This pesto rice is made with basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, basmati rice and lemon juice.
This is such a simple easy dish that everyone will love. If you use store bought pesto, all you need are three ingrdients: pesto, rice, and lemon. I prefer making the pesto from scratch, because the flavor is so much better with freshly chopped basil. To make the pesto, all you ned is a food processor or a blender. This rice is perfectly paired with my Buttermilk Roasted Chicken and Air Fried Chicken Legs.
This is such an easy and tasty alternative and a perfect side dish. You could even top this rice off with chicken or steak. You simply add the pesto in with the rice and water in a saucepan with boiling water, lower the temperature, and let it cook on low heat. Pesto is an Italian sauce that can be topped on pasta, chicken or rice. It is made with fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil.
- Pine nuts
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Basmati rice
See recipe card for quantities.
In a food processor, add the basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic and process until minced. Slowly add the olive oil and cheese and process until smooth. This should yield about one cup of pesto.
Add 2 cups water a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup basmati rice, ½ cup of the pesto, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, cover, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook 10 minutes on low, then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit, covered, for another 15-20 minutes (don't take any peeks inside!). Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the lemon juice.
Hint: Keep the lid shut tight on the rice and put the heat at the lowest temperature you can.
Basil: You will need a lot of fresh basil for this pesto. I have seen many different variations of pesto like using spinach, parsley cilantro and mint.
Pine nuts: Pine nuts are traditionally used for pesto, but I have seen many variations using walnuts, pistachios, almonds and even sunflower seeds.
Lemons: For best taste, use real lemons and not store bought lemon juice.
Garlic: I used fresh garlic although you could use garlic from a can and top with the prepared minced garlic.
Olive oil: I used olive oil for this recipe, but you can try canola, vegetable or sunflower oil as well.
Cheese: Traditionally, pesto is made with parmesan cheese. You could always use asiago, pecorino romano or grana Padano. If you would like for this to be vegan, you could use nutritional yeast in place of the cheese.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the pesto.
- Deluxe - Feel free to make this Vegan Pesto that uses avocado to get a creamy texture.
- Kid friendly - Top the rice with extra parmesan cheese to make your children love it extra!
Check out this Pesto Rosso that incorporates sun-dried tomatoes.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here!
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Do not peek after removing the saucepan from the flame. You don't want the water to evaporate.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove