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Published October 25, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This traditional Lebanese Rice Recipe is loaded with fluffy long-grain rice, golden-brown pasta, and toasted pine nuts for the perfect side dish. You will love how easy this is to make and the rice flavors it has.
We eat rice very often as it’s one of my daughters’ favorite things. If you want to check out a few ways to incorporate rice into some recipes, then definitely try out my Risotto or my Red Beans and Rice.
Lebanese rice is a classic rice dish served in Lebanon consisting of toasted brown vermicelli pasta that is then cooked with long-grain rice until tender. It can be served with traditional flavors such as cinnamon and toasted pine nuts. This simple-to-make recipe is a fantastic side dish to any meal, and much more so for Middle Eastern and Lebanese entrees.
The combination of rice and pasta is a popular side dish in just about every Middle Eastern country, and it’s just those few extra optional ingredients that make it specific to Lebanon. If you’re looking to change up your normal rice routine, then this is worth a try.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Rice – Use a long grain rice from this like Jasmine or Basmati.
- Oil – I prefer to use olive or avocado oil. You can use whatever oil you’re comfortable with.
- Pasta – Semolina Vermicelli is the classic pasta to use. However, another great option is to use angel hair pasta broken up by hand into 1” to 1 ½” pieces.
- Nuts – Pine nuts are a traditional topping but are also optional to add at the end.
How to Make Lebanese Rice
Rinse the rice in a colander under cold water until the water runs clear. Set it to the side.
Next, add the oil to a large non-stick pot over medium heat.
Add the pasta and frequently stir until it becomes a light golden brown. Keep a close eye on this, as it can go from browned to burnt quickly.
Pour in the rice and stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the boiling water, season with salt, and stir to combine.
Place a lid on the pot and simmer over low heat for 14-16 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Using a fork, fluff the rice and set it to the side uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with toasted pine nuts and optional minced fresh parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 30 minutes ahead. Keep it warm by keeping a lid on it until ready to serve.
How to Store: Once cooled, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: I find that the best way to reheat rice is in the microwave. It keeps it light and fluffy, and you do not need to add anything to it.
Chef Notes + Tips
- This recipe also works great if you add it to fried rice or soup instead of serving it as a side dish.
- Some folks believe rinsing the rice ahead of time helps to remove some of the starchiness in the rice. I’m not sold this works all that well, but if this is the way you have always done it, then I think you should continue to do so.
- No matter what kind of rice you are cooking, when doing so on the stovetop, make sure to reduce the amount of suggested liquid amount on the package by 15% as well as the cooking time by 20%.
More Rice Recipes
Lebanese Rice Recipe
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup vermicelli pasta
- 3 ½ cups boiling water
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- coarse salt to taste
- Rinse the rice in a colander under cold water until the water runs clear. Set it to the side.
- Next, add the oil to a large, non-stick pot over medium heat.
- Add in the pasta and frequently stir until it becomes a light golden brown. Keep a close eye on this, as it can go from browned to burnt quickly.
- Pour in the rice and stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in the boiling water, season with salt, and stir to combine.
- Place a lid on the pot and simmer over low heat for 14-16 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Using a fork, fluff the rice and set it to the side uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.