This herb lemon rice is proof that simple ingredients can produce incredible flavor! With perfect, fluffy rice that is seasoned with lemon zest and dried herbs, it's an easy side dish that can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker.
You can be sure that rice will be on the menu at least once per week in our house. While we love a batch of perfect, fluffy rice, there are so many other ways you can get creative with it...from cilantro lime rice to coconut rice and beyond!
This lemon herb rice is another great way to jazz up regular rice with a few simple ingredients! It goes well with Moroccan, Greek and Italian flavors, and I think you're going to love it!
Reasons you'll ♡ lemon herb rice
- no sautéing means you can cook it on the stove or in a rice cooker
- it's made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand
- the citrus and herb flavors pair well with many main course options
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- rice- use long grain white rice; I personally love using basmati as it has a low glycemic index. Feel free to swap for jasmine or American long grain rice, adjusting liquids as needed (according to the package); if you use long grain brown rice, you'll need to change the cook time accordingly.
- oil- I've used coconut oil, which helps soften the rice and make it fluffy. You may swap for butter.
- lemon zest- adds the perfect amount of bright, citrussy flavor, without making the rice sour. I like to use organic lemons when zesting, and scrub the peel really well before zesting.
- dried herbs- basil and oregano add nice flavor dimension to the rice. If you'd like to swap for fresh basil or oregano, use a full tablespoon of each (add the basil just before serving).
- cooking liquid- you can use water, or swap for stock for a more flavorful rice.
Rinse the rice
Rinsing your rice helps remove extra starch from the surface of the rice, making each grain nice and fluffy. You can rinse it in one of two ways: 1) use a colander and rinse under tap water or 2) BEST- add rice to the pot, cover with water, swirl, carefully decant the water, and repeat until the water becomes clear.
Always let your rice rest
Another crucial step in getting that perfect fluffy rice texture is to allow it to rest after cooking through (no peeking!). This allows the moisture to evenly distribute through the pot. After cooking through, transfer the pot of rice to a cold burner and do not lift the lid for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, fluff it up with a fork and enjoy!
If you are using a rice cooker, the rest period should be built into the cook cycle, so no need to do this.
Storage + Reheating
If not handled properly, rice can be at risk of growing harmful bacteria that can make you sick. If you follow the following steps, you will be perfectly fine:
- Get it into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking- do not let it sit at room temperature for too long as this is the temperature at which harmful bacteria can replicate
- Store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
- Reheat until steaming hot
- Do not reheat more than once
Read more about rice and food safety.
Lemon herb rice freezes well. You can freeze it in meal prep containers or in freezer bags (I love these re-usable silicone freezer bags!). Some people add a little bit of water when re-heating freeze/thawed rice, as it does end up slightly dryer than fresh rice.
Instant Pot- check out our Instant Pot basmati rice recipe, be sure to change the water ratios to 1:1, but keep the herbs and seasonings the same.
Low carb- check out this lemon garlic cauliflower rice recipe.
I love using my rice cooker to cook rice as it produces perfectly fluffy rice each and every time!
- I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker, but if you have a large family, you might want to consider the Aroma 20 Cup Rice Cooker
This rice recipe is light and citrussy! It goes well with a lot of flavors, including Moroccan, Greek and Italian.
- Saffron Greek Yogurt Chicken
- Spiralized Cucumber Salad
- Moroccan Spice Blend
- Greek Seasoning Blend
- Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs 7 Ways (try the Italian or Greek meatballs)
More rice recipes
- Mexican Rice Recipe
- 7 Easy Rice Recipes
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf
- Pesto Green Rice
- Saffron Rice
- Easy Mexican Rice
Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Herb Lemon Rice Recipe
- 1 cup basmati rice rinsed; see note 1
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil see note 2
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ lemon zested
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups stock see note 3
- ½ lemon juiced
- Combine the basmati, coconut oil, salt, lemon zest, dried basil, oregano and stock in a rice cooker.
- Cook using the 'white rice' function.
- Stir in the lemon juice after cooking and serve.
- In a medium pot, combine the basmati, coconut oil, salt, lemon zest, dried basil, oregano and stock.
- Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before adding the lemon juice and stirring up.
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