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Cilantro Lime Rice

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Cilantro lime rice is a Mexican favorite! This side dish pairs well with beans, chicken tacos, grilled shrimp, sauteed veggies, and more. If you’re a fan of the rice at Chipotle, you’ll love this delicious homemade version. Make this easy recipe in under 30 minutes!

Overhead view of cilantro lime rice in a black Staub pot with two black serving utensils.

CILANTRO LIME RICE INGREDIENTS

These are the ingredients you’ll need for this delicious Mexican rice:

  • Basmati rice
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Water
  • Sea salt
  • Zest of lime
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Cilantro

ANOTHER RECIPE YOU’LL LOVE: Mexican chicken and rice!

Four images showing recipe steps and instructions for making cilantro lime rice.,

CILANTRO LIME RICE

Here’s how to make a cilantro lime rice, step by step:

  • STEP 1: In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and stir until all grains are fully covered in oil.
  • STEP 2: Add minced garlic to the pot.
  • STEP 3: Stir until a few grains of rice become slightly golden.

Four images showing step-by-step instructions for making cilantro lime rice.

HOW TO MAKE CILANTRO LIME RICE

This could easily be considered a copycat version of the Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe! It has that same incredible flavor and beautiful aroma!

  • STEP 4: Add hot water, salt and lime zest to the pot. Stir briefly. Allow the water to come to a vigorous boil.
  • STEP 5: Cover the pot with a lid. Reduce heat to low/simmer. Let rice simmer undisturbed for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Do not lift the lid! Allow the rice to sit in the covered pot for 10 minutes.
  • STEP 6: Lift the cover. Fluff rice with a fork. Add lime juice and cilantro. Continue to mix and fluff.

An individual serving of cilantro lime rice garnished with fresh sprigs of cilantro and limes.

EXPERT TIPS FOR BEST CILANTRO LIME RICE

These helpful tips will ensure your Mexican rice is packed with flavor!

    • USE BASMATI RICE: Although this recipe can be made with long-grain rice, only white Basmati will deliver that authentic flavor and aroma that makes this popular dish so special.
    • SLIGHTLY GOLDEN-COLORED RICE: To ramp up the flavor profile, garlic and rice are sauteed together, and the rice is allowed to become just slightly golden like the Chipotle cilantro lime rice.
    • WHITE CILANTRO LIME RICE: If you prefer an extra-white coloring for this dish, first saute the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add in the rice. Stir the these ingredients for about one minute (don’t allow rice to get brown). Quickly add water, lime zest and salt. Follow remaining recipe instructions.
    • TRY CHICKEN BROTH instead of water! This will give the dish a more savory flavor.
    • HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER RICE: To avoid bacteria growth, ideally refrigerate rice within an hour of making it. After it’s been completely cooled, transfer it to an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. Leftover rice stays fresh for one day.
    • HOW TO REWARM RICE: Place cold rice in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a small amount of water over the top (just wet your clean hands and flick a bit of water on it) to provide some much-needed moisture. Microwave until desired temperature is reached. For food safety, leftover rice should only be reheated once!
    • MAIN DISHES TO SERVE WITH CILANTRO LIME RICE: Complete your flavorful Mexican meal with dishes like chicken tostadas, spicy grilled lime shrimp, and crunchy ground beef tacos.

    KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE

    These are the helpful kitchen tools for making Mexican rice!


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    Print
    Cilantro lime rice to serve with pineapple shrimp skewers.

    Cilantro Lime Rice


    • Author: Denay DeGuzman
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 15 minutes
    • Total Time: 25 Minutes
    • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

    Description

    Cilantro lime rice is a fragrant, flavorful side dish! Enjoy it in veggie bowls, and alongside cooked meats and grilled seafood. This authentic Mexican recipe is very similar to the restaurant-style Chipotle cilantro lime rice!


    Scale

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
    • 11/2 cups white Basmati rice
    • 12 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
    • 21/4 cups hot water
    • 11/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
    • Zest of 1 lime
    • 34 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
    • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves (no stems), chopped

    Instructions

    1. Add oil to a small heavy pot over medium heat. Add rice. Stir to cover all grains with oil.  Add garlic. Stir until a few grains of rice are lightly golden. Add water, salt and lime zest. Stir briefly. Allow the water to come to a roiling boil. Cover pot with a lid. Reduce heat to low/simmer.
    2. Let rice simmer undisturbed for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Do not lift the lid! Let rice rest in the covered pot for 10 minutes.
    3. Lift the lid. Fluff up rice with a fork. This releases steam and prevents rice from becoming sticky. Sprinkle lime juice and cilantro on top. Continue to fluff and mix.

    Notes

    EXPERT TIPS FOR BEST CILANTRO LIME RICE

    • USE BASMATI RICE: Although this recipe can be made with long-grain rice, only white Basmati will deliver that authentic flavor and aroma that makes this popular dish so special.
    • SLIGHTLY GOLDEN-COLORED RICE: To ramp up the flavor profile, garlic and rice are sauteed together, and the rice is allowed to become just slightly golden like Chipotle cilantro lime rice.
    • WHITE CILANTRO LIME RICE: If you prefer an extra-white coloring for this dish, first saute the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add in the rice. Stir the these ingredients for about one minute (don’t allow rice to get brown). Quickly add water, lime zest and salt. Follow remaining recipe instructions.
    • TRY CHICKEN BROTH instead of water! This will give the dish a more savory flavor.
    • HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER RICE: To avoid bacteria growth, ideally refrigerate rice within an hour of making it. After it’s been completely cooled, transfer it to an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. Leftover rice stays fresh for one day.
    • HOW TO REWARM RICE: Place cold rice in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a small amount of water over the top to provide some much-needed moisture. Microwave until desired temperature is reached. For food safety, leftover rice should only be reheated once!
    • Category: Side Dish
    • Method: Stovetop
    • Cuisine: Mexican

    Keywords: cilantro lime rice, Chipotle cilantro lime rice, Mexican rice

    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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    Two vertically stacked images showing cilantro lime rice being cooked and the finished recipe.

    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

    CILANTRO LIME RICE RECIPE > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

    Have you ever tried Chipotle cilantro lime rice? What do you think of this flavorful Mexican side dish? Join the conversation in the comments below!

23 thoughts on “Cilantro Lime Rice”

  1. I love cilantro, so this would be a yummy dish. I have some friends coming over this weekend for my bday, so we will make this!

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