Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme

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If you’re already heating the oven, slide in a pan of this easy baked rice for a great side dish. It’s practically hands-free and produces perfect rice.

baked rice on plate

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?

baked rice ingredients

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.

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Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme
Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
If you're already heating the oven, slide in a pan of this easy baked rice for a great side dish. It's practically hands-free and produces perfect rice.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked rice
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 260 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the boiling water into the pan and cover it right away with heavy-duty foil. Seal the edges tightly.
  4. Bake the rice for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, tossing it with the fresh parsley. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Recipe Notes

Want to make brown rice? Increase the baking time to about 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme
Amount Per Serving
Calories 260 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 239mg10%
Potassium 78mg2%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Micha says

    Baking brown rice is the only way I can get it to turn out without half being mushy and the other crunchy. I’ve never tried baking white rice by itself but this looks tasty and I just happen to have everything for it.

    • My kids love the flavor of baked rice. They claim it’s different than other rice, but I have no idea why that is.

    • Also, I wonder if your burners aren’t balanced. If half is crunchy, my guess is the heat it too high on one side, or you need a better quality pot?

  2. Janel says

    Great idea. It would work alongside Jessika’s Roasted Vegetables, too, yeah?

  3. Amy says

    Is this instant white rice or long grain rice?

  4. I’m considering using this method to cook 27 cups (dry) rice for a camp I am cooking at in a couple weeks. The pans would be larger obviously, but do you think the cook time would need to be altered?

    • I am not really sure. How many pans would you divide it into?

      • I will be using pans that are about double to triple the size of a 9×13. I would need to figure out my ratio’s. Would more than 2 cups rice fit into a 9×13?

        • Sorry for my delay in getting back to you! I have done 3 cups in a 9×13. I wouldn’t do more than that.

    • Jennifer Clark says

      Yes. You’ll need a lot longer cook time especially if you’re doing more pans in one oven.

  5. Amy says

    This is SOOOO delicious!!

  6. Penny says

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I used it as a launching point for dinner last night . Chunked in a bag of broccoli and lots more lemon. Baked it until the rice was almost done then added tilapia filets on top and baked it 20 more minutes. Was very delicious. Next time I’m going to try adding some cheese. I won’t throw away my rice cooker (it’s an antique at 39 years old) but I will definitely use this recipe when I want to jazz up my rice game. Thanks again .

  7. Jenn Clark says

    Lovely yummy rice it was a family hit. The oven method did not work. I doubled the recipe and cooked it longer but I had other items in the oven too. I ended up cooking in a pan. But the flavor was delicious.

    • Yes, anytime you increase amounts or change the cooking atmosphere will affect cooking times. Glad you were able to enjoy it anyway!

  8. soniaszczecinski says

    Thanks for this recipe, been looking for one that cooks all together. Without cooking rice 1st. Excellent recipe, tasty.

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