Greek Lemon Rice Recipe
If you’ve loved the lemon rice in a Greek restaurant, use this Greek Lemon Rice Recipe to make this traditional Greek dish at home. And I use converted rice that’s lower in carbs than traditional white rice, so this tasty rice dish is not as much of a splurge on carbs as you might be thinking!
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This Greek Lemon Rice Recipe is an updated version of the lemon rice I learned to make years ago from my friend Georgette. And when I decided to update and improve the recipe I consulted two more Greek friends (both named Mary) for tips. And then I experimented six times to male the recipe just perfect for you!
For the new and improved version I switched the olive oil for a generous amount of butter, used even more lemon juice, used a bit less chicken stock for a slightly shorter cooking time, added a tablespoon of Better than Bouillon chicken base and a bay leaf, and added a little lemon zest at the end.
And I’ve always used Ben’s Original Converted Rice, Formerly called Uncle Ben’s Rice (affiliate link) that’s a healthier option for white rice to make this rice dish, and all my Greek friends confirmed that’s a good choice. I know that Rice is definitely not a low-carb food, but I do love this type of rice so much that it’s something I’d eat occasionally for a special occasion And a small serving of cooked rice made with this recipe is probably lower in carbs than you’d think.
I definitely think the updated recipe is an improvement over the original, but if anyone wants to compare or was a fan of the old version, you can still find it here.
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Ben’s Original Converted Rice (affiliate link)
- fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for some of the juice
- canned chicken broth (affiliate link), or use homemade chicken stock if you have some
- Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (affiliate link)
- Bay Leaf (affiliate link)
- zest of one lemon (optional, but recommended
Why I use Ben’s Converted Rice for this Greek Lemon Rice:
Ben’s Converted Rice is a lower-glycemic type of rice, even though it’s white rice. The parboiling that makes this a converted rice removes some of the starch and makes it slower to digest than regular white rice, and if you check the nutritional information you’ll see that a small serving may not be as much of a splurge on carbs as you might think! (My nutritional information is based on 2/3 cup serving size of cooked rice which calculates to about 25 net carbs. If you don’t use Ben’s Converted Rice, the carbs will be higher.)
What if you don’t want to use butter for this rice?
One of my friends uses Greek olive oil instead of butter when she makes Greek Lemon Rice, so if you prefer that, no problem.
How Lemony is this Greek Lemon Rice?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lemon, so if the amount of lemon juice in the recipe seems like a lot to you or you’re not a big lemon fan, I would recommend using less lemon. You can always add more lemon when you taste the rice!
Does the Greek Lemon Rice keep in the fridge?
This rice keeps well in the fridge, and can easily be reheated in a microwave.
Can the Greek Rice be frozen?
Back in the days when I made this regularly, I rarely had enough left to freeze. But I’m confident it will freeze well in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
How to make Greek Lemon Rice:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Bring the stock to a boil.
- Melt butter and cook the rice a few minutes.
- Add lemon juice and a little salt and cook a minute more.
- Add the hot stock, the Better than Bouillon chicken base, and a bay leaf.
- Lower heat until it at a low simmer, cover the pan, and cook 22-25 minutes.
- While rice cooks zest one lemon (if using)
- After 22 minutes check to see if rice is tender, cook a little longer if needed.
- When rice is tender, turn off heat, cover pan, and let it sit five minutes.
- Fluff cooked rice with a fork and stir in lemon zest.
- Serve hot.
- If you have friends or family members who really like lemon, serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on at the table.
More tasty recipes with Greek Flavors:
- Greek Lemon Chicken
- Greek Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Greek Dip with Tomatoes and Feta
- Greek Chicken Bake
- American Greek Salad (with lettuce)
Greek Lemon Rice Recipe
If you’ve loved Greek Lemon Rice in a restaurant, this Greek Lemon Rice Recipe can help you make it at home!
- 1 cup Ben’s Converted Rice (not instant)
- 4 T butter (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 T lemon juice (more or less to taste)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 T Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- 1 large bay leaf
- zest of one lemon (optional but recommended)
- Start heating chicken broth or stock in a separate pan, or heat in microwave so it’s very hot or boiling.
- Use a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid to make the rice.
- Melt butter and cook the rice for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring often so it doesn’t brown too much.
- Add salt and lemon juice to rice and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the hot chicken stock slowly and carefully so it doesn’t splash up on you, and let it come to a boil.
- Add the tablespoon of Better than Bouillon chicken base and stir to dissolve.
- Then reduce heat to the lowest possible heat you can get it and still keep the liquid simmering, add bay leaf, put the lid on the pan, and cook the rice 22 minutes without peeking at all.
- After 22 minutes check to see if the liquid is mostly absorbed and the rice is tender.
- If not cook the rice a few more minutes, still covered.
- When rice is tender, turn off heat, keep lid on the pan, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, fluff rice with a fork, stir in lemon zest, and serve hot.
You can use olive oil or use a bit less butter if you prefer.
Calculating the nutritional information was problematic for this recipe. I tried several calculators which all gave me a carb amount that seemed to be impossibly low when I compared it with the info on the Ben's Converted Rice site. I ended up using a combination of that and using my calculator to calculate the other ingredients. Note this is based on using Ben's Converted Rice. Other types of white rice will be higher.
Recipe adapted with tips from my Greek friends Georgette Kapos, Mary Rhodes, and Mary Caputo, who probably learned to make it from their Greek mothers!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 4.7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 20.8mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 25.3gFiber: .5gSugar: 1gProtein: 3.9g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Greek Lemon Rice recipe would be limited to phase 2 or 3 for the original South Beach Diet. Converted rice does have some carbs, and it’s probably not suitable for strict low-carb diets and definitely not Keto. But if you love this type of rice like I do and are willing for a small splurge, 2/3 cup of this rice prepared according to the recipe has 25 carb.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This Greek Lemon Rice Recipe was first posted in 2009, and before I started watching carbs so much I always had a container of what was then called Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice in my freezer with this recipe written on the container. The recipe was updated and improved in 2023.
40 Comments on “Greek Lemon Rice Recipe”
I first found this recipe way back in 2009, and continue to make it. We use brown rice, but otherwise make it exactly as you do. Thanks for sharing it… we love it.
So glad you are enjoying it. I would love it with brown rice too.
I love rice so much, but it doesn’t sit well on my stomach. I wonder if the converted rice would work better for me, I will try it!! We love to do a “greek night” at our house with chicken marinated in a yogurt-lemon-oregano-garlic marinade, flatbread wraps, and cucumber-tomato-feta-olive salad. This would be a great addition.
I love this recipe so much, so I really hope it is going to work for you. It does sound perfect for your Greek night!
Thanks. I may decide to do a double batch using 5 cups of stock but doubling all the other ingredients. I'll let you know how it comes out.
Joan, I haven't made a double batch, but I am guess it would work. It reheats well, so you could make one batch ahead and then a second batch the next day.
Lately I have been using slightly less stock in this and cooking for slightly shorter time to get a more chewy rice.
I plan on making this rice and greek chicken and your tzatziki this holiday weekend for about 8 people and was wondering if doubling the recipe works or should I make 2 batches as written?
Great recipe! My kids who don't like rice much loved it. I made it with brown rice and it turned out great.
(DK, glad you liked it! I tried to publish this comment from the iPhone, but must have hit reject instead of publish, sorry it was so slow to show up here! Kalyn)
Nari, I do eat this type of thing all the time, except when I’m doing phase one every so often. South Beach is not a low carb diet, so my body is used to eating a certain amount of carbs. I’m careful to choose things that South Beach considers to be “good carbs.” This is a low glycemic type of rice that’s good for South Beach dieters.
Kalyn,please..how many pounds did you gain on your weight with the last month rcipies? I love rice but I can not even think of it since I started low carbing.
I seem to be getting even worse than usual about replying to comments, but I’m reading them all. Murasaki would love to see what kind of variation of this you’d come up with using a more Asian type rice.
I want to try this but I’m quite set in my ways about rice so I can’t bring myself to use Uncle Ben’s rice or cook it in a different way from how my grandmother taught me. 🙂 I’ll give this a go and post the results and link to you some time soon if that’s ok? 🙂
This sounds good and I’m not much of a rice fan. I am, however, a lemon fan.
I usually cook 1 part rice to 2 parts liquid for about 20 minutes. The extra cup of liquid would probably be absorbed during the extra cooking time.
That’s really interesting – that parboiling lowers the glycaemic index of the rice… Either way, the dish sounds delicious and just right for early spring.
Ahh, nice to see Georgette’s dishes here and there. As you, us Greeks love our lemons.
Susan, oh yes. Brown rice is very good, and Uncle Bens and basmatic are both pretty good for white rice.
Maria, I just knew that man had good taste!
Josh loves lemon rice, I will have to make this for him.
I didn’t even know rice was on a low glycemic diet.
Yum, looks good – lemon always freshens things up!
Glad people are liking the sound of this. One of my favorite side dishes ever. I’ve made it over and over.
Maya, I think any type of white parboiled rice would work just fine.