Lemon Infused Rice Pilaf with Peas

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The kids have really been enjoying anything with a lemon flavor lately. They are so into that taste at the moment that they have been begging for wedges of lemons to suck on.

So I wanted to use that to my advantage and see if I could turn rice into a winner of a side dish. Rice is tolerated by the kids and sometimes even liked. But if they had their side dish of choice, pasta or potatoes would win hands down every time. Personally, I love rice, especially brown rice, and would love to serve it as a side dish more often. If adding some lemon to our rice makes it an exciting addition for the kids, I’m all for it!

My little experiment worked pretty well. 3 of our 4 kids cleaned their plates with our oldest declaring it the best rice she had ever tasted. Our son was the only one who didn’t finish his portion, but that wasn’t a surprise to me since he has the pickiest palate of us all.

The lemon added a great fresh and summery taste to the rice. It blended nicely with the parsley and green onions I added and it perfectly complemented the peas. I’ll definitely be serving this again with high hopes that I can sway the tastebuds of even that picky little boy.

Lemon Infused Rice Pilaf with Peas

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Rice Pilaf


  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 green onion, green parts only, sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Combine the rice, chicken stock, water, lemon juice, 1 t. lemon zest and salt in a saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (about 45 minutes for brown rice and 15 minutes for white rice). Add the peas for the last 5 minutes of simmering time.
  • Remove rice from heat. Fluff with a fork and stir in green onions, parsley, black pepper and remaining lemon zest.