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.
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!
This Greek lemon rice pilaf to easy and fun to prepare – which is probably why I make it so often.
To Make This Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf You Will Need:
- unsalted butter
- yellow onion
- kosher salt
- orzo pasta
- long grain white rice
- low-sodium chicken broth
- lemon zest and juice
- minced parsley
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.
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.
To the same saucepan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, plus 1 cup each long grain white rice and dry (uncooked) orzo pasta.
Increase the heat to medium-high, stir often until some of the orzo are golden brown.
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.
Stir to combine.
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.
Then fluff with a fork.
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.
Lastly, squeeze in the juice from 1 large lime.
Toss and serve immediately.
Serve with seafood, lamb, pork or poultry. But definitely try it with chicken souvlaki and grilled vegetables!
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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
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves, 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
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Uncover, fluff with a fork and stir in parsley, lemon zest and juice.
- Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Serve immediately.
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THANK YOU in advance for your support!
Just clarifying it’s lemon juice and not lime as the recipe states?
Can this be made a day before and heated before you eat it.
Recipe list says lemon but later instructions say lime??
I made this last night…and oh my goodness. It was so good. The lemon zest and juice gave it nice bright lemon flavor but did not over power. I served this with grilled swordfish and sautéed spinach. My family said this was a restaurant quality meal. I’ve always made rice pilaf from a box mix…but never again. This will be my go to, quick, easy and so delicious. Thank you.
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
This is delicious. And leftovers heat up very well. It goes well with any greek meat, chicken or fish dish.
Made this last night to accompany Chicken Souvlaki. It was easy to prepare and perfectly delicious. I had to add more water and cook it for a few minutes longer, as the rice was still crunchy when the recipe was followed exactly, but that may be due to altitude or hard water issues. My entire family, including the very picky one, loved it and especially commented on how yummy the lemon flavor was, Definitely a keeper recipe that I will make repeatedly.
Can this recipe be made the day before?
This is delicious. Plan to use it for various dinners this week with different proteins and veggies.
So happy you enjoy this recipe, Holli! Thanks for your review