This Greek lemon rice recipe is ready in 30 minutes. The lemon and garlic add a lot of flavor to this Greek rice which can be served as a side dish but you might just want to have it on its own!
If you love Greek recipes, today's recipe is for you! This lemon rice is easy and so flavorful. It goes well with dishes such as chicken souvlaki, spanakorizo (spinach rice), Greek style baked chicken and keftedes. Follow my notes and tips to make this fluffy rice with bright lemon flavor!
This Greek style lemon rice is another easy favorite side dish that you can make with a few ingredients in just 30 minutes. It's a delicious alternative to regular white rice. The addition of lemon and garlic make this dish extra special and delicious.
3 tips for the best lemon rice
- Rinse the rice: It's important to rinse the rice before cooking to get rid of the excess starch. This would result in fluffy rice that's not sticky or mushy at all.
- Use fresh lemons: The main flavor of this dish comes from lemons so it's best to ditch the concentrate and use fragrant juicy lemons
- Let the rice rest: After the cooking is done, let the cooked rice sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and serve.
Ingredients and substitutions
Rice - To make this recipe I suggest using Basmati rice since it's long grain and and has the right amount of starch.
Lemon - The main flavor of this dish comes from lemon so be very generous with it.
Onion and garlic - This would be the base of the dish, make sure they are finely chopped.
- Start by rinsing the rice a few times in a bowl to get rid of excess starch.
- In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.
- Add in the rice and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and add the lemon juice and water.
- Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
This Greek lemon rice pairs well with many dishes, here are a few suggestions:
- Chicken: Greek grilled chicken, zaatar chicken, Greek chicken and potatoes and Mediterranean garlic chicken.
- Beef and lamb: Soutzoukakia, kofta kebab and shish kabob.
- Seafood: Sautéed shrimp, garlic lemon tilapia, pan seared salmon, parmesan baked cod and shrimp kabobs.
- Vegetarian: Fasolakia (Greek green beans) and briam (Greek roasted vegetables).
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can make this dish one day ahead of time and reheat in a pot or in the microwave when ready to serve.
You can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
You can freeze cooked rice in a container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight or heat in a pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warm.
If the bottled lemon juice is made with 100% lemon juice, then yes, but if it's made of concentrate, I wouldn't advise it since it would change the flavor.
You sure can. Use chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water for a heartier side dish.
More Greek recipes
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Greek Lemon Rice Recipe
- 1 ½ cup Basmati rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 lemons juice of
- 1 ½ cup water
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Rinse the rice a few times to get rid of the excess starch. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add in the garlic ad cook for a minute.
- Add the rice and sauté for a minute. Season with salt and add the lemon juice and water.
- Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn the heat off and keep the lid on. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
- Fluff with a fork and serve. Garnish with parsley if desired.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To freeze, transfer the cooked rice to a container or freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight or heat in a pan over medium heat until warm.
- You can serve this side dish with the following main dishes: