Cilantro lime rice to serve with pineapple shrimp skewers.

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Author: Denay | Confetti and Bliss
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


Cilantro lime rice is a fragrant, flavorful and versatile side dish! It’s perfect when enjoyed in veggie bowls, Mexican meals, and alongside cooked meats and grilled seafood. Here’s how to make cilantro lime rice you’ll be proud to serve at your next party, family gathering, or as part of a delicious mid-week meal.



  • 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


  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.



This is how to make cilantro lime rice you and your family will really enjoy!

USE BASMATI: 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.

PURE WHITE COLOR VS SLIGHTLY GOLDEN: To ramp up the flavor profile, garlic and rice are sauteed together, and the rice is allowed to become just slightly golden. However, for an extra-white color like the Chipotle cilantro lime rice, first saute the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add in the rice. Stir the these ingredients for about one minute (do not 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 your cilantro lime rice a more savory flavor.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Cilantro Lime Rice, Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe