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Instant Pot Lemon Basil Rice

If you need an easy side dish for dinner, this instant pot lemon basil rice is flavorful, ready in under 20 minutes, and is easy to meal prep! Enjoy it with nearly any entree or add your favorite protein and veggie.

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We love rice because it’s such an easy side dish to nearly any meal. You can add things to it, AND it’s something that my kids will eat.

We make rice in the instant pot all the time to get the perfect fluffy texture. This lemon basil rice recipe can be made in the instant pot or on the stove, and is a great addition to your weekly meal prep.

I love to serve it with lemon pepper baked chicken tenders or salmon, but it’s also good with air fryer turkey burgers, meatloaf, chicken nuggets, shrimp, and more.

basil lemon rice on spoon

Why We Love Lemon Basil Rice

This lemon basil rice recipe has so many redeeming qualities! I often search for recipes using lemon basil because it’s such a stellar combination.

  • Flexible to make – It can be made in instant pot or on stove – I do it both ways, honestly.
  • Easy to make for meal prep – You can batch meal prep chicken rice and broccoli for easy workweek lunches. My meal prep ebook shows you all sorts of examples of pairing meals.
  • Kid friendly – The herbs and butter are favorites for my kids, but white rice has always been a hit.
  • Adds a depth to regular rice – The lemon basil gives such a nice undertone to normal, fluffy white rice.
  • Side dish to upgrade any meal – It’s pretty, flavorful, light and blends well with so many entree options! Or, add your favorite protein to this.

Make sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

Ingredients and Modifications

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy lemon basil rice recipe.

  • Choice of rice – I recommend Jasmine or Basmati. Basmati is a long-grain rice that is thick enough to clump together in a fluffy way!
  • Lemon – You can also just use lemon juice, but I like the true lemon for the lemon zest addition!
  • Broth – If you don’t have chicken or lemon broth, or want to reduce the sodium content, you could use water, bone broth (for extra protein!) or even canned coconut milk. Really, any combination of water and broth/coconut milk works. Coconut milk will give you a milkier, thicker texture.
  • Basil – You can use fresh or dried, but I much prefer fresh for this fluffy rice!
  • Butter – If you’re not a butter fan, you could also use olive oil. But there’s just something so delectable about melted butter in rice that can’t be beat.
  • Garlic – Is there anything better than butter lemon and garlic? It’s one of my favorite combos! I used garlic powder to keep it simple, but use garlic cloves if you prefer!
  • Parmesan cheese – Personally, I love a good Parmesan cheese, but I think feta or goat cheese would also be delicious
ingredients for lemon rice with basil

Optional Additions

You could also add peas, diced chicken, chopped nuts, and even other herbs, like fresh parsley or mint.


Rinsing your rice before cooking can not only help to clean rice, but also reduce some of the starch, which will make it less sticky.

How to Make This Lemon Basil Rice Recipe

  1. Cook your rice – See directions below for cooking in the instant pot, rice cooker or on the stove. You have a few options, and all are very easy! The instant pot version is ready in 3 minutes.
  2. Add in your flavorings and parmesan cheese.
  3. Garnish with basil and enjoy!
making lemon basil rice in instant pot
cooked fluffy lemon rice in instant pot

What to Eat With Lemon Jasmine Rice

This lemon jasmine rice recipe pairs well with so many great entrees, but here are some of my favorites.

If you want another light, lemon option, try these lemon pepper baked chicken tenders. Kids can eat it with their favorite chicken nuggets.

I find that lemon rice pairs well with seafood as well, such as shrimp, lemon garlic salmon or this easy salmon recipe.

For a heartier option, I’ll serve it alongside bunless or open-faced air fryer turkey burgers or air fryer bison burgers, meatloaf and meatballs. These thai red curry meatballs are so full of flavor!


How to store instant pot lemon rice

Allow your rice to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze lemon basil rice?

Yes, you can! Let it cool down completely and spoon into freezer-friendly bags. If you want to pre-portion it out, a serving of rice is about 1/2 cup cooked. Frozen rice is good up to 6 months, however, Food Network cautions that if you use it in a casserole to use it within 3 months.

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lemon basil rice in white bowl
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Lemon Basil Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This instant pot lemon rice is an easy side dish to nearly any meal. It's ready in under 20 minutes and garnished with basil and cheese, this lemon basil rice will be enjoyed by all.


  • 1 ¼ cup rice - I prefer Jasmine rice
  • 1 ¼ cup broth (or water)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about ½ large lemon)
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped basil*


  1. Rinse your rice and combine 1.25 cups rinsed rice with 1.25 cups of liquid (water/broth/coconut milk). Add rice, water and butter to the instant pot.
  2. Set Instant Pot to High Pressure (Manual setting) for 3 minutes, and naturally release for 10 minutes. It will take about 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure.
  3. Once the rice has cooked and pressure is released, add in lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Give it a stir.
  4. Garnish with basil and serve.


Stovetop Directions:

Rinse your rice in a colander. Add the rice and water/broth to a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once rice is boiling, add in butter, salt and garlic powder, and bring down to a simmer. Let simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (about 7-10 minutes). Make sure to keep the lid on so the steam stays in. Once the rice is done cooking and all the water has been absorbed, add in lemon juice, lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Using a fork, fluff your rice and season to taste. Garnish with basil and serve.

Rice Cooker Directions:

Add the rice and water/broth, adjusting the amount of liquid per your cooker’s instructions and cook. Then, add in butter, lemon, lemon zest, basil and parmesan cheese.

*If using dried basil, start with 1-2 Tablespoons and adjust as needed

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

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