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Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice with herbs is a wonderful side dish that pairs beautifully with so many mains! This side dish is incredibly easy to make -- we throw everything (including uncooked rice) into a baking dish and let the oven do the work. And never a mushy grain of rice!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword lemon rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings (as a side)
Calories 125kcal
Cost $4.12


  • 9x13-inch ceramic or glass pan
  • Cooking Spray


  • 1-1/2 cups (315g) uncooked basmati rice (Note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth (Note 2)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Add Later

  • 1-2 large lemons (1 tsp. zest & 3-4 tbsp. juice)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Make it a meal -- serve with rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken and tzatziki sauce -- See Note 3.


  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Very generously spray a glass or ceramic (not metal) 9x13-inch pan. Cut butter into 6 equal pieces and set aside.
  • BAKE: Add the uncooked basmati rice right into the prepared pan along with the minced garlic, all the seasonings, salt & pepper to taste (I add 1 tsp fine sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper -- See Note 4), and chicken stock. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are incorporated and spread in one even layer. Then, evenly top with cut pieces of butter. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Then, remove the foil (save foil -- just set aside for now) and bake for 15 more minutes.
  • REST: Remove from the oven. Don't stir the rice. Top with the foil again and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. This is very important to avoid mushy rice! Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemon and finely chop the parsley.
  • ENJOY: After 10 minutes, gently mix everything together and lightly fluff rice with a fork. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix in gently. Taste and add additional salt/pepper if needed. Gently stir and then serve! Check out Note 3 for our favorite way to serve this rice.



Note 1: Rice: We tested this recipe with all different kinds of rice and the only one we found success with is basmati rice. Other grains of rice gave very inconsistent results -- ranging from very mushy to unevenly cooked (some hard grains/some mushy).
Note 2: Chicken stock: The stock is very important to flavor -- use a full-bodied (not low sodium) stock. We love Swanson® stock best.
Note 3: Serving suggestions: Our favorite way to enjoy this lemon rice is with hot grilled chicken or lemon-pepper seasoned rotisserie chicken, crisp thinly sliced cucumbers, loads of this Tzatziki Sauce, and warmed pita bread to scoop everything up and eat! Here's how to make the tzatziki sauce: Add the following ingredients to a medium-sized bowl: 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt (we love Greek Gods®), 1 cup grated unpeeled English or Persian cucumber (squeeze out some of the liquid with a paper towel), 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste. Stir until combined and then refrigerate. Stir before adding to the cooked lemon rice.
Note 4: SaltNot all salts season the same (you’ll need more or less depending on the salt used). I use fine sea salt in this recipe. You may want less salt if you are sensitive to salt or stock is overly salted. Add less if concerned, you can always add more at the end.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.1g | Protein: 2.9g | Fat: 6.8g | Cholesterol: 17.5mg | Sodium: 109mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1.3g