Basil Brown Rice with Lemon and Peas

The basil brown rice with lemon and peas dish is an easy side full of spring flavor and great for weeknight meals.
Basil brown rice with lemon and peas

Say hello to spring in your mouth.

This year it seems to have gotten that whole lion and lamb saying mixed up, having graced us with sunny skies, warm temps and green buds in the beginning of last month and now deciding to go backwards. Those green buds have turned brown from frost and I’m back to wearing fleeces on our daily walks.

Basil brown rice

When we lived in Florida and I wanted to move back to NY, the first thing I would say when people asked me why would be, “I miss the change of seasons.”

I wish someone would’ve slapped then me and reminded me that the “change of seasons” is bullshit. It’s cold then hot, it gets your hopes up, then it crushes them. It’s pretty much like an abusive relationship where every time (or year) you think it might just get a little better, but it never does. Every year I think maybe the leaves might actually be out for my birthday and every year I get daffodils and flowering fruit trees at best. People say you just need to get out of relationships like that.

Basil brown rice with lemon

I agree.

Until then, I’ll be shoving this lemony, basil rice and pea side dish down my throat to at least summon spring in my food.

Lemony basil brown rice with peas

Mother Nature can kiss it because I’ve got her beat. At least in the kitchen.

Basil Brown Rice with Lemon and Peas

Basil Brown Rice with Lemon and Peas

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The basil brown rice with lemon and peas dish is an easy side full of spring flavor and great for weeknight meals.


  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 lemon zested
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Combine rice, peas, basil, spices and zest in a large bowl.
  2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper in a small bowl and whisk together.
  3. Pour dressing over rice and peas and mix together.
  4. Flavors will deepen the longer this sits so it's a great make ahead side dish.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 974.33Total Fat: 8.94gCarbohydrates: 192.94gProtein: 27.45g


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  1. Crysstal

    Brown rice is really delicious and I think this is a good one and perfect for my family…Thanks for the recipe and idea…

  2. Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf

    Girl, do I totes feel your pain. Here in Michigan we’re experiencing the same damn thing: one day it’s 80, the next it’s raining, the next it’s flurries…MAKE UP YOUR MIND, MOTHER NATURE! I’ll delightfully eat this though in the hope that mother nature wakes the hell up and decides she DOES want the warm weather to begin. Some of us enjoy vegetables in the warm weather. I’m just sayin’ :) Great recipe, Gina! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Cait's Plate

    Your brown rice looks SO fluffy! I’m not a huge pea fan but there have been a bunch of recipes popping up all over the blog world that are making me crave them!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Peas used to be the one vegetable I didn’t like but I got over it recently. Although, mushy cooked peas are still nasty. Fresh or frozen ones that still “pop” I can handle…

      1. Cait's Plate

        Yup it’s definitely the texture for me. I should try fresh…I bet that would make a world of difference!

  4. katie @KatieDid

    I often wonder if I would miss the change of seasons. I really LOVE fall and the changing leaves and the cool crisp air, so I think florida would leave me a little nostalgic and homesick. But I could seriously do without the whole winter thing…

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I love fall too. I cried about missing fall and leaves in FL but now I realize I could’ve just flown up here for a week and gotten my fix without moving! haha

  5. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    Lol, I moved from New York to California and I hate to say it I don’t miss the changing of the seasons. However this weather CA is having this year it’s more like just plain ugly winter. I’ve been chanting rain, rain go away….

    Your rice dish looks aweome! I love that you added basil to it, thats perfecto!!

  6. Kari @ Running Ricig

    It’s so beautiful and sunny out right now, I feel like it should be warm, but no, it’s freaking COLD! Mother Nature is the worst.

  7. Kat

    You have to share cooking the brown rice successes/timing/etc because I’ve made it a handful of times so far and it almost always doesn’t work out right. I think the packaging lies.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      The bowls aren’t, the little spoons are though :) I think the bowls are from Homegoods so who knows where they’re “really” from…

  8. Mrs. Zoom

    This looks delish. I’ve been on a MAJOR brown rice kick lately. In fact, I almost bought the 50 lb. Costco bag last week. Will give this a try for sure.

  9. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    I’m seriously laughing about how you compared the change of seasons to an abusive relationship. SO hilarious! And true! Especially since we had a super hot summery(not even spring – it was summery!) beautiful day yesterday and then woke up to a rainy gross grey day today :( This rice sounds so yummy – I’ve been on a huge rice kick lately and actually just cooked up a big pot of it this morning. Perfect timing!

  10. myfudo

    We always have brown rice, but I just steam it and that’s it for us. Now, I can do something amazing with it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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