Lebanese rice

Lebanese Rice

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Lebanese Rice also called riz bi sha’riyeh in Arabic, is a simple vegan side dish that complements many Lebanese and Middle Eastern recipe. That’s why I wanted to dedicate a post on how to make Lebanese Rice with Vermicelli. This easy to make rice pilaf is super fluffy and versatile.

Lebanese rice

Lebanese Rice

Although making rice is very simple, it can sometimes be a little tricky if not cooked right. Rice to water ratio is the key to this recipe. No one appreciates a sticky, gooey or under-cooked rice. So there ya go! My secret to a perfectly cooked Lebanese vermicelli rice every time!

What is Lebanese Rice?

This Lebanese rice dish is made with broken vermicelli pasta, rice (medium or long grain rice works), and extra virgin olive oil, butter and a pinch of salt to season this rice. For this recipe, I will be using basmati rice, my all time favorite! This rice pilaf is also known as Middle Eastern Rice or Arabic Rice. It’s a staple side dish in Lebanese cuisine, served with many different varieties of Lebanese stews, including: Lebanese Vermicelli Rice is a , it is served with pretty much all Lebanese stews such as my Okra Stew , Peas and Carrots Stew and Lima Beans Stew, Lebanese Beef Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms, Lebanese Kafta Stew and Lebanese Beef and Green Bean Stew.

3 Simple Ingredients:

  • Rice: I prefer to use Basmati rice.
  • Olive oil or butter: or a combination of both. I use a little of both.
  • Vermicelli pasta
Lebanese Vermicelli rice

Tips for Making the Best Lebanese Rice:

  • Soak and rinse the rice: Soaking uncooked rice grains for 30 minutes, following by a thorough rinse, results in reduced starchiness in rice dishes as well.
  • Use a heavy bottomed pot to prevent burning or scorching. It’s harder to control a heated surface that is thin.
  • After browning the vermicelli, add and sauté the rice in a little until lightly toasted before adding water.
  • Use a ratio of 1 3/4 cups of water or broth to 1 cup of rice: Too little liquid often results in partially cooked rice stuck to the bottom of the pot, a seemingly permanent condition. Too much liquid, results in gloppy rice.
  • Add salt when the broth or water is stirred into the rice. Don’t wait until the rice is cooked.
  • Cover the pot while the cooking liquid is simmering, be sure to keep it at a low simmer, and don’t be tempted to stir it.
  • When the rice is done, remove from the heat and keep it covered for 10 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
Lebanese rice pilaf


I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a photo and share it on Instagram; be sure to tag me @thesaltandsweetkitchen or join my growing  The Salt and Sweet Facebook community!

Yield: 4

Lebanese Vermicelli Rice

how to make Lebanese rice

This Vegan Lebanese Vermicelli Rice is a staple in the Lebanese cuisine. The rice comes out light, tender and fluffy every time!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes



    1. Place the rice in medium bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Rinse the rice well to get rid of the excess starch which causes rice to be sticky. Carefully pour off the water, leaving the rice in the bowl. Repeat a few times, or until the water runs almost clear. Using a fine strainer, drain the rice before cooking.
    2. In a medium non-stick cooking pan with lid, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the vermicelli and stir continuously until vermicelli pieces are evenly toasted and turned golden brown in color. Vermicelli cooks quick, so pay close attention to this step.
    3. Add the Basmati rice and salt and mix well with the toasted vermicelli.
    4. Add water and bring mixture to a boil.
    5. Lower heat to low, cover your pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
    6. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
    7. Fluff the rice with a fork.
    8. Transfer to a serving platter.
    9. Serve and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Comments (4)

  • Hello Emreline,
    I think you are talking about shish barak, which also usually served over Lebanese Rice with Vermicelli. Shish Barak is on my list of recipes to add here, I love it. Thank you for stopping by!

  • Hi , I always cook rice and vermicelli for my family, as my Parents were Lebanese and I learnt a lot from my Mother. We enjoy all the food from my ancestors country. What I would love to learn to make is Yogurt with mince meat in dough. I forgot the name in Arabic. Thanks for all your Lebanese even Syrian Recipes.

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