Lemony Rice Pilaf

"This takes plain ol' rice to a new level. Goes particularly well with chicken. If you don't use chicken stock, this side dish is vegetarian/vegan."
photo by Hadice photo by Hadice
photo by Hadice
photo by Rookie Chef from SD photo by Rookie Chef from SD
Ready In:




  • In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over mediumheat and cook onion for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Stir in rice, then stock, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and cover; let simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley; taste and add pepper if you wish.
  • Note: this reheats very well so don't fret if this makes too much for your family.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tebo3759
    Great rice dish. I used cilantro instead of the parsely. I also used the juice of a whole lemon. I added garlic to the onions as well. Looking forward to the leftovers tonight!!
  2. Bill Hilbrich
    Very Good ... and Thank You. Learning to flavor my rice has really made even the simplist of meals an adventure. One hint I would like to offer in step # 2. Take the time to make sure each grain of rice is coated with the oil before adding the chicken stock. This step will make the pilaf light and fluffy.
  3. JustJanS
    We really love rice, and this was so good. I forgot to buy the parsley so used lemon thyme instead. It was a great addition.
  4. dale7793
    I really enjoyed this recipe. The lemon and parsley gave a really nice fresh taste.
  5. Charishma_Ramchandani
    OOOOOOOOOH! We all loved this! You were the HEROINE of the day, the QUEEN of the Zaar day in my house here in Oman. Everyone ate this so enjoyably, gosh, I should've clicked snaps:) Just 2 things - I didnt use pepper at all and 2. I used 1 1/2 cups parsley and oh boy - this was a treat! We enjoyed it with mint chicken. A BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS MARVELLOUS RECIPE!!


  1. Southern Bug
    Nice way to spice up regular ol' rice. I love lemon flavor on anything, and this went very nicely with fish. I like the idea of trying cilantro instead of parsley, too.
  2. Priscilacq
    Wow!! this rice is mighty yummy. My husband LOVED it, I served it with pork tenderloins and it was a great combination. The only sub I made was cilantro instead of parsley since that's what I had on hand. Oh yeah and extra extra lemon since we're lemon fans :) Thank you so much for a keeper of a recipe!!
  3. momadvice
    This recipe was delicious! I did a few things different for our personal taste. I omitted the onions and used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Instead of the onions, I sauteed minced garlic and then tossed the rice for a minute or two in the cooked garlic and olive oil. Everything else was done exactly the same and it resulted in the best rice side dish I have ever made. My husband doesn't even like rice or lemon and loved this dish. Thank you for improving my side dish experience!
  4. couponmommy123
    This was delicious!! I used cilantro instead of parsley. I had never used chicken stock to cook my rice (I had heard of it before, just never tried it) WOW, that is such a flavor booster. I will definately be making that again. I served it with Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe #23127 (wow that is a crowd pleaser also, my family loved it) Thank you so much for posting this recipe, it is a keeper and I expect to be making it every week for a long time. Fran G Illinois
  5. rsarahl
    Made this dish with short grain organic brown rice instead of long grain white rice with nice results. Nutty, lemony, light... quite well received. Added a little salt for a bit more flavor. This also worked VERY well reheated with the addition of some grated parmesan cheese; flavor is more intense the 2nd time around and makes me wonder about prepping this a day before I intend to serve it next time.


I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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