Lemon Rice Pilaf and Fresh Mint

Toasted jasmine rice cooked in chicken broth and lemon juice is finished with fresh chopped mint for a scrumptious side dish any weeknight dinner.
Love it - Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint - Low Calorie, Low Fat, Healthy Side Dish Recipe

During Spring break this year, we went to visit my grandparents in North Carolina. My daughter loves to go, because their neighbors have her favorite things, dogs and a girl her age. Sometimes I am not sure which she likes better. She loves to play with the girl next door, and sometime we only see her for brief glimpses throughout the day. She can pretty much come and go as she pleases. In contrast to our home where people love to drive their car about 55 mph on our small street! As a result, I would really love to strangle them.

If she isn’t playing then she is looking for Hercules, the other neighbor’s dog, to come out. Whenever he knows she is there, he tries to make a beeline for her. Being a particularly very-well trained dog (unlike our dog), he dutifully walks to the back of the yard to do his business. Of course, his head is practically spun 180• as he tries to keep on eye on Ly. He almost walks sideways like a crab, and when he is finally done, he is dismissed and instantly runs right to her. I think the treat she has in your hand might have something to do with it. Ly giggles and runs around with him. They are such a cute pair.  One year Ly left her large pink princess ball for Hercules, as he is a champion soccer playing dog.  It is amazing what he can do with a ball.  He surprisingly seems to remember that he loves to play soccer with Ly.
Love it - Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint - Low Calorie, Low Fat, Healthy Side Dish Recipe

In addition to the dogs and her friend, she really enjoys spending time with her great-grandparents. Specifically, she loves to sit on the porch and eat dinner. One night my grandmother made some lemon rice with mint. It was fresh and bright, the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken. Later when I came home I used her recipe to inspire this one particular one. Of course, I added a little onion and garlic for my husband, who believes all food should have garlic. Likewise, fresh lemon juice and mint are the key to this simple and healthy side dish. Put it on your weeknight dinner menu with some grilled chicken, pork or even fish. As a result, your dinner will be divine.

Love it - Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint - Low Calorie, Low Fat, Healthy Side Dish Recipe

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Love it - Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint - Low Calorie, Low Fat, Healthy Side Dish Recipe

Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint

Course Rice, Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 183 kcal
Author Christie Daruwalla


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 3-3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp mint


  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil and onions. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and salt, cook for another minute.
  2. Add the rice and toast for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour lemon juice into a measuring cup and add chicken broth to measure 3 3/4 cups.
  4. Add to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until rice is done and liquid is absorbed.
  6. Fluff with a fork and stir in lemon zest and mint.

Recipe Notes

I calculated 5 Weight Watcher smart points.

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Rice Pilaf with Mint
Amount Per Serving
Calories 183 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Happy Healthy Eating,


But wait, there’s more.  Check out these deliciously, low calorie rice recipes:

Coconut Mango RiceCoconut Saffron Mango Rice

Jasmine Rice Grits

Jasmine Rice Grits

Rice & Spaghetti Pilaf aka copycat rice-a-roni

Rice & Spaghetti Pilaf aka copy cat Rice-a-Roni


  1. Charlotte Moore says
    Our youngest son loves the rice that Chipotle serves. I have never made any rice with lemon or lime flavor. I need to try it.
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Charlotte, You will love it. It is so easy, and you get fantastic flavor for very little work. Makes it a winner in my house. Hope you have a wonderful week, Christie
  2. Sounds like a delicious, light summer side dish!
  3. Ohh I was planning on making tempeh tonight and some nice fluffy rice would be a perfect side dish!
  4. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors. I never thought about adding it to rice. This looks so flavorful and would pair perfectly with grilled fish or chicken.
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Julia, I don't know that I would have thought about it had my grandmother not done it! Now I can think of her whenever I make it.
  5. I can only imagine the fragrant aromas and flavors from the rice and the mint. The combination sounds wonderful, and could go with so many dishes. Can't wait to give this easy and pretty dish a try! Thanks for the inspiration!
  6. I've made lemon rice before, in fact I just made some lemon wild rice last night for dinner, but never thought of adding mint to it. I bet it gives it a really nice, refreshing flavor!
  7. We make rice so often that I really need to get more adventurous with it. Love all of the variations in this post!
  8. my husband is a huge rice lover, in fact he could eat it with very meal, so I'm sure this would be a big hit
  9. This is lovely! Anything with that fresh zing of lemon...always a fan!!
  10. I love rice pilafs! What a great idea to add the lemon.
  11. Rice with notes of citrus is my favorite! I love the addition of mint!
  12. Fresh and delicious side dish for sure! So sweet that your daughter has such a wonderful time with great-grandparents!
  13. Love the story behind this recipe! :) And what a fresh and simple side dish- perfect for summer!
  14. This looks delicious! I love rice pilaf as a side dish and the mint really takes this to a new level!
  15. Delicious recipe and gorgeous photos! Love that you used mint! :)
  16. This looks delicious and easy. And I bet it would be great with zest, too.


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