Healthy 6-Ingredient Mediterranean Rice Recipe With Lemon Caper Sauce by Elisa Schmitz

Healthy 6-Ingredient Mediterranean Rice Recipe With Lemon Caper Sauce

The Mediterranean Diet isn't an actual diet or weight loss plan like Weight Watchers or Atkins. Rather, it's a way of eating based on food patterns across different Mediterranean countries (such as Italy and Greece), with a focus on health and longevity. The Mediterranean Diet is composed of mostly vegetables, fruits and whole grains, with olive oil as the main source of fat. Because the Mediterranean Diet is flexible, you can tailor it to meet your personal tastes and nutritional requirements.

Although the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes whole grains like brown rice, white rice can be part of a nutritious Mediterranean Diet – especially when it's prepared in extra virgin olive oil and served with vegetables and fish that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. That's exactly how I prepared this easy Mediterranean rice recipe with lemon caper sauce, and it turned out to be a quick and healthy side dish I served with grilled salmon.

The shopping list for this easy vegetarian side dish recipe includes six simple ingredients you already may have in your kitchen: white rice, olive oil, a lemon, capers and a few mixed vegetables (I used onion, peppers and green beans, then threw a bit of fresh tomato in at the end). A savory gluten-free side dish in about 20 minutes that made dinner extra special!

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Cuisine: American / Mediterranean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 2 cups white rice, cooked (I used a rice cooker in advance, which makes it easy)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (fresh squeezed is best)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables of your choice, chopped (fresh is best, but you could use frozen)
  • 1 small tomato, chopped

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Recipe Notes

  • I prefer squeezing my own fresh lemon juice, but in a pinch, you can use bottled.
  • I used a rice cooker to prepare the rice in advance. It's an easy way to have rice on hand ready to incorporate into side dish recipes any time.
  • I used fresh vegetables for this recipe, but in a pinch, you can use frozen veggies.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
  • Store leftovers in a small airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Omit the capers for a low-sodium side dish.

Here's how to make it:

  1. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil, lemon juice, capers and chopped vegetables. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and stir to combine. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for up to 5 additional minutes, until everything is cooked through. Serve with grilled fish or protein of choice.

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Saucepans $10 & Up
Rice Cookers
Rice Cookers $25 & Up
Chef Knives
Chef Knives $10 & Up
Rice $2 & Up
Olive Oil
Olive Oil $4 & Up
Capers $3 & Up

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Elisa Schmitz
Love these quick and easy dinner sides that you can make in no time. It also makes a nice vegetarian or gluten-free meal any time of day!
Capers add so much flavor!

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