Lemon Rice

4.77 from 13 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!

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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

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 garlic til 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!

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 13 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side
Calories 259
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • 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 ground 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.

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Large bowl of lemon rice garnished with dill and cashews

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Recipe Rating


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