This lemon rice is the perfect simple, flavorful, and versatile side dish. It’s made with long-grain rice that’s perfectly flavored with chicken broth, lemon juice, and your choice of herb. Try pairing it with Mediterranean, Indian, or American cuisine for a perfect pairing to create a wholesome meal. This quick staple side dish is as delicious as it is easy!
Lemon Garlic Herb Rice – The EASY Way!
Is there anything better than an easy side dish that goes with pretty much everything?
Say hello to this fresh and easy lemon herb rice. This side dish is packed with flavor, but made with just a few simple ingredients. Simply make the rice as directed, then toss it with oil, lemon juice, salt, and a fresh herb of your choice.
This lemon rice is so straightforward and can be served in so many different ways!
Why I LOVE this recipe
- Simple. Just whip up a batch of rice, then mix it up with oil, lemon juice, salt, and fresh herbs.
- Quick to make. A simple side dish that’s ready in a total of 25 minutes.
- Versatile. Swap the fresh herbs out to customize this dish, then serve it with any of your favorite entrees.
What to Serve with Lemon Rice
This flavorful (and easy) rice side dish can go with classics like grilled chicken, or steak, but also pairs exceptionally well with Greek, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. Try matching it with a protein and a veggie based side for a hearty and satisfying dinner.
Main Dishes to Serve with Lemon Rice
- Greek Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet – My favorite pairing! Fresh and delicious!
- Greek Chicken Bites – A family favorite, these easy “chicken nugget” style bites are backed with flavor and can be made quickly on the stove top.
- Easy Butter Chicken – Add a little extra flavor to this classic Indian entree by serving it over a pile of lemon rice. This butter chicken is a 20-minute recipe packed with juicy bites of chicken smothered in a flavorful, Indian-spiced tomato cream sauce.
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken – Double up on the citrus with this delicious and tangy cilantro lime chicken. Just 7 simple ingredients for the perfect light and fresh dinner. Serve over lemon rice with a side of black beans or sautéed peppers and onions.
- Garlic Herb Steak – Turn your lemon herb rice into a restaurant-style meal with a piece of this garlic herb steak. This recipe is so simple but yields a tender and juicy steak with the perfect sear.
- Crockpot Greek Chicken and Veggies– For a dump and go kind of meal.
Sides to Serve with Lemon Rice
- Cucumber Tomato Salad– light, easy and make ahead friendly!
- Roasted Broccoli – Keep your meal extra simple with a pile of garlic parmesan roasted broccoli. Just 5-ingredients and 5 minutes of prep for the most versatile side dish.
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – If you’re keeping with a Mediterranean theme, whip up a side of this chickpea salad. It’s fresh, healthy, and loaded with the perfect blend of veggies, chickpeas, and feta tossed with a simple balsamic dressing.
- Pesto Roasted Vegetables – Enjoy a well-rounded and colorful meal with a side of these pesto roasted veggies. They’re made with red onion, pepper, broccoli, squash, and zucchini all tossed in a flavorful pesto sauce.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Lemon Rice recipe is as simple as promised! Just 25 minutes for a family friendly side dish.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Rice – I usually use long-grain white rice, but you can really use whatever rice you prefer. Just make sure you follow the specific instructions for that type of rice since both the liquid ratio and cooking times can vary.
- Broth – Chicken broth is my preferred one because I think it adds the best flavor. However, you can use veggie broth or even water if you would rather.
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice – I HIGHLY recommend using fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
- Fresh Herbs – You can use chopped parsley, basil, cilantro, or dill. I usually use parsley because it’s a great, classic flavor, but you can use any one of the four options you like!
- Play with flavor – You can pick between parsley, basil, cilantro, or dill to pair the rice with different types of entrees. You can also play with flavor and do a combination of herbs! If you do mix herbs, make sure you use 2 tablespoons in total. Not two tablespoons of each one.
- Check the rice instructions – This recipe is developed for long grain white rice, so the instructions are specific to that. If you decide to use another type of rice, make sure you follow its specific instructions.
- Serve immediately – This lemon rice is best served warm and right away.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this lemon rice side dish, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use bottled lemon juice – This won’t save you a ton of time, but does cut down on the prep time ever so slightly.
- Make it ahead of time – Cooked rice can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge, so you can totally prep this in advance, then warm it in the microwave or on the stove when you’re ready to serve it.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Lemon Greek Rice – Turn your lemon herb rice into more of a Greek-inspired side dish with dill and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Jasmine Lemon Rice – Swap the long-grain white rice for jasmine rice instead. Just be sure to adjust the cooking instructions as needed.
- Lemon Basmati Rice – Use basmati rice in place of the long-grain white rice. Again, just make sure you follow its specific cooking instructions.
- Lemon Cauliflower Rice – Prepare cauliflower rice using your preferred method. Then toss it with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
- Vegetarian Lemon Rice – Simply use veggie broth in place of the chicken broth for a vegetarian version of this simple side dish.
- Lemon Pepper Rice – Just add some freshly cracked black pepper to taste!
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this Lemon Rice recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Prepare the rice as instructed, then let it cool completely.
- Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you’re ready to serve, thaw the rice overnight in the fridge, then warm in the microwave or on low on the stove with a splash of chicken broth.
Lemon Rice Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Lemon Rice, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Greek Chicken Wraps – This rice is AMAZING when used in this wrap recipe. I literally dream about this dinner!
- Chicken Zucchini Casserole – Try layering the leftovers into this chicken casserole along with zucchini, squash, onion, pesto, and cheese!
- Mediterranean Chicken Bowls – Create a base with rice, then add toppings such as greek chicken, or creamy greek chicken, fresh tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and feta cheese. You can drizzle it with greek dressing or add tzatziki or hummus to finish.
More Side Dish Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my side dish recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1.5 cups chicken broth, see note
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt, to taste, I use about 1/2 teaspoon
***CHOOSE 1 HERB OPTION***
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- Bring the chicken broth to boil in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Once boiling, add the rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in olive oil and lemon juice. Salt the rice to taste, then last, stir in the freshly chopped parsley. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!
- Chicken broth is my preferred liquid to use because it adds extra flavor and richness to the rice. You can substitute beef broth, vegetable broth (to make it vegan), or use water in the recipe in place of chicken broth if desired.
- This recipe is formulated for rice that uses a 1:1.5 rice to liquid ratio. Check the rice you intend to use before cooking and if it has a higher or lower liquid ratio adjust the chicken broth up or down.
- Lemon Herb Rice can be made with a variety of herbs. I recommend choosing one and adding it for the easiest method. If you want to get more creative, you can combine herbs, but I would shoot for a total of 2 tablespoons fresh minced herbs combined.