With its fresh and vibrant flavor, this savory Lemon Asparagus Rice is a perfect side dish for fish. There are many versions of asparagus rice, but I like this simple version. Jasmine rice is flavored with chopped parsley, lemon zest, and a little butter.
Adding a delicious side of asparagus rice to your fish or meat entrée can take any meal from okay to extraordinary!
Why I Love This dish
Jasmine rice is my favorite rice. It is aromatic, light, and fluffy – this is a grain that has earned its place as an essential staple in many kitchens around the world.
But why not get creative with peas + mint or even carrots + dill? Just chop everything into bite-sized pieces and toss together for a heavenly side dish!
What You Need
- Jasmine rice (or other white rice)
- Asparagus Stalks
- Unsalted Butter
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Purchase Fresh Asparagus
Buy the freshest asparagus spears available. They should be standing upright in cold water at the grocery or produce store. Look for thin or medium stalks for this recipe. Look closely at the purplish tips of each pear.
They should be firm to the touch. Asparagus past its prime may feel slimy or the tips might no longer be pointy and they're loose or separating. If this is the case, substitute broccoli or sugar snap peas.
How to cook fluffy Jasmine Rice: Rinse rice in a colander until the water runs clear. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pot and set timer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, leaving the tips intact.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the asparagus and cook one minute. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the asparagus from the water and set aside for a moment.
In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, parsley, asparagus, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss.
Add olive oil or butter and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Asparagus Lemon Rice can easily become Asparagus Cilantro Lime rice! Trade the parsley for cilantro and the lemons for limes.
- Rice - I used white Jasmine rice in this recipe. You can always use long-grain brown rice or Basmati rice. Uncle Ben's converted rice is always an option too. Use what you have on hand.
- Asparagus - asparagus can be substituted with broccoli, green beans, diced carrots, or green peas. Even frozen peas and carrots would work!
- Parsley - cilantro, chives, or dill can be used in place of the parsley. Make it fresh!
- Lemon - limes or key limes can be swapped out for lemon in this recipe.
- Water - use chicken or vegetable broth in place of the water for cooking the rice.
- Butter - I missed a tablespoon of Kerrygold butter into this rice. You can always use a fruity extra-virgin olive oil or leave it out.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes or stir a teaspoon of Cholula sauce into the cooked rice for some heat.
- Sweet - mix in a sauteed onion for a little sweetness.
Store the cooked rice in a covered container on the refrigerator for up to three days. Freezing is not recommended.
This springtime rice side dish goes well with fish and meat entrees.
Cooking Lemon Asparagus Rice is easy and only requires a few ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. It's budget-friendly, packed with nutrients, and can be made in less than 30 minutes. Plus, it's so versatile! You can pair it with just about anything or enjoy it on its own.
What Goes with Asparagus Rice?
This was inspired by my Roasted Yellowtail and Pan-Fried Yellowtail Snapper on this site, and pairs well with this Low Carb Caesar Salad.
Rinse rice in a colander until the water runs clear. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Lift cover and fluff with a fork.
There are 145 calories per serving of asparagus rice.
You can flavor rice with roasted garlic, lemon zest, dried herbs and spices, butter or olive oil, and any cooked vegetables cut into bite size pieces.
Lemon Asparagus Rice
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 4 tablespoons minced parsley, flat or curly leaf
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- Rinse rice in a colander until the water runs clear. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pot and set timer for 15 minutes. Let pot sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Lift cover and fluff with a fork.
- While rice is cooking, snap the ends off the asparagus. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces and leave the asparagus tips whole.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the asparagus and cook one minute. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the asparagus from the water and set aside.
- When the rice is cooked, pour the hot rice into a big bowl.
- Add asparagus, chopped parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.
- Toss with a rubber spatula until combined.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
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