My recipe for Greek lemon rice is classic, easy to make, and filled with zesty lemon flavor! It only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and features light and refreshing herbs and spices too. Serve it with your choice of main for a delicious dinner or lunch option.
Rice is one of my go-to side dishes for so many reasons. It’s so easy to prepare, can be made in a variety of different ways, and goes with so many other main dishes! I’ve already shared recipes like this Lebanese rice pilaf and this baked basmati rice pilaf, and I even have a different recipe for Greek-inspired rice up on my site: spanakorizo made with spinach.
Today, I wanted to offer up an even simpler take on Greek rice. This one is filled with lemon juice as well as zest, fresh parsley, and your choice of oregano or dill. I love garnishing mine with a bit of crumbled feta cheese on top. That said, you can easily make this dish vegetarian and vegan-friendly by subbing in the vegetable broth for the chicken broth and omitting the cheese.
It’s a dish that is so versatile and sure to please. No matter what you decide to serve it with, you’ll probably get asked for seconds!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Long Grain White Rice - I like long-grain white varieties best for my Greek Lemon rice dish. You can also sub in your grain of choice.
- Yellow Onion - For more added depth of flavor.
- Garlic - Lemon, garlic, and herbs go together wonderfully.
- Chicken Broth - You can also use vegetable broth or just simply water here.
- Olive Oil - To cook your onion and garlic in before you add the rest of the ingredients.
- Lemons - You need both the zest and the juice. Use slices for a garnish!
- Parsley - Go for fresh, flat-leaf varieties.
- Dill or Oregano - Chef’s choice! I personally love dill with lemon, but you can use either one! Just be sure that it is fresh, not dried.
- Salt & Pepper - To finish everything off!
- Feta - This ingredient is optional, but it is oh-so-tasty with the rest of the flavors!
HOW TO MAKE GREEK LEMON RICE
- Prep The Rice & Lemons. Be sure to rinse your rice in a sieve under cold water before beginning. Once the water runs clear, drain the rice and set aside. Zest one of your lemons for a total of 1 tablespoon of zest. Next, juice it and set the juice aside. You can slice the other lemon for garnishing.
- Sauté The Onion & Garlic. In a large saucepan (or deep skillet), heat the olive oil over medium until warm. Add the onion and sauté it for about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and let them cook together until the onion becomes translucent.
- Cook The Rice. Add your grain directly to the pan and stir for about 5 minutes. Add in your broth of choice (or water!) and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, then turn the heat down to low and allow it to cook for 12 minutes. Remove your Greek rice from the stovetop and let it rest while covered for 10 minutes.
- Add The Lemon & Herbs. Now, stir in the lemon zest, juice, herbs, and salt and pepper. Taste it and add in more seasonings if necessary! You can serve your Greek lemon rice with lemon slices and feta cheese if desired.
Do I Have To Soak The Rice?
Some Greek rice recipes require you to leave the grain to soak before you get started. I find that after rinsing it in water that this step is unnecessary for my recipe. That said, if you do want to soak yours, you can do so by leaving it in a bowl with water for 15-20 minutes.
How Do I Keep My Rice From Sticking?
When you follow the recipe card below closely, you shouldn’t run into any issues. Because you’ll use the same saucepan to sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil, it should prevent any and all sticking! You also want to make sure to continuously stir the rice as it cooks. This is one recipe that you really need to keep an eye on for the best results.
What Should I Serve With Greek Lemon Rice?
I already mentioned that this Greek rice makes for a wonderful side dish! So, what to serve with it? Here are some of my favorite suggestions:
You can also use this recipe as a fresh base for a hearty salad! Get creative!
Greek Lemon Rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 2 ¼ cups chicken broth (or water)
- 2 large lemons zest, juice, garnish
- 3 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley minced
- 3 tablespoon dill or oregano minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)
- Rinse rice in sieve under cold water, mixing with fingers, until water runs clear. Drain, set aside. Zest 1 lemon for 1 tablespoon total and juice lemon for 3 tablespoons. Slice other lemon for garnish.
- Heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan or deep skillet.
- Add onion, saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic, saute 2 more minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add rice and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.
- Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat down to low. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove from from heat and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove lid, stir through lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with optional lemon slices and feta cheeses crumbles.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.