Greek-inspired, easy Instant Pot lemon rice recipe is a perfect side dish to almost anything! Buttery, savory and with a little lemony tang, this rice dish takes 15 minutes and is gluten-free, vegetarian and can be vegan-friendly.
This buttery, tangy and fluffy Instant Pot lemon rice recipe takes 15 minutes and is easy peasy to make.
It’s inspired by Greek lemon rice and is one of those side dishes that goes with almost anything!
The flavor of the rice is subtly tangy with hints of citrus but it’s not too sour or too lemony. Adding butter gives the rice a luxurious, fluffy texture and glossy shine and softens the lemon flavor. If you want to make a vegan or dairy-free version, simply use a butter alternative or olive oil.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this soup.
- Leeks: About 3 large leeks or more if they are small. They cook down a lot, so don’t worry if it seems like a lot at first. In this recipe, we use whole leeks. Pale green and white parts go into the soup, and green parts are sliced and pan-fried to top the soup. Wash the leeks really well, separating the leaves to get all the dirt out.
- Potatoes: Starchy potatoes are best for getting the best-textured soup. Russet in the US, Sebago (dirt brushed common potatoes), or Maris Piper in the UK.
- Garlic: We love a touch of garlic in this dish but it can be omitted.
- Stock: The chicken stock is classic and adds more flavor but vegetable is also fine for a vegetarian version.
- Cream: Heavy, thick cream is best but the soup can be made without as well as it’s still thick and creamy.
- Optional: Parmesan cheese
You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are step-by-step pics to guide you along. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot.
Step 1. Rinse the rice under cold water 4-5 times to remove excess starch, which helps to get that perfect fluffy rice.
Step 2. Add the rice to the Instant Pot followed by the remaining ingredients and 2.5 cups of water. Stir through.
Step 3. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Rice setting (should display Less mode) or choose Pressure Cook/Manual on High mode for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 7 minutes to pressurize and then the timer will start.
Step 4. Once the timer is done, leave the pot for 2-3 minutes and then quick release it to depressurize the Instant Pot.
Open the lid and stir the rice through to fluff it up. Serve with some fresh green herbs and a sprinkle of chili if you like.
What To Serve With Lemon Rice
Lemon rice is very versatile and can be used as a side dish to a protein main OR added into a one-pot dish.
Its Greek-inspired flavors will pair well with any Mediterranean dish such as souvlaki lamb or chicken, grilled fish, seafood, vegetable or bean stews and so on. However, we have also served lemon rice with Asian stir-fries and aromatic Indian curries.
Leftovers can be added to salads, wraps or burritos, or thrown into soups and stews.
Rice doesn’t keep for very long and is notorious for causing food poisoning. The key is to cool and refrigerate leftover rice as quickly as possible. Spread it out in a thin layer on a baking sheet or tray so it cools rapidly. Once cooled, put into an airtight container and chill in the fridge for no more than 24 hours. When reheating, make sure the rice is piping hot before serving.
Frozen rice is so convenient for weeknight meals and the same goes for lemon rice! Repeat the cooling of the rice as above and then scoop it into Ziploc bags and pop it in the freezer as soon as possible. Freeze for up to 2 months; after that, it gets dry and the texture suffers.
To reheat frozen rice, remove it from the Ziploc bag or container (it would be a frozen block) and break into smaller pieces. Microwave for 2-3 minutes and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Frozen lemon rice can also be added directly to a chicken soup or stew.
More Instant Pot Rice Recipes
- Instant Pot Brisket Broth Rice
- Instant Pot Southwest Rice (Served Five Ways)
- Instant Pot Pork Al Pastor & Rice Casserole
- Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole
- Want even more soup recipes? 21+ Amazing Instant Pot Rice Dishes orInstant Pot Rice Dishes From Around The World
Rate This Recipe
Instant Pot Lemon Rice Recipe
- 2 cups cups white rice Basmati, long-grain
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice from about 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder We used Vegeta or 1 stock cube
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder for color
- 1 tbsp butter
- Rinse the rice under cold water 4-5 times to remove excess starch, which helps to get that perfect fluffy rice.
- Add the rice to the Instant Pot followed by the remaining ingredients and 2.5 cups of water. Stir through.
- Secure and lock the lid. Press the Rice setting (should display Less mode) or choose Pressure Cook/Manual on High mode for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 7 minutes to pressurize and then the timer will start.
- Once the timer is done, leave the pot for 2-3 minutes and then quick release it to depressurize the Instant Pot.
- Open the lid and stir the rice through to fluff it up. Serve with some fresh green herbs and a sprinkle of chili if you like.
This came out complete mush. I followed recipe exactly as written. I though the water being 2 1/2 cups was a lot and I was right. After looking up other recipes I realize it should have only been 1 1/2 cups water.
Hey there, may I ask how much rice you used? The typical ratio of rice to water for Instant Pot cooking is 1:1 to 1:1.25. The recipe lists 2 cups of rice so it can’t possibly have less water than rice or it would burn and not cook through. I can only assume that perhaps you used less rice than listed in the recipe.
Can this be made with brown rice
Yes, absolutely. All steps are the same except add another 1/4 cup of water and set the timer to 20-22 minutes on HIGh (depending on how soft you like your brown rice) with natural pressure release at the end.