Easy to make and so flavorful, Cilantro Lime Rice is the perfect side dish to pair with your favorite Mexican meals. Made with just 6 simple ingredients and on the dinner table in just 20 minutes!
Cilantro Lime Rice is a great addition to taco night, burrito bowls, enchiladas and so much more. If you’re a fan of Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice, you have got to try this recipe. It’s simple, yet SO tasty. A small amount of butter adds richness, and the fresh flavors from the cilantro and citrusy lime make this dish one that you’re going to want to make on repeat!
Skip the trip to Chipotle and make your own Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl! It’s healthier, satisfying and packed with incredible flavor!
Why you should make this recipe
- So easy to make: If you can boil water, you can make this recipe! And the best part, you only need 6 ingredients!
- Delicious: You will love how fresh and bright this rice tastes! It’s one of those simple recipes that really elevates any meal.
- Versatile: This side dish complements a variety of main dishes, from Asian meals like healthy orange chicken to homemade steak bowls and other Mexican-inspired recipes.
- Meal prep recipe: Leftovers store well, and can be used throughout the week for quick burrito bowls and other lunch and dinner pairings.
- Rice: For the best flavor and texture, we recommend long-grain white jasmine or basmati rice for this recipe.
- Water: For cooking the rice. Feel free to use veggie broth, if preferred.
- Butter: Adds a rich taste and lovely texture to the rice.
- Salt: To enhance all of the flavors.
- Lime: Use fresh lime juice from half of a lime for bright citrus flavor.
- Cilantro: Use as much freshly minced cilantro as you’d like.
How to make this recipe
- Wash rice: In a large bowl under cold water, wash rice for 2-5 minutes until the water runs clear. Soak for at least 5 minutes.
- Simmer rice: Boil 3.5 cups of water in a large saucepan, pour rice, and cover immediately. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the water has dried into the rice and the rice is soft.
- Finish with cilantro and lime: Place 2 tablespoons of butter on the rice to melt with the heat off. Just before serving, add the minced cilantro and lime juice and gently mix to combine.
- Rice washing: Be sure to wash the rice until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming too sticky during the cooking process.
- Nonstick pan: Since the rice will absorb all of the water while it cooks, it can easily stick to the bottom, so it’s recommended to use a nonstick saucepan or pot.
- Fresh lime juice: For the best flavor, be sure to use fresh lime juice and not bottled lime juice.
- Spice it up: If you’d like to add a little heat to the rice, stir in a minced jalapeño or hot green chilies.
- Cauliflower rice: Here’s our recipe for cilantro lime cauliflower rice for a low-carb, lighter option.
- Refrigerator: Allow to completely cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about 4 days.
- To reheat: Warm in the microwave in 30 second intervals, and fluff with a fork. You may want to add a little bit of liquid before rewarming if the rice seems dry.
- To freeze: Once completely cooled, place rice in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to about 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge or at room temperature before reheating in the microwave.
Need some pairing ideas? Start with some of my favorites:
- Shrimp Tacos
- Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Foil Pack Cajun Chicken and Veggies
- Shrimp Fajitas
What type of rice is best for making cilantro lime rice?
We highly recommend long-grain white jasmine rice for a firmer, fluffier texture. Do not use short-grain rice, as it will become too soft, moist and sticky during preparation. For a healthier option, you can make this with brown rice, however the texture will not be quite the same, and you’ll need to increase the cook time and possibly the amount of liquid needed.
Does Chipotle have cilantro-lime rice?
Yes! According to Chipotle, their cilantro lime rice is made with long-grain rice steamed in water with a bay leaf, and then once cooked, salt, oil, cilantro, lime juice and lemon juice are added.
Can you freeze cilantro lime rice?
Yes! This rice freezes very well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container. If using a bag, squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for about an hour at room temperature before reheating in the microwave.
Cilantro Lime Rice
- Wash rice in a large bowl under cold water for 2-5 minutes until the water runs clear. Soak for at least 5 minutes.
- Boil 3.5 cups of water in a large saucepan, pour rice, and cover immediately. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the water has dried into the rice and the rice is soft.
- Place 2 tablespoons of butter on the rice to melt with the heat off. Just before serving, add the minced cilantro and lime juice and gently mix to combine.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.