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Lemon Rice Recipe

This easy Lemon Rice Recipe is bursting with lemon flavor! It’s a delicious way to turn plain rice into an exotic dish and is the perfect accompaniment to any meats and/or veggies.

Lemon Rice served in a skillet, with a spoon mixing through it.

Easy Lemon Rice Recipe

As the temperature starts to climb, it’s time to introduce vibrant citrus flavors to our meals, and this zesty Lemon Rice makes the perfect side dish for your culinary line-up. Think creamy, slightly tangy, and packed with bright, irresistible lemon essence; this rice recipe is versatile enough to pair with your favorite fish or meat dishes and will make your meals that much better.

Have you ever had Lemon Rice?! If not, you really, really should! It will change you 4-EVA. 

Close-up overhead shot of lemon rice topped with lemon slices.

What Is Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is a popular and flavorful dish made with cooked rice, fresh lemon juice, and a variety of seasonings. The key feature of lemon rice is its tangy and savory taste, which comes from the liberal use of lemon juice. Light, flavorful, and absolutely delicious, it’s a game-changer for those looking to change up plain ol’ rice.

Now, before my Indian friends notice that there are no roasted peanuts in here and red chilies, allow me to explain; this is how we, Macedonians, make Lemon Rice: green onions, garlic, lemon zest, and as much lemon juice as one needs. I, however, did add a bit of turmeric, too. As far as I know, we don’t use turmeric, but I had to stir it in – it’s just too pretty and too good for you to pass up.

Also, the rice is cooked in broth and Half & Half instead of water, which in turn makes the rice creamy and so much more flavorful. A sprinkle of dill at the end is every.thing. 

Overhead shot of a bowl filled with rice.

How Do You Make Lemon Rice?

This rice dish is so easy to make – after trying it yourself, you may never return to minute rice!

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan.
  • Add in sliced green onions, and cook for a minute.
  • Mix in the garlic and lemon zest, cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add a cup of long grain rice, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  • Add broth, half & half, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, fluff rice and adjust seasonings.
  • Garnish with dill and green onions before serving.
Rice in a skillet.

Add-Ins To Liven Up Plain Rice

For those who wish to add an extra touch to this already fantastic rice recipe, here are some mix-in suggestions:

  • Protein: Toss in some cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu for a complete meal in itself.
  • Vegetables: Sauteed bell peppers, peas, or a mix of your favorite vegetables can add more color and nutrition to your dish.
  • Nuts and Seeds: A sprinkle of toasted cashews, peanuts, almonds, or sesame seeds can add a nice crunch and enhance the overall flavor.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, or cilantro can be added for an extra pop of freshness.
  • Spices: Add a pinch of red chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of feta or goat cheese adds a creamy, tangy twist.
Wide shot of lemon rice in a skillet.

What To Serve With Rice

These are just a few ideas, but the beauty of lemon rice is its versatility – it can be paired with just about anything you like!

Storing Leftovers

  • Cool leftover rice within an hour after cooking.
  • Transfer the rice to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
  • To reheat, add a bit of water and heat until hot throughout.


Lemon Rice served in a skillet, with a spoon mixing through it.

Lemon Rice Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
This easy Lemon Rice Recipe  is bursting with lemon flavor!  It's a delicious way to turn plain rice into an exotic dish and is the perfect accompaniment to any meats and/or veggies.
4.67 from 21 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 green onions, white parts only, cut into thin rounds, reserve green parts for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half & half, you can also use heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • chopped fresh dill, for garnish
  • chopped green onions, for garnish


  • Melt butter and heat olive oil in a nonstick pan.
  • Add onions and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in garlic and lemon zest; continue to cook and stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Add rice; season with turmeric, salt and pepper, and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Stir in vegetable broth, half & half, and lemon juice.
  • Turn up the heat and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer; cover the pan and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Fluff with a fork and taste for seasonings; adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with dill and green onions.
  • Serve.


  • Choosing Rice: Long-grain rice varieties such as Basmati or Jasmine are best for this dish as they stay fluffy and separate after cooking.
  • Rinse the Rice: Rinsing the rice before cooking can help remove excess starch and prevent the grains from sticking together.
  • Adjust the Lemon: The amount of lemon juice can be adjusted to suit your taste. Start with the recommended amount and add more if you prefer it tangier.
  • Keep an Eye on the Heat: When simmering the rice, make sure the heat is low enough that it doesn’t burn the bottom of the pan but high enough to keep a gentle simmer.
  • Fresh is Best: Use fresh lemon juice and herbs for the most vibrant flavor.


Serving: 1 cup | Calories: 302 kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.5 g | Protein: 6.1 g | Fat: 18.4 g | Saturated Fat: 4.9 g | Cholesterol: 20.5 mg | Sodium: 75.8 mg | Fiber: 1.4 g | Sugar: 3.7 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Sides
Cuisine: Macedonian
Keyword: easy rice recipe, lemon recipe recipe
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