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Instant Pot Lemon Rice

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A simple version of the Mediterranean dish Greek lemon rice is this lemon rice. Just 5 ingredients and it’s ready in under 20 minutes. It’s an easy side dish that goes great with any protein any night of the week!


  • 2 cups white rice (any variety)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 24 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
  • ¼ tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried herbs (optional)


  1. Measure rice, water, and salt in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to “sealing.” Press the “rice” function and cook on medium pressure. The Instant Pot will automatically detect the volume in the pot and cook for the appropriate time.
  2. If your Instant Pot doesn’t have the “rice” function, cook rice according to the following cook times, depending on the type of rice you’re using (See notes below for a list of rice times and making lemon rice without an Instant Pot).
  3. When the rice is done, let the pressure release naturally. This will about 10 minutes, give or take.
  4. When the pressure pin drops, immediately drizzle the lemon juice and lemon zest over the cooked rice and stir it in using a fork instead of a spoon. This will fluff the rice and distribute the lemon flavor throughout the dish. Be sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the pot, to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.


Rice times: 

  • Black Pearl Rice: 30 minutes
  • Brown (Basmati): 22 minutes
  • Brown (Short Grain Rice): 24 minutes
  • Red Rice: 30 minutes
  • White Rice (Long grain Rice, Basmati, or Jasmine): 3 minutes
  • White Rice (Sushi): 5 minutes
  • Wild Rice (blend): 28 minutes
  • Wild Rice (true): 30 minutes
  • You can make easy lemon rice in a slow cooker, rice cooker, in the oven, or simmer in a pan on the stove, just like you would any other rice recipe. Skip the first two steps (adding the ingredients to the Instant Pot and cooking) and pick up with step 3 to add the remaining ingredients.
  • If you aren’t serving the rice immediately, leave the lid sealed. This will keep the rice moist and prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Simply stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest before serving.
  • Store leftovers for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • If you choose to add the optional lemon essential oil and lemon extract, add it with the lemon juice.