Lemon Butter Rice is bursting with tangy lemon and salty soy sauce flavor. This lemon rice recipe makes the best side dish and it’s only made with 4 easy ingredients. If you love sour lemons then you will love this rice.
This lemon butter rice recipe makes a quick and delicious side dish. If you are looking for more side dishes, then I recommend trying Brown Sugar Carrots or these Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes. Make this served with ice cream for a delicious after dinner dessert, it is one of our favorites.
Lemon Rice Recipe
Are you looking for a way to jazz up white rice? Then you have come to the right place and this is the recipe you are looking for. One requirement for this recipe is a love of lemon and soy sauce because this rice is seriously sour and tangy.
Ok, this is not the healthiest rice recipe, obviously it has the word “butter” right in the title. But, it does happen to be amazingly delicious. If you are looking for a healthy rice recipe then continue your search because this is not it. This one is pretty high in salt content and butter. We don’t eat rice this way very often, but when we do it always a favorite.
So, I happen to love just plain white rice, I could eat it plain with nothing on it at all, everyday, I love it that much. This lemon rice is my favorite way to eat it because if you make it correctly it packs a punch of some serious flavor.
Sauce for Rice
This recipe is simple and only needs a handful of ingredients to go from plain to WOW. The trick to getting the best flavor into this rice is to use a really sour lemon. You won’t get the tang you need if your lemon is not sour enough. I probably should have named it sour rice, that may have been a better description.
This rice doesn’t actually have a name and I don’t know if anyone else eats it this way. But, I have been eating my rice this way for forever.
This recipe does have soy sauce AND salt added to it (if you are on a low sodium diet, I would skip this recipe). I know this may seem like an excessive amount of sodium, but something about adding the salt to this dish really brings out the flavors.
How to Cook Perfect Rice
Rice can seem a little intimidating to cook on the stove if you have never done it before. I used to only cook my rice in a rice cooker and then one day it broke (very sad day). I had to learn how to cook rice on the stove and have been making it that way for quite some time (no need to go buy a new rice cooker!). It’s not as difficult as it may sound to cook rice on the stove.
You simply need to follow some key guidelines and you will be making perfect rice on the stove. Like use a tight fitting lid and don’t peek at the rice while it is cooking. Follow the tips and recipe card below to make great rice.
What to Eat with Rice
The options here are endless. Rice is so versatile and goes with so many things. Eat it with a side salad or veggies like roasted asparagus or try stuffed poblano peppers for a vegetarian meal. This rice goes well with all types of chicken like our greek yogurt marinated chicken. Seafood also pairs very nicely with rice. Try this lemon rice with spicy grilled shrimp or air fryer popcorn shrimp.
Lemon Rice Ingredients
- Rice: I use white jasmine rice. You can also use long grain rice or whatever your favorite white rice is.
- Butter: Unsalted butter.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is an absolute must.
- Soy Sauce: I use regular soy sauce, the low salt version does not taste the same in this recipe.
- Salt: I like to use flakey or coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
- Pepper: Freshly ground pepper tastes best in this recipe.
How to Make Lemon Rice
For exact measurements and directions check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Prep the rice. Measure out the rice and rinse it well (I like to use a bowl and drain it with a fine mesh strainer). You want to swish it around with fresh water and drain it about 3-4 times until the water is pretty clear.
- Boil the water. Measure out the water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
- Cook the rice. Add in rice and give it a stir. Put on the lid and drop the heat to low. Make sure to keep the lid on while the rice is cooking. Cook for about 18 minutes.
- Let rice rest. Turn off the heat, move rice to a cool burner and let it set, covered, for about 5 minutes.
- Fluff and mix. Fluff with a fork. Separate rice into three bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of butter, mix it in, letting it melt. Next, add to each bowl 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Lemon Rice Tips and Variations
- Don’t lift the lid! While the rice is cooking refrain from lifting the lid, you want to keep all that steam inside.
- Use brown rice. Instead of white rice, switch it out for brown rice. For 1 cup of rice you will need 2 cups of water. Brown rice needs to cook for about 30-40 minutes before it rests for 5 minutes.
- Tight lid. Make sure you to use a lid that fits the pot well and do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking.
- Use broth. Use low salt chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for more flavor. You will want to sprinkle on less salt if using broth.
- Long grain rice. I use a short grain rice when making this recipe, but if you want to use long grain rice will need 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
- Smaller pot. Make sure not to use a large pot when when cooking rice, but also not too small or the water will boil all over the place.
- Real lemon juice. This recipe requires real lemon juice. The bottled lemon juice will not do this rice justice. Check out this helpful guide to figure out exactly how much lemon juice is in different sized lemons.
Commonly Asked Questions
- What is rice? Rice is actually the seed of a certain type of grass and is considered a grain.
- Is rice healthy for you? Rice can be healthy for you (this version is not so much). If you eat brown rice, black rice, or wild rice the health benefits are higher than eating white rice.
- How many calories in rice? One cup of cooked jasmine rice is 238 calories.
- How much rice does 1 cup make? One cup of dried rice will make 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Can you eat rice cold? Rice can be eaten cold but it doesn’t taste the best. If you add a little water and heat it up in the microwave it will be as good as new.
- Can you freeze cooked rice? Yes, you can freeze rice. Cooked rice actually freezes really well. I recommend that if you are planning on freezing the rice, wait to add the butter, lemon juice, and soy sauce until after you reheat it.
- What is the ratio of rice to water? Most rice packages will say make rice at a 1:2 ratio, which would be 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. For me that makes the rice too mushy. So for jasmine rice I like to use 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water. For long grain white rice, use the 1:2 ratio.
- Can I cook rice in a rice cooker? Yes, you definitely can. I included directions for cooking it on the stove in case you don’t have a rice cooker (like me).
- How to Refrigerate Rice: Let the rice cool and put in a glass container or BPA-free airtight plastic container or zipper bag. It should last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
- How to Freeze Rice: Rice can be frozen before adding the butter, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Let the rice cool off completely before putting into an airtight glass, BPA-free freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe plastic container. Make sure to label the rice with the recipe name and date. The rice should last about 5-6 months in the freezer.
- How to Thaw Rice: Frozen rice does not need to be thawed before cooking.
- How to Reheat Rice in a Microwave: Reheat frozen rice in a bowl sprinkled with a little water in the microwave for a minute at a time until heated through.
- How to Reheat Rice on Stove: Or put it into a small pan on the stove over low heat until desired warmth is reached. Top with butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
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Lemon Butter Rice
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Measure out the rice and rinse it well. This can be done in a bowl with fresh water. Add water to the rice, swish around, and dump water. Do this 3-4 times until the water is mostly clear. Drain rice with a fine mesh strainer.
- Measure out the water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
- Add in rice and give it a stir. Put on the lid and drop the heat to low. Don't lift the lid while the rice is cooking. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- Turn off the heat, move rice to a cool burner and let it set, covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork. Separate rice into three bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of butter, mix it in, letting it melt. Next, add to each bowl 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- For brown rice, use 1 cup rice with 2 cups of water. The cooking time will be closer to 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes after cooking, still covered.
- If using long grain white rice, cooking time will be 18-20 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes after cooking.
- Put leftover rice into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out!
If you’ve tried this or any other of my recipes, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and leave me a comment. I love hearing from you! Share a picture on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookedharvest.
Lemon rice is my weakness. Have tried it the Indian way but never tried this butter lemon recipe. It looks so simple and delicious that I cant wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
I have never tried Indian lemon rice, but I bet it’s amazing. Hope you like this lemon butter rice recipe, Aditi.
We love rice as a side dish at our house! This recipe is great – have all the ingredients on hand!
I love that this lemon butter rice is made with staples most people already have in their kitchens. Thank you, Liz.
There is no doubt that rice is such an amazing ingredient. It goes nice with almost everything, and butter and lemon aren’t the exceptions. Such a yummy side!
There are so many ways to eat rice, I love its versatility. Hope you love this lemon butter rice, Adriana.
I love flavored rice and prefer it that way if served on the side. Since I love rice with lime and soy I thought this one would be a nice change of pace. It is! The tartness of the lemon and the richness of the butter as well as the saltiness of the soy sauce gave the rice just the added punch it needed to stand out at dinner.
I am going to have to try your way of eating rice, Linda. I have never tried it with lime before. Thanks for your comment and fabulous rice idea.
What an amazing dish! Love this butter rice and lemony flavor; and this goes well with grilled meat
Thanks so much, Linda. This lemon butter rice goes well with so many things!
This is such a great way to add some flavor to rice! My kids LOVE lemon flavor and I think they will really enjoy this recipe!
I hope your kids love this buttery lemon rice, Leslie. It’s a favorite around here!
This was the perfect summer side! The rice was so soft and fluffy with the perfect kick of citrus.
The citrus punch is the best, right Amanda? Thanks so much.
This Lemon Butter rice is simply delicious !! Savory , buttery with just the hint of lemon. My whole family loved this , it will become a staple at my house .
I am so happy that your family loved this rice, Debbie! Thanks for your sweet comment.
Loreto and Nicoletta
We have to say, love the flavor combination, this one we are definitely going to try! The lemon, soy sauce, butter tells me we have plenty of exciting flavors to tantelize the taste buds. Thanks for all the great rice tips and tricks. We can totally eat a bowl of this on its own!❤????????????????
You guys are the best! We also could eat this lemon rice as a meal on it’s own, soooo good. Hopefully all the tips and tricks help you make perfect rice. Thank you for your kind words, Loreto and Nicoletta!
Ooh, I need to follow your suggestions and use less than 1:2 for jasmine! I always do that and it’s so mushy/sticky. And lemon butter rice?! YES! I need this.
Sometimes rice can be a little tricky and end up too mushy. Hopefully this recipe works well for you, Erin.
This was SO good for dinner tonight! I’ll be making this lemon rice so often.
Glad you enjoyed this easy lemon rice, Chenee.