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How to make Cilantro Lime Rice: a Chipotle favorite

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This cilantro lime rice is a Mexican night must-have! Tangy lime, fresh cilantro, and fragrant rice come together to create a dish that is as flavorful as it is easy to make. This recipe is ready in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal.

white bowl filled with rice topped with cilantro and lime wedges.

Quick Cilantro Lime Rice

Do you love Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice? It’s one of my favorite things on the menu! Perfectly cooked and salted white rice is mixed with fresh cilantro, zesty lime juice, and a touch of olive oil or butter. Yes, it’s really that simple and delicious!

In this blog post, I am going to show you how to make cilantro lime rice without having to pick up Chipotle takeout. You will be surprised at how much flavor this rice has, and it will definitely become a new favorite in your household!

Let’s do this.

Why you’ll love this quick & easy Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Perfect side dish for Taco Tuesday! This rice goes with pretty much everything from tacos and Mexican Pizza to quesadillas and enchiladas.
  • Leftovers taste even better the next day! Just reheat and add a little extra lime juice or cilantro, if desired.
  • This recipe is easily doubled for a larger crowd. Simply use a larger pot and cook according to directions.
  • Cilantro lime rice is great as a main dish too! Just add some black beans, grilled chicken, or shrimp.
  • Ready in just 30 minutes! You can have this rice on the table in no time!
  • Satisfies your Chipotle craving without having to leave home!
overhead shot of rice in a bowl topped with lime wedges & cilantro.

Equipment needed to make this copycat Chipotle rice

If I didn’t have you at Chipotle-inspired cilantro lime rice, I am sure to get you at one pot! That’s right! All you need for this recipe is a few measly measuring cups and a medium to a large pot with a lid. You could also use some silicone spoons (I use these for everything) and a lemon/lime juicer. See, I told you this recipe was quick and easy!

Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Rice

Below is a list of the few ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

OLIVE OIL – I use a high quality extra virgin olive oil but butter will also work.
CILANTRO – Fresh chopped cilantro is preferable but a cilantro paste will work if that’s what you have.
RICE – I use Ben’s original white rice.
SALT
LIMEThe juice of one lime, approximately 1/3 cup.

labeled ingredients laid out to make cilantro lime rice.

How to make Cilantro Lime Rice

STEP ONE: Start by heating the olive oil in your pot over medium heat. Then, add the rice and lime juice and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant.

STEP TWO: Now, it’s time to add water, salt, and cilantro. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid.

STEP THREE: Simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender, all the water has been absorbed, and it’s cooked through. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes, then fluff with a fork.

STEP FOUR: To finish, stir in the fresh chopped cilantro (or cilantro paste) and a little bit more lime juice to taste. Serve immediately.

Watch me make it over on TikTok, it’s really quick and easy!

saucepan filled with rice with a wooden spoon.

What to serve with this easy Cilantro Lime Rice recipe

Now that you know how to make cilantro-lime rice, it’s time to decide what to serve it with! You can’t go wrong with homemade tortilla chips and salsa to get you started!

For the main course, here are some of my favorite Mexican-inspired dishes: (P.S. don’t forget to save room for dessert!)

How to store and reheat cilantro lime rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe only gets better with age (in my opinion). Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little bit of water until warmed through.

Can I freeze cooked rice?

Yes! This cilantro lime rice recipe freezes well. Simply place cooled rice in a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge or reheat from frozen in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little bit of water until warmed through.

FAQs

Do I have to use white rice?

Nope! You can use any type of rice you want, from white, brown, basmati, or jasmine. The chew will be a little different depending on what you choose, but the taste is still just as amazing. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as different types of rice have different cook times.

Should I stir my rice halfway through cooking?

Nope! You don’t want to stir the rice or even lift the lid while it’s cooking as this will release all the steam and may result in the top layer of rice being undercooked and dry. Just let it be and do its thing!

Can I add other seasonings?

Yes! This cilantro lime rice recipe is very versatile. Feel free to add in other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, Tajin, or cumin. If you like some spice, a diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce gives it a hint of smokey and heat!

Does Chipotle have rice without cilantro?

Yes, but it is special order so takes longer. The beauty of making this rice at home is you can make it however you want! Don’t want cilantro? Skip it.

Need more restaurant copycat recipes? Try these:

Hard Rock Cafe Twisted Mac & Cheese
TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce
Cracker Barrel Green Beans

Click here for my entire collection of side dish recipes.

bowl of rice topped with cilantro and garnished with lime wedges.

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white bowl filled with rice topped with cilantro and lime wedges.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Melissa Williams
This cilantro lime rice is a Mexican night must-have! Tangy lime, fresh cilantro, and fragrant rice come together to create a dish that is as flavorful as it is easy to make. This recipe is ready in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 126 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • cup white rice
  • cup lime juice juice of one lime
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro chopped (or 1 tsp cilantro paste)

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large saucepan over low heat and add the olive oil.
    1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Stir in the rice and lime juice and cook for one minute.
    ⅔ cup white rice, ⅓ cup lime juice
  • Add in the water, salt, and cilantro. Stir, then bring to a boil.
    1 cup water, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cilantro
  • Once boiling, stir, cover the pot, turn the heat down, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  • Once done, drizzle with a tiny bit more olive oil and fluff with a fork.

Notes

Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 296mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Originally published January 9, 2015

Making cilantro lime rice at home is nearly as easy as ordering it at your favorite Mexican restaurant! | Persnickety Plates

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