Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf is a flavorful pasta and rice side dish. Toasted orzo and rice cook with garlic and onions simmer in broth before being tossed with minced parsley, lemon zest and juice. This simple, one-pot rice and pasta dish is easy, versatile and goes with just about everything.

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

Like any good recipe, it starts with butter.

Butter makes everything better. And that is precisely why I first toast orzo pasta and rice in butter. Not only does the pasta gets all golden and absolutely gorgeous, but it also gives this pilaf a nutty, browned butter flavor. This in contrast with the freshness of lemon is incredible. So whatever you do… don’t skip this step!

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

This Greek lemon rice pilaf to easy and fun to prepare – which is probably why I make it so often.

ingredients for Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

To Make This Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf You Will Need:

  • unsalted butter
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • kosher salt
  • orzo pasta
  • long grain white rice
  • low-sodium chicken broth
  • water
  • lemon zest and juice
  • minced parsley

butter, garlic and onion in a saucepan

Start by adding 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to a saucepan wit 1/2 a diced yellow onion, 2 large cloves minced garlic and a pinch of kosher salt.

sauteed onions and garlic

Sauté on medium to medium-low until soft and translucent. About 5 to 8 minutes.

Once soft, transfer the sautéed onions and garlic to a small dish. 

remove veggies, add pasta, rice and rest of butter

To the same saucepan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, plus 1 cup each long grain white rice and dry (uncooked) orzo pasta.

toast pasta

Increase the heat to medium-high, stir often until some of the orzo are golden brown.

add onion mixture,broth, water and salt

Next, add the sautéed onions and garlic back in the pan and pour in 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth and 1/2 cup water.

strir

Stir to combine.

cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer

Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Then remove off of the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

once cooked, fluff with fork.

Then fluff with a fork.

stir in parsley, lemon zest and more salt if desired

Add in 3 tablespoons minced parsley, the zest from 1 large lemon and season with more salt if desired. I usually add another 1/4 teaspoon or so.

squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon

Lastly, squeeze in the juice from 1 large lime.

stir to combine

Toss and serve immediately.

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

Serve with seafood, lamb, pork or poultry. But definitely try it with chicken souvlaki and grilled vegetables!

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Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

Enjoy! And if you give this Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf
Yield: 6 cups

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf is a flavorful pasta and rice side dish. Toasted orzo and rice cook with garlic and onions simmer in broth before being tossed with minced parsley, lemon zest and juice. This simple, one-pot rice and pasta dish is easy, versatile and goes with just about everything.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a saucepan. Add in the onion and garlic with a pinch of kosher salt. Sauté, stirring ocassionally, until soft and translucent. Transfer onions and garlic to a small dish.
  2. Next add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, orzo and rice to the saucepan. Increase heat to medium to medium-high, stirring often until the pasta is golden brown.
  3. Add sauteed onions and garlic back into the saucepan, along with broth, water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir, cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Uncover, fluff with a fork and stir in parsley, lemon zest and juice.
  7. Taste and add more salt if desired.
  8. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.