Cilantro Lime Rice (Stove Top or Rice Cooker)

Cilantro lime rice in a white bowl.

This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is easy to make and the best side dish for all of your favorite Mexican recipes. It can be made on the stove top or in a rice cooker in just 35 minutes. It’s as quick and easy to make as Mexican Rice and Green Rice.

Chipotle Rice Recipe

Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice ain’t got nothing on this homemade bad boy. With only 5 ingredients, plus salt and water, you’ll find yourself making this week after week instead of hitting up Chipotle.

It’s the perfect accompaniment to Carne Asada, Street Tacos, Pollo Asado, Achiote Chicken and Camarónes a la Diabla.

Labeled photo showing ingredients to make cilantro lime rice.

Ingredients

Here are the main ingredients required to make this dish. For the full list of ingredients, and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Rice

We recommend using Jasmine rice or Basmati rice when making, although any long grain white rice would work.

Fresh Lime Juice

It’s imperative to use fresh lime juice when making lime rice. The flavor profile is vastly superior to bottled lime juice. While you’re at it, add some lime zest to the mix for another layer of citrus lime flavor.

Cilantro

Use as much or as little chopped fresh cilantro as you see fit. 

chopped cilantro on top of rice in a pan.

How to Make Chipotle’s Rice

Only a few short steps stand between you and restaurant-style Lime Cilantro Rice. This only highlights the key steps. For the full list of instructions reference the recipe card below.

Stove Top Version

Rinsing – Place the rice in a mesh sieve and place under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

Sauté – Sauté the rice and garlic.

Cooking – Add the water and salt and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Patiently Wait – Let the rice sit for 10 minutes.

Serve – Add the cilantro and lime juice and fluff the rice with a fork.

Cilantro Lime Rice (Rice Cooker)

Rinsing – Place the rice in a mesh sieve and place under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

Cooking – Add the oil, garlic, rice, water, and salt to the rice cooker and set to cook.

Serve – Add the cilantro and lime juice and fluff the rice with a fork.

Cooked grains in a silver pan.

Variations

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice – swap in equal parts brown rice for white rice. Brown rice does take longer to cook, so check the back of the bag for the time you’ll need to boil the rice.

Lemon Cilantro Rice – Swap in fresh lemon juice for fresh lime juice in equal parts. 

Serving Suggestions

This cilantro lime rice recipe can be served with the same things that can be served with tacos. Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve this flavorful rice:

Stuffed Burrito – add your favorite protein and vegetables to make a Chipotle-style burrito. Top it off with 4-ingredient guacamole, cheese and salsa

Burrito Bowl – add your favorite protein and vegetables to make a Chipotle-style bowl. Don’t forget the 4-ingredient guacamole, black beans, cheese, lettuce and salsa. 

Side Dish – cilantro rice makes the perfect side dish to Carne Picadamilanesa de pollo, fajitas, Taco recipes, roasted sweet potato tacos and more. Round it off with refried beans or Frijoles Charro to make a platter you’d see at your local taqueria.

Milanesa de pollo with rice and black beans.

Recipe Tips

  • We highly recommend using a non-stick pan to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom and burning.
  • Make sure to fluff the rice with a fork after cooking (don’t stir) to ensure a nice consistency.

FAQ’s 

Here are a few common questions you may have when making:

Do You Use Cilantro Stems

The stems of cilantro have a much stronger flavor than the leaves. It’s up to you whether you want to include cilantro stems or not. They are edible and delicious.

silver fork fluffing cooked grains in a silver pan.

1 Cup Uncooked Rice To Cooked

1 cup of uncooked white rice makes 3 cups cooked white rice. As this recipe takes 1 cup of rice, you’ll have 3 cups of cooked rice. One serving is 1/2 cup, so you’re left with 6 servings.

Do I Have To Rinse The Rice

Yes! Do not skip this step as it will drastically affect the outcome of the recipe in a negative way. Rinsing the rice removes all the starch thereby making it less likely to be mushy and clump. Plan on spending 2-3 minutes to properly rinse the rice.

Rice in a silver sieve next to a variety of ingredients.

Storage and Re-heating

Refrigerate – after cooling, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 4-5 days.

Freeze – after cooling, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Re-heat – add to a microwave safe container with a few tsp of chicken broth or water and heat for 1 minute. Stir and repeat in 30 second increments until warmed through out.

Chipotle's Lime Rice in a white bowl with lime slices.

Drink Pairings

When enjoying this Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe or celebrating Cinco de Mayo, we always reach for a Mexican Drink like a MicheladaMango Michelada or Margarita.

Cilantro lime rice in a white bowl.

Cilantro Lime Rice (Stove Top or Rice Cooker)

Cilantro Lime Rice is easy to make and the best side dish for all of your favorite Mexican recipes. It's the perfect accompaniment to Street Tacos, Pollo Asado and Carne Asada.
This cilantro lime recipe can be made on the stove top or in a rice cooker in just 30 minutes. It's as quick and easy to make as Mexican Rice.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $2.50

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup Basmati or Jasmine rice ((*Note 1))
  • cup water (2 cups if making in a rice cooker)
  • 1 lime, juiced ((*Note 2))
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼-½ cup cilantro, chopped ((*Note 3))

Instructions

PREP THE RICE

  • Place the rice in a mesh sieve and place under cold running water until the water runs clear. This removes the excess starch. It will take approx. 2-3 minutes. Drain well.

STOVE TOP CILANTRO LIME RICE

  • Pre-heat the oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and sauté for approx. 5 minutes until the rice is toasted.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add the salt and water and bring it to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  • Remove from the heat and let sit, with the cover still on, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the lime juice and cilantro and fluff with a fork. Taste and add extra salt, if needed.

RICE COOKER CILANTRO LIME RICE

  • Add the oil, garlic, rice, water, and salt to the rice cooker and stir to combine.
  • Following the manufacturers instructions for your model, fill to the appropriate waterline (ours takes 2 cups), close the lid and set to cook.
  • Once the rice is done cooking, add the lime juice and cilantro and fluff with a fork. Taste and add extra salt, if needed.

Notes

Note 1 – any long grain white rice will work.
Note 2 – for even more citrus flavor, throw in some lime zest.
Note 3- Start with 1/4 cup of cilantro and add more, to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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