Rice with Carrot, Lemon, Onion and Mint

Helpers Alden and Piper show off the rice

We found a “three-flavor” rice recipe in a recent Parade magazine – long grain white rice accented with carrots, lemon, and mint. Excellent served with roast chicken. I can’t quite figure out why Parade called it “three-flavor”; there are many discernable flavors here – garlic, lemon, carrot, onion and mint. An easy way to dress up rice!

Rice with Carrot, Lemon, Onion and Mint Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.

If you use a rice other than long grain white rice, you will need to adjust (most likely downward) the amount of water needed. I forgot this and when I made this dish again using medium grained instead I ended up with rice soup.



  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced (1/4 in)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup long grain rice (make sure that you are using long grain rice)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves


1 Heat the oil in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.

2 Add the water, lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice absorbs the liquid and is tender, about 20 minutes.

3 Remove to a bowl, add the scallions and mint, and fluff with a fork.

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From Parade Magazine, 9-11-05



  1. Deb

    I like the sound of all the different flavors in this rice dish. We would adapt the recipe to use brown rice, however. Thanks for this posting.

  2. Paz

    Cute helpers!

    This rice recipe sounds and looks good. I’d like to try it!


  3. Melissa

    wow! that’s a good looking rice! congratulations to the chef and the helpers, of course :)

  4. Swathi

    This is a very colorful and interesting recipe with rice. I am going to try this. Thank you for posting it.

  5. Bob

    I read the recipe several time. Do I throw away the seasoned carrots, onions and garlic after it is cooked?

  6. Elise

    Hi Bob – no, you add the water to the carrots, onions, and garlic and bring the water to a boil. Then you add rice.

  7. Allie

    Why do you need 1/2 cup of oil to saute one carrot and an onion? It sems excessive. Could it be reduced?

  8. Elise

    Hi Allie – The oil ends up getting incorporated with the rice. If you are using extra virgin olive oil, which is what the recipe calls for, it adds to the flavor of the rice.

  9. joaquin

    I made this, but with a mixture of brown and white rice [both long grain]. I think I will use a little less oil next time, and probably some chopped celery too. Good quick simple tasty recipe, that served my self and two hungry roommates :).

  10. Tri

    I know this is a really old post, but I thought someone might benefit from my attempt at making this recipe. The first attempt my boyfriend and I made at making this dish came out very, very soggy…like a porridge. We had to dump it out and start again. We hardly ever cook rice on the stove top (I’m Vietnamese and a rice cooker is mandatory!) so I decided to try cooking part of it in our rice cooker. We added the lemon juice and zest to the water of the rice cooker, and once cooked added the rest of the ingredients together. It was so easy and amazing!! I will definitely be making it again (maybe less oil next time) and look forward to a variation from my “normal” jasmine rice. Thanks for a great recipe.

  11. Fabian

    How much zest is enough zest? (tablespoon, teaspoon, a quick scrape here and there…)

    A teaspoon is probably enough. ~Elise

  12. Mariko

    I made this last night to accompany your honey cardamom chicken, and it was great! Since I love my rice cooker, I did as Tri suggested and cooked the rice with the lemon added in the cooker, then added everything else when it was done. This seemed to work well, but I think the flavor balance was a little off since the rice didn’t really get to cook with the carrot/garlic/onion mixture.. it tasted primarily like lemon rice. Since I was going to serve this dish with the cardamom chicken anyway, I also cooked the carrot/garlic/onion in the drippings from searing the chicken, which seemed to add a little extra sweetness without impacting the flavor greatly.

    Overall this recipe gets a thumbs up for being easy and tasty, but next time I think I’ll try cooking it your way with a bit less water (boyfriend thought it was a bit mushy) for better flavor balance.

  13. Megan

    This sounds like a perfect side dish to go with the Cardamom Honey Chicken! I wonder, though, if substituting brown rice, whether you would recommend still keep the vegetables in the pot while the rice cooks. Since brown rice will take twice as long, would you recommend adding the veggies after the rice has cooked partially? Thanks!

    I think that both the onions and the carrots will be able to hold up to the longer cooking. ~Elise

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