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.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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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.

  5. Amy says

    This is SOOOO delicious!!

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