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Mediterranean Rice

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This Mediterranean rice is a delicious lemon rice side dish that goes well with so many things. Make this recipe using jasmine rice in the Instant Pot or on the stove.

This Mediterranean rice is a delicious lemon rice side dish that goes well with so many things! Make this recipe using jasmine rice in the Instant Pot or on the stove.

Flavored rice packets were one of the first things to go when my family switched to eating a less processed diet several years ago. I definitely missed the convenience of those packets, but I didn’t miss all the additives in the ingredient lists.

Luckily, it’s very easy to make flavored rice from scratch. In less than 30 minutes, I can have a rice side dish ready to go.

This Mediterranean rice is a light, mildly flavored rice dish that will go with just about anything. I like to serve it with meat or fish and a simple vegetable side dish.

Mediterranean Rice Tips

I like jasmine rice in this recipe, but any type of rice will do here. Be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the instructions on the rice package.

This recipe can be made in a pot on the stove, or it can be cooked in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. I personally prefer the texture of rice cooked in the Instant Pot, and it’s more difficult to mess it up when cooking in a pressure cooker. The stove top method yields a stickier, more moist rice, so use that method if that’s your preference.

This lemon Mediterranean rice can be made on the stove or in the Instant Pot.

If you make the stove top version, be sure to simmer the rice over low heat. If you simmer at a higher temperature, the liquid will be absorbed too quickly and the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot before it becomes tender. Stir the rice every couple minutes while it cooks, and add extra water a quarter cup at a time in the last few minutes if the rice is still hard.

In the Instant Pot, this rice comes out perfectly for me with a cook time of 6 minutes at high pressure. Depending on your altitude, the hardness of your water, and the freshness of your rice, the cook time can vary. Some people find a 4 or 5 minute cook time to be ideal for jasmine rice. You may need to experiment with different times.

For the best lemon flavor, use a microplane to get the bits of lemon zest nice and small. This helps to distribute the lemon evenly throughout the dish.

I like to use English cucumber in this dish. It doesn’t need to be peeled because of its thin skin. Any kind of cucumber will do, though.

If you won’t eat this Mediterranean rice all at once, you may want to set aside the extra portion before stirring in the cucumbers and olives. That way, you won’t need to heat the cucumber and olives when you heat the leftover rice.

Lemon Rice Flavor Variations

This is a mild yet flavorful lemon rice dish. For an even bolder flavor, you can increase the oregano and olives, add fresh herbs, or stir in some feta cheese.

You can use vegetable broth or chicken broth in this Mediterranean rice recipe, and plain water works, too. I like to add an additional half teaspoon of salt when using water. Be sure to taste the rice after you add the sauce and adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes.

Try my broccoli fried rice for another easy, delicious side dish!

Mediterranean Rice

This Mediterranean rice is a delicious lemon rice side dish that goes well with so many things. ($.72 per serving) 
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes
This Mediterranean rice recipe is a delicious lemon rice side dish.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion about half of a small onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper about half of a large pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 1/2 cups broth or water (2 cups for Instant Pot, 3 1/2 cups for stovetop)
  • 2 cups jasmine rice rinsed (or other rice of choice)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon about a teaspoon
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more if using water
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
  • ½ cup diced kalamata olives pits removed

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute, and heat the avocado oil. Add the diced onion and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to get translucent. Add the diced red pepper and oregano, and cook for another minute.
  • Add 2 cups of broth or water, along with 2 cups of rinsed rice, to the pot. Cover the pot and turn the knob to Sealing. Set the the Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 6 minutes. After the 6 minute cook time, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. If any pressure remains at this point, release the remaining pressure.
  • While the rice is cooking, in a small bowl stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. After the rice is done cooking, remove the cover and add the sauce to the warm rice. Stir to coat well. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding salt if you used water instead of broth. Just before serving the warm rice, stir in the chopped cucumber and olives. (If you won’t be eating the whole batch immediately, store the olives and cucumber separately from the rice. Mix them together before serving.)

Stovetop Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to get translucent. Add the diced red pepper and oregano, and cook for another minute.
  • Add the broth or water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil, then add the rinsed rice. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the broth is absorbed. Stir occasionally while it simmers, and add a bit of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pot before the rice is tender. You may need to gradually add an extra ¼ cup or ½ cup of water during the last five minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, in a small bowl stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. After the rice is done cooking, remove the cover and add the sauce to the warm rice. Stir to coat well. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding salt if you used water instead of broth. Just before serving the warm rice, stir in the chopped cucumber and olives. (If you won’t be eating the whole batch immediately, store the olives and cucumber separately from the rice. Mix them together before serving.)

Notes

If you use a different type of rice, follow the cooking instructions on the package for that type of rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal
Servings: 8
Calories: 174kcal

Instant Pot Jasmine Rice Price Breakdown

This recipe costs $5.72 to make, or $.72 per serving. Try this delicious lemon Mediterranean rice for an easy side dish.

13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love all the flavours in this rice! Such a versatile side dish that would go well with pretty much anything!

  2. 5 stars
    Yes, you took this rice dish up a big notch. I’m going to throw in some chicken for a full meal!

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