest scent and flavor without becoming sour. It’s pleasantly citrusy, balanced with savory ingredients such as butter and garlic.
If you enjoy a more in-your-face lemon taste, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving. Or serve with lemon wedges so guests can taste and add the extra lemon if they choose.
How To Make Lemon Rice
Even though this rice is pretty quick and easy to prepare, you’re rewarded with a company-worthy dish that tastes like it requires much more effort. It’s made in a pilaf style, starting with sautéing uncooked long-grain rice in butter with some minced garlic. Then you simmer it in broth until most of the liquid has evaporated. After allowing it to steam for a few minutes, you fluff it with a fork and season it with lemon zest and black pepper. That’s all you need for easy lemon rice!
What To Serve With Lemon Rice
Pair this flavorful rice with roasts, grilled meats, seafood, or vegetable mains, such as:
- Roasted Leg of Lamb
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Baked Salmon
- Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables
- Pork Loin Injected with Apple Marinade
How To Store And Reheat Rice
Store any leftover rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat the rice in the microwave, put it in a microwave-safe dish with about a tablespoon of water per cup of rice, cover the dish with a damp paper towel, and heat it on high until it’s hot, 20-30 seconds per cup.
To reheat the rice on the stove, put it in a small saucepan with about a tablespoon of water per cup of rice and heat, stirringly occasionally with a fork, over medium-low until it’s hot.Print
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced*
- 1 and 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add rice.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until rice is lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
- Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in broth and salt. Bring to boiling, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
- Cook 13-18 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.
- Add zest and black pepper, then stir and fluff with a fork.
*Or substitute ½ tsp. garlic powder and add it to the broth with the salt.
Photos by Dawn Viola.