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+ servings
bowl of lemon herbed brown rice

Herbed Lemon Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot brown rice, lemon rice
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
natural release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 223kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
This brown rice in the Instant Pot recipe is super flavorful with the addition of seasonings and herbs. You'll love the lemony tang combined with the salty capers and herbal sweet flavors of the tarragon and thyme.
Print Recipe


  • Instant Pot or other pressure cooker


  • 2 cups dried brown rice rinsed
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • ½ cup shallot minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, sliced set aside to put on top of the rice mixture
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 Tablespoons capers rinse
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoons dried tarragon or 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • several fresh thyme sprigs


  • Rinse the rice and set it aside.
  • Mince the garlic and shallot and set aside.
  • Zest one lemon and then juice it. Set aside. You will need one teaspoon of zest and two tablespoons of juice. Thinly slice another lemon and set aside.
  • Add the olive oil to the inner pot. Press saute to heat up for a couple of minutes. Then add in the minced shallot and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften. You aren't cooking the shallot and garlic to completion - only getting them started.
  • If the pot has any brown spots from the saute process then deglaze with a little bit of the broth, stirring the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon with pressure until the brown spots are gone. Brown spots might cause the Instant Pot to not come to pressure.
  • Add in the rinsed and drained rice, vegetable broth, capers, lemon juice and zest, thyme, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Top with the sliced lemons and fresh thyme sprigs.
  • Close the lid and vent. Manually set the timer for 22 minutes at high pressure. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • After the timer has counted down to zero, do a 5-minute natural release. Then carefully do a quick release. When the pressure has been fully released and the pin is down, carefully open the lid.
  • Remove the lemon slices and sprigs of fresh thyme. Fluff with a fork and serve.


This recipe was developed using a 6 quart Instant Pot. If you have used other sizes or brands, I'd love to hear about your success!
Time coming to pressure is approximate and added to the prep time.
The serving size is 1/2 cup each - which is not much for the main course but perfect for a side or as an element of a Buddha bowl. Keep in mind the amount you use and adjust the calories accordingly. 
The dried to fresh herb ratio is 1:3. So if you are using fresh rather than dry, you will use 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme and 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon.
If you want to cook this dish without oil then saute the onion and garlic in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Then reduce the amount used in the recipe from 2 cups to 1 3/4. So you will be using 2 1/4 cups of broth altogether. One half to saute with and one and three quarters to cook the rice in the Instant Pot.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg