Cilantro Lime Rice

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
March 19, 2024 | Updated on March 19, 2024

Cilantro lime rice is a vibrant rice dish bursting with bright, herby, citrusy flavor. It’s not a copycat of the Chipotle recipe; it’s better! Use this easy recipe for bowls, burritos, and more.

For more delicious rice recipes, try Mexican Rice, Crab Fried Rice, and this Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe next!

a bowl of cilantro lime rice garnished with cilantro leaves

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Infuse your white rice with fresh lime and cilantro for a flavorful twist. We toast the rice to enhance the taste and improve the texture so it’s soft, fluffy, and tender but never mushy. It’s a harmonious blend of nuttiness and citrusy brightness in each bite.

Why This Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe Works

  • Better Than Fast Food – Make this recipe whenever you’re craving takeout. It tastes better than Chipotle cilantro lime rice and you save a few bucks.
  • Versatile – There are so many ways to serve lime cilantro rice. Use this as a side dish for dinner, make it the base for a yummy rice bowl, or pile it into a burrito for lunch.
  • Quick & Easy – Cook this rice in just 20 minutes for a simple but delicious side dish.
a bowl of cilantro lime rice garnished with cilantro leaves

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Cilantro Lime Rice

What sets this recipe apart from Chipotle’s is the inclusion of chicken broth. It adds a deep, savory flavor that makes this dish outstanding.

  • Avocado oil – This oil adds a subtle richness and toasts the rice.
  • Jasmine rice – Use this or another long-grain rice. Short-grain rice contains more starch and tends to clump together.
  • Chicken broth – Low-sodium chicken broth adds savory depth to the rice without making it overly salty. It infuses the grains with flavor during cooking, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Water – This is the liquid base of the recipe, used to hydrate the grains.
  • Kosher salt – I use Diamond Crystal to enhance the overall taste.
  • Cilantro – Finely chopped cilantro adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the rice, infusing it with brightness. It complements the citrus notes from the lime and lemon juices.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Yes this is lime rice but lemon adds a vibrant citrus taste.
  • Fresh lime juice – This contributes a tangy citrus flavor to the rice, balancing the other ingredients and adding a refreshing twist. Skip the bottled stuff!
a wooden spatula inserted in a pot, tossing toasted rice

How To Make Cilantro Lime Rice

This rice is the perfect balance of citrus flavor and fragrant herbs. Let’s kick things off with a toast!

1. Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil and rice, then toast until rice is lightly golden, keeping a consistent stir. Add bay leaf and cook for another minute.

2. Add chicken broth, water, and salt then bring the mixture to a boil.

a pot of chicken broth, water, and rice with a bay leaf

Reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes (checking at the 15-minute mark), until rice is cooked through.

3. Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and uncover. Leave for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Stir in cilantro, lemon, and lime juice. Serve with desired protein. Enjoy your cilantro lime rice!

a pot of cooked rice with a bay leaf

Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse jasmine rice under cool water before cooking to remove excess starch.
  • Toasting the rice is an essential step. This enhances its flavor and helps prevent it from becoming mushy. Stir continuously to ensure even toasting and avoid burning.
  • Choose fresh ingredients. This recipe has very simple ingredients. Don’t skimp with dried herbs and bottled lemon and lime juice. Fresh ingredients have the best flavor.
  • Allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing. This helps the flavors meld and ensures a fluffy texture.
  • Taste test the rice before serving. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, lime, or lemon juice to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Store leftover cilantro lime rice in an airtight container once it’s cooled down. It lasts up to 4 days in the fridge. Pop it in the microwave to reheat. Add a squeeze of fresh lime to revive the flavor.

Variations

  • Spicy Dice up some jalapeños and toss it in the rice for some heat.
  • Rice Use basmati rice as a substitute for jasmine rice. Brown rice is another alternative but it takes longer to cook.
chopped cilantro on top of a pot of cooked rice

What to Eat with Cilantro Lime Rice

Make a burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice as the base. Add any of the below elements for a satisfying meal.

close up view of a pot of cilantro lime rice with a bay leaf

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze cilantro lime rice?

Yes. You can freeze rice in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen rice overnight in the fridge or reheat it on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.

How do you cut cilantro for rice?

Rinse and dry (well) the cilantro then, finely chop the leaves and stems using a sharp knife. Cilantro is so tender and delicate that you can eat every part, including the stems.

What is a good substitute for cilantro in rice?

If you’re one of the few who dislike cilantro, try another fresh herb like parsley or basil instead.

a plate of cilantro lime rice garnished with cilantro leaves

Looking for More Rice Recipes

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a bowl of cilantro lime rice garnished with cilantro leaves

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice is a vibrant rice dish bursting with bright, herby, citrusy flavor. It's not a copycat of the Chipotle recipe; it's better! Use this easy recipe for bowls, burritos, and more.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican

Equipment

  • Medium Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • ¾ cup chicken broth, low sodium
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • teaspoons fresh lemon juice, do not use bottled
  • teaspoons fresh lime juice, do not use bottled

Instructions

  • Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil and rice, then toast until rice is lightly golden, keeping a consistent stir. Add bay leaf and cook for another minute.
  • Add chicken broth, water, and salt then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes (checking at the 15-minute mark), until rice is cooked through.
  • Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and uncover. Leave for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in cilantro, lemon, and lime juice. Serve with desired protein. Enjoy!
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a bowl of cilantro lime rice garnished with cilantro leaves

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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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