Lemon Rice in the Instant Pot

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Lemon Rice is a flavorful side dish that pairs well with Greek recipes. You can make it quick and easy in your Instant Pot using long-grain rice, chicken broth, and plenty of lemon. 

white bowl of instant pot lemon rice with a wooden spoon

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Incredibly quick and easy, this flavor-packed lemon rice makes a delicious go-to side dish for any Mediterranean dish. 

This lemon rice recipe is adapted from a stovetop recipe that’s been in our family for 45 years. We always pair it with our Greek Souvlaki, made with pork marinated overnight and grilled up quick.

When you make the rice in the Instant Pot, it cooks just as quickly as the grilled pork!

We make this lemon rice recipe all the time at my house, so we’ve updated the recipe with new photos and tips. 

overhead of a wooden plate with lemon rice, chicken skewers and chopped salad

Ingredients for Creamy Lemon Rice

There aren’t many ingredients in this easy Lemon Rice, and you probably have most of them on-hand right now:

  • Butter. Just 2 tablespoons helps this rice cook up creamy and delicious. (Add more if you’re feeling decadent.)
  • Broth. I prefer to use reduced-sodium chicken broth for this recipe. You can also sub vegetable broth if you like.
  • White Rice. I used long-grain white rice in this recipe. (We nearly always have Jasmine rice on hand, but any white rice will work.) 
  • Lemon. We are heavy-handed on the lemon juice, so we generally buy three lemons to make sure we have enough for juice. (Each lemon will give you 2 to 4 tablespoons of juice.) We also like to add the zest, for a pretty color and flavor to the finished dish.
  • Salt. Make sure to add this before pressure cooking since it makes a huge difference on the finished dish.
  • Fresh parsley: For a bit of extra color and freshness, I also love using fresh parsley. However, you can easily substitute dried parsley in a pinch. 

How to Make Lemon Rice in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

This is a pilaf-style rice, so we like to sauté the rice grains in butter for a few minutes before pressure cooking. This helps build flavor and texture.

Note: Make sure you have the broth and water ready to add when the rice starts to take on a nutty smell and becomes translucent. It reaches that point quickly!

Give the bottom a good stir to ensure that nothing sticks, and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and a 4 minute cook time.

When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use a Quick Pressure Release.

Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

white bowl of instant pot lemon rice

What to Serve with Greek Lemon Rice

This recipe has a distinct Greek flavor. We usually pair it with grilled pork souvlaki and an easy Greek salad.

If you’re looking for other ideas, I’ve served this rice with several other Mediterranean-inspired dishes:

  • Greek Beef Tacos feature soft, fluffy pita filled with herb-flavored ground beef cooked to perfection in an Instant Pot. 
  • Greek Pork Tacos take the amazing flavors of pork souvlaki and wraps it up in an easy-to-eat pita “taco.”
  • Chicken Shawarma is tender, juicy and full of warming spiced flavors for a satisfying weeknight meal with lemon rice. 
  • Mediterranean Fish en Papillote is light, refreshing, and delicious with any Instant Pot rice dish, especially with fresh lemon juice!
overhead of white bowl of instant pot lemon rice with fresh herbs

Frequently Asked Question about Lemon Rice

How much lemon juice should I use?

We included the lemon juice as a range because we’re a little heavy handed with it at home. (We add a generous half cup.) However, if you prefer a more subtle citrus flavor, you can add less. 

How should I store leftover rice?

Refrigerate leftover lemon rice for up to four days in an airtight container. (Also, the rice will continue absorbing liquid as it cools, so you may need to add an extra splash of chicken broth when you reheat it.)

Can I freeze cooked rice?

The rice will have a different texture when you defrost it. If that doesn’t bother you, go for it!

Let the rice cool to room temperature, then place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Place in the fridge overnight to defrost.

Can I make this on the stovetop?

Absolutely! Our stovetop lemon rice is over on Barbara Bakes. (If you’re a lemon lover, we definitely still recommend measuring the lemon juice generously.)

More Popular Instant Pot Rice Recipes

The Instant Pot is a wonderful way to make rice of all kinds, including these favorite recipes:

  • Taco Rice is a fast one-pot recipe with Tex-Mex flavor and just the right amount of spice. 
  • Saffron Rice Pilaf with almonds is a nutty and beautifully yellow rice dish with fragrant saffron flavor. 
  • Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is a one-pot dinner with greens, protein and rice in a savory cheese sauce.

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white bowl of instant pot lemon rice with a wooden spoon

Lemon Rice in the Pressure Cooker

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes

Instant Pot Lemon Rice is an incredibly easy, flavorful side dish for Greek recipes made with long-grain rice, chicken broth and plenty of lemon.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish if desired


  1. Select Sauté and add butter to cooking pot. When hot, add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, water, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and set timer for 4 minutes.
  3. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use a Quick Pressure Release.
  4. When the valve drops carefully remove lid. Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately. Optional, garnish with zest and chopped fresh parsley.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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