This Greek-inspired lemon rice is bursting with bright flavor from lemon juice and zest, garlic and fresh dill.
Greek Lemon Rice
Tart and tangy with a pop of green freshness, it’s an easy and delicious accompaniment to roasted chicken, grilled seafood, lamb kebabs and more. Let it cool before fluffing with a fork.
- 2 cups long grain rice (uncooked)
- Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (just over 1 cup chopped onions)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 2 lemons, juice of (PLUS zest of 1 lemon)
- 2 cups low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable broth will work)
- Pinch salt
- Large handful chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dill weed (dry dill)
- Wash rice well and then soak it for about 15 to 20 minutes in plenty of cold water (enough to cover the rice by 1 inch). You should be able to easily break a grain of rice by simply placing it between your thumb and index finger. Drain well.
- Heat about 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with a lid until oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add onions and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and orzo pasta. Toss around for a bit until the orzo has gained some color then stir in the rice. Toss to coat.
- Now add lemon juice and broth. Bring liquid to a rolling boil (it should reduce a little), then turn heat to low. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is done (liquid should be fully absorbed and rice should be tender but not sticky.)
- Remove rice from heat. For best results, leave it covered and do not disturb rice for about 10 minutes or so.
- Uncover and stir in parsley, dill weed and lemon zest. If you like, add a few slices of lemon on top for garnish. Enjoy!
- Do not skip washing and soaking the rice well, this is important to help get rid of excess starch which causes rice to be sticky (this rice is not meant to be sticky). Soaking the rice here also shortens the cooking time, making sure the interior of the grain actually cooks before the exterior looses its shape.
- Once rice is finished, leave it covered and undisturbed in the pot for about 10 minutes before adding the herbs etc. Again, this helps maintain the texture and integrity of the rice.
- This rice is best cooked stovetop, but you can try a rice cooker. Still rinse the rice very well and soak it even for a little bit to get rid of starch (not a requirement for rice cookers, but helpful.) Add the orzo, rice, and liquid to the rice cooker (adjust liquid amount according to your rice cooker.) Instead of chopped onions and fresh garlic, you will use about 3/4 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Set rice cooker to appropriate setting. Once rice is finished, stir in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil before adding the parsley, dill and lemon zest.
- You can use brown rice in this recipe. Remember that brown rice will require more soaking time and more liquid to cook. Consult the brown rice package to adjust this recipe.
- For the gluten free option, simply omit the orzo and let liquid boil a while longer to reduce properly. For vegan, opt for a vegetable broth that is completely vegan instead of chicken broth.