August 29th, 2014

Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice

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When it comes to favorite side dishes at our house, potatoes and rice definitely top the list. But honestly, that can get a little boring, so I’m always looking for new ways to dress up those dinner-time staples, and this Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice is a family favorite.

Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice

I recently made a batch of fresh basil pesto and wondered how my family might enjoy it mixed with some Basmati rice and lemon.

Of course, I had to throw some Parmesan cheese in too! Needless to say, it was a huge hit

There weren’t even any leftovers–and I almost always have leftover rice.

Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice

The best part (besides tasting amazing) is that it was so easy!

I cooked the rice in my rice cooker while I prepared dinner, and just stirred in the other ingredients right before serving.

Of course, you can also cook the rice using the traditional stove-top method. We love Basmati rice, but you can use long-grain white, Jasmine, brown–whatever you prefer!

No matter what kind of rice you use, this simple recipe is a great way to add some variety to your side dish repertoire!

Be sure to save this Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.


Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice

Lemon Pesto Parmesan Rice

Plain rice is made extra special with the addition of pesto, lemon and Parmesan cheese!


  • 1 cup Basmati or long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, broth, butter and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Alternately, this step can be done in a rice cooker.
  3. Remove rice from heat and stir in the lemon zest, pesto and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
2 reviews

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Garlic Parmesan Orzo
Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Grilled Pineapple Rice

Grilled Pineapple Rice

Rice Cooker Mushroom Risotto

Rice Cooker Mushroom Risotto


Who Dished It Up First: This is an original recipe.



  1. This is a perfect side or as part of a main meal. Delicious! Blessings for a beautiful weekend. Catherine xo

  2. Thank you, Danelle, for creating recipes that are adaptable to my cravings. Going along with my current cilantro obsession… After making cilantro pesto in place of basil pesto, I substituted lime juice and lime zest for the lemon. Turned out perfect. Full of flavor. Great compliment to my tequila lime chicken!


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