This simple side dish, lemon butter rice, is an easy to prepare rice dish that is ready to be paired with all of your favorite meals. Buttery, toasty, with a hint of lemon zest for tang, this is a keeper!
This rice is surprisingly addictive. It looks so unassuming, but trust me, you will be eating it right out of the pot.
What makes it so good is probably the fact that it starts with a half a stick of butter. Can't really go wrong there.
- Butter: A half a stick of butter may seem like a lot, but thats what makes this so decadent! It is used to saute the onions, toast the rice, and add flavor to the dish.
- Onion: I would put onions in everything if I could. When cooked, even just for a few minutes, they lose their bitterness and become quite sweet. They add a nice flavor to this rice dish as well.
- Basmati rice: I use basmati rice for most rice recipes, but you can also use jasmine rice here. If using brown rice, know that it will have to cook a bit longer to become tender.
- Chicken stock: Chicken stock or chicken broth instead of water is the way to go when making rice. It adds more flavor and infuses it right into the grains. If you want to keep this recipe vegetarion, sub in vegetable stock.
- Lemon zest: This adds a nice zing to the dish and helps to balance out its richness.
- Dried oregano: Dried oregano is strong, so you just need a bit to add flavor.
How to make butter rice
In a 2-qt. pot, heat butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add in diced onions and cook until translucent.
Add dry rice, and stir to coat with butter-onion mixture. Cook for about 1 minute until some of grains start to brown just slightly.
Pour in chicken stock. Let the stock come up to a boil, and then immediately cover and turn the stove to the lowest heat setting. Allow rice to cook and absorb all the liquid. About 10 minutes. Turn off burner.
Add salt, pepper, dried oregano and lemon zest and replace lid, let steam for 2-3 minutes.
Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Recipe tip: toasting your rice
This step is an important one! You're going to want to toast the rice a bit before adding the stock. A minute or two is all you’ll need to make a world of difference. Make sure to continue stirring during this time, so that the rice doesn’t burn. You just want to brown it a tad-- nothing crazy. But just this one simple step turns the rice a little nutty and adds another layer of flavor. It is similar to butter fried rice.
What to serve with butter rice
You can definitely pair this rice with a variety of foods. It’s got Greek flavors, but is mild enough that it could go with just about any meat. I would suggest trying it with my Greek Chicken Meatballs.
Other recipes to pair lemon butter rice with are:
- sheet pan greek chicken
- healthy greek flatbreads
- chicken with yogurt marinade
- air fryer chicken thighs
Store any leftovers from this butter rice recipe in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop.
More rice recipes to try
- instant pot rice pilaf with veggies
- cheesy jalapeno cauliflower rice
- Nando's spicy rice
- instant pot cilantro lime rice
- spanish cauliflower rice with olives
Lemon Butter Rice
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 small onion diced finely
- 1 ½ cups rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- zest of one a lemon
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- In a 2-qt. pot, heat butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add in diced onions and cook until translucent.
- Add dry rice, and stir to coat with butter-onion mixture. Cook for about 1 minute until some of grains start to brown just slightly.
- Pour in chicken stock. Let the stock come up to a boil, and then immediately cover and turn the stove to the lowest heat setting. Allow rice to cook and absorb all the liquid. About 10 minutes. Turn off burner.
- Add salt, pepper, dried oregano and lemon zest and replace lid, let steam for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove lid and fluff with a fork.