Like creamy risotto without all the fuss and stirring, this creamy parmesan rice with lemon and parsley is the perfect side to all of your favorite main courses, or add cooked shrimp or another favorite protein for a one-pot dinner superstar!
The next time you’re looking for a fun party trick, follow this recipe to turn plain rice into a luscious and rich parmesan rice that is worthy of your personal Side Dish Recipes Hall of Fame.
I’ve included options for using different types of rice in the FAQ section below, as well as modifying the flavors with herbs and veggies to suit your taste.
What you’ll need to make this easy rice recipe:
- Vegetable stock
- Whole milk, divided
- White pepper
- Long grain rice
- Lemon zest
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for creamy parmesan rice:
Combine butter, vegetable broth, 1 1/4 cups of milk and white pepper in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat, then add 1 1/2 cups long grain rice to the milk mixture.
Return the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 18-20 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed and the grains are cooked through. At the end of cooking time, I test the rice to determine if it needs additional liquid or time to fully steam through. If needed, I’ll add 1/4 cup additional milk, stir, cover and cook for an extra 2-3 minutes.
Once the rice has finished cooking, remove from the heat, add lemon zest, parmesan, the final 1/2 cup of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with additional lemon zest and parsley for garnish.
FAQ’s and Serving Suggestions for this Easy Rice Side Dish:
Any long grain, uncooked rice will do. I used Carolina plain white rice, but I’ve made it with Jasmine rice and it worked well. A medium grain rice like arborio rice would also work. I have not made the dish with brown rice, but as long as you made adjustments in total time to cook and liquid (per package instructions on your brown rice) you should still achieve a creamy texture in your parmesan rice.
Milk adds a creamy consistency to the dish, but doesn’t add the flavor or complexity that the broth brings to the party. I do recommend using a bit of both. Together, they create an amazing flavor your whole family will enjoy. If using only milk, you’ll need to add at least 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the mixture as it comes to a boil, then taste and adjust seasoning once the rice is cooked
White pepper has a little more complex, earthy flavor than black pepper, and usually less pungent. But black pepper is a perfectly good substitute in this rice. Just reduce the amount to 1/4 teaspoon, then taste and adjust seasoning.
Finely diced yellow onion and a couple of grated garlic cloves would add more flavor to the dish – just saute in the pan with butter, and add rice, stock, milk and pepper once they are softened. If you’re out of parsley, fresh basil would add a beautiful, floral flavor.
To store, cover leftover rice tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer to a medium saucepan and combine with a few tablespoons of stock or milk, heating over medium until warm.
This recipe post may contain affiliate links to products we know and love.Print