Lemon Rice

4.84 from 25 votes

This Lemon Rice recipe is a fun way to switch up your rice side dish. It's bursting with a lemony flavor and pairs well with many meat dishes!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Add some flavor and color to your plate with this easy lemon rice recipe. All cooked in one pot, this yellow seasoned rice is wonderfully fresh and is perfect to serve with grilled meats.

Large bowl of lemon rice garnished with dill and cashews
Want to save this recipe?
Just type your email below and I’ll send it to you. And as a bonus you’ll get delicious new recipes from me!

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Rice: Use long grain white rice for this recipe, like basmati or jasmine.
  • Onion: A yellow onion adds a nice mild flavor to the rice. Chop it finely so that it mixes well with the other ingredients.
  • Broth: The rice is cooked in broth to add flavor right form the beginning. To keep this side dish vegan use a vegetable stock, but chicken stock will also work well.
  • Lemons: We use both the zest and juice of two lemons for a really bright and zesty flavor.
  • Turmeric: A little turmeric makes this lemon rice a really bright and vibrant color. It’s earthy sweetness also works great with the lemons. It’s optional, but highly recommended.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make lemon rice

  1. Cook the onions until they’re soft.
  2. Add in the rice and cook til slightly toasted.
  3. Add in the broth, lemon juice and zest and seasonings. Simmer covered.
  4. Once cooked, allow to sit and fluff with a fork.
4 image collage to show how to make the rice recipe

Tips for making the rice

  1. Rinse the rice before cooking it. This removes the starch from the rice so that it doesn’t clump together and is light and fluffy. Rinse it under cold running water til it runs clear.
  2. Toast the rice. Before you add the broth to the pan, cook the rise for a few minutes to slightly toast it. This helps to bring out it’s natural nutty flavors.
  3. Use broth rather than water to cook the rice. The seasonings in the broth help to flavor the rice as it cooks resulting in a much bolder flavor. If you don’t have any broth, you can use the same amount of water.
  4. Don’t skip the turmeric. You only need ⅛ of a teaspoon to give it a bright yellow color and sweet flavor that compliments the zingy lemon.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make it ahead of time?

This lemon rice will keep well in the fridge for 4 days. Once cooked, let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container in the fridge. You can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave with a coupe of tablespoons of water and cook til piping hot, about 3 minutes in the microwave.

Can you make it with brown rice?

White rice tends to soak up the flavors of the broth and lemon more than brown rice, which has more of a nutty flavor. You can make this with brown or wild rice if you prefer, but be aware that the cooking times will vary.

What goes well with the lemon rice?

This fresh and delicious lemon rice recipe is great to serve with grilled meats like lamb, beef or chicken, and the lemon compliments seafood really well too. Try it with:
Grilled Lamb Kabobs
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Beef Kafta
Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Close up shot of lemon rice with spoon in the rice

Fresh, colorful and so flavorful, this lemon rice is so easy and it adds a great variety to your plate. Simple to make and delicious to eat!

More rice dishes:

If you try this healthy-ish feel good Lemon Rice recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

order MY book

The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook is now available everywhere books are sold!

Lemon Rice

This Lemon Rice recipe is a fun way to switch up your rice side dish. It's bursting with a lemony flavor and pairs well with many meat dishes!
4.8 from 25 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side
Calories 259
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Email This Recipe
Enter your email and I’ll send this directly to you. Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!



  • 1 cup long grain white rice such as basmati
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • teaspoon turmeric optional
  • Dill for serving
  • Roasted cashews for serving


  • Rinse rice in a bowl or fine mesh strainer under cold water until water runs clear, 1 minute.
  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt. Add rinsed rice and cook until slightly toasted, 3 minutes.
  • Add vegetable broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, turmeric, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Serve with fresh dill and roasted cashews, if desired.


Storage: The cooked rice will keep well for up to 3 days in an airtight container. For best results, reheat in the microwave.


Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 295mg, Potassium: 149mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Side

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Jentri says:

    So good! Loved the flavors of this rice as a side dish with spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yum, that sounds like a perfect pairing!! So glad you enjoyed!

  2. Sadia says:

    I tried this with your Sheesh Tawook recipe and both were hits with the family. I have made it many times since then. The one thing I added was the lemon zest from the one I had juiced. Love it

    1. Yumna says:

      So glad to hear!

  3. De Ann Freitag says:

    Used long grain rice. Followed directions exactly. Got gunk. Not fluffy at all. Made it for a dinner party and had to start over. Not happy.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Did you use the minute ready rice? How long did the instructions on your rice say to cook it? 15 minutes is pretty standard if you are using basmati or a similar long grain option.

  4. Diane Whalen says:

    It was delicious! I only had 3/4 of a large lemon, nonetheless a great lemon flavour.
    However, the rice was sticky not fluffy. Could it be because I rinsed it too much.
    I want to keep making this recipe, but I would like a fluffy rice.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hmm, what type of rice did you use? That can have an impact on the texture.

      1. Diane Whalen says:

        I used Tilda Basmati rice. No BBD on bag, but purchased Jan 2023.
        Reread recipe and followed it as directed.

  5. Lyly says:

    Can this be made in a rice cooker?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Lyly, I have not tried this recipe in a rice cooker, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try it you’ll have to let me know how it turns out!

  6. Ryan Koopman says:

    Delicious! Full of flavor and a great side for chicken kebabs.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So glad you liked it, Ryan!

  7. Julie says:

    Can this dish be frozen?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:


  8. Lolo says:

    I was so excited to try this recipe. Unfortunately it was way too much lemon. I doubled the recipe, but kept the 2 lemons as instructed and it wasn’t really edible. I threw out most of it. Maybe recipe should be tweaked to only half a lemon.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I’m sorry to hear that! It’ll definitely be better to start with that amount and add as needed based on your preferences.

  9. Oladunjoye Aasiyah Ololade says:

    This looks so yummy,I will give it a try.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! Hope you enjoy!!