If you’re already heating the oven, slide in a pan of this easy baked lemon herb rice for a great side dish. It’s practically hands-free and produces perfect rice.
Part of the process of economizing includes getting the biggest bang for your buck.
If you cook a whole chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken, turn the carcass into practically free chicken stock. If you’re going to go shopping, check the clearance rack for items already on your list. If you’re going to heat the oven, add another pan of something to make the most of the energy being generated.
This baked rice dish is a perfect case in point. I started baking rice a year or two ago once I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone. So to speak. If I was already baking chicken or fish, I could slide a second 9×13-inch pan into the oven, make good use of the heat already there, and have my side dish already taken care of.
I had already been baking chicken WITH my rice, why not alongside it?
I’ve tweaked this method with all kinds of spices and seasonings, herbs, butters and oils, as well as switching between broth or water. The general method is very forgiving and you can adapt it to what you have on hand. If you use basmati rice, I’d add a little extra liquid as it tends to get drier than long-grain rice. Want to make brown rice? Increase the baking time to about 45 minutes.
If you’ve got a dutch oven, that’s probably perfect for this. I haven’t yet splurged on one, so I just use a 9×13-inch pan and heavy foil. Use what works for you.
Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme
- 2 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- 2 tablespoon butter cut into cubes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon lemon, zested
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 4 cup water boiling
- 2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the rice in the pan in an even layer. Dot the top with butter. Sprinkle the salt, thyme, zest, and paprika over the top.
- Pour the boiling water into the pan and cover it right away with heavy-duty foil. Seal the edges tightly.
- Bake the rice for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, tossing it with the fresh parsley. Adjust seasonings and serve.