Zesty lime and fresh cilantro bring delicious flavor to this Cilantro Lime Rice recipe. Serve it as a side dish with enchiladas or fajitas, add it to burritos or burrito bowls, or enjoy it with chicken or fish.

Cilantro lime rice in serving bowl garnished with lime wedges.

Making Cilantro Lime Rice is Easy!

This cilantro lime rice is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavor! This recipe is so easy to make. It starts with my go-to white rice recipe, and then we’re kicking the flavors up a notch with fresh garlic, lime zest, lime juice and fresh cilantro. The secret to the best cilantro lime rice is to add a generous amount of cilantro and to use both lime zest and juice for lots of bright citrus flavor. So skip the trip to Chipotle’s, you can make perfect cilantro lime rice at home!

Serve this cilantro lime rice with fajitas, chicken enchiladas, tacos, or this cilantro lime chicken. It’s also the perfect addition to burrito bowls or homemade burritos. It’s a versatile, easy recipe that you’re going to be so glad to have in your recipe collection!

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for cilantro lime rice recipe.

The ingredient list for this recipe is nice and simple! Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.

  • Long Grain White Rice: I usually use long grain white rice in this recipe because it makes the fluffiest cilantro lime rice. The cooking method and rice to water ratio should work for any type of long grain white rice, including basmati or jasmine, as well as medium grain white rice. If you want to use brown rice, follow the instructions on your rice package for adjusting the water to rice ratio and cook time.
  • Olive Oil: Or use butter.
  • Fresh Garlic: For flavor.
  • Lime Zest and Juice: You’ll need the zest and juice of one lime.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Remove any tough stems before chopping; thin stems are fine.
  • Salt: For flavor.

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How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

You are going to love the simplicity of this recipe! Here’s a look at the steps:

In a medium saucepan, toast the rice and minced garlic in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring.

Toasting rice and garlic in a small saucepan with wooden spoon for stirring.

Stir in the water and bring to a simmer.

When the water comes to a boil, immediately cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid of the pot while the rice cooks.

Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes, still without lifting the lid. You want all of the steam to stay trapped in the pot.

Then remove the lid and fluff the rice.

Fluffing cooked rice in pot with a fork.

Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and salt.

Chopped cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and salt added to cooked rice in pan.

Recipe Tips

  • Rinse and drain the rice well before adding it to the pot. Rinsing removes any possible dirt or grit, as well as excess starch that could cause your rice to turn out too sticky.
  • Zest the lime before you cut it in half to juice it. It’s much easier that way! A microplane is an inexpensive kitchen tool that’s perfect for zesting citrus.
  • Salt the rice to taste after cooking.
  • You can double this recipe to serve more people. As is, the recipe makes 4 smallish servings.
  • To make cilantro lime rice in the Instant Pot, start with this Instant Pot rice recipe. Use the Instant Pot saute setting to toast the rice and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter before pressure cooking. When you add the water, be sure to scrape up any bits of garlic or rice that are stuck to the pot. After pressure cooking, stir in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and salt (adjusting the ingredient amounts as needed for the amount of rice cooked).
Close up of cilantro lime rice in a serving bowl.

Serving Suggestions

This cilantro lime rice is even better than Chipotle’s, because you make it fresh in your own kitchen and you can adjust the seasonings to your tastes. Here are some delicious ways to serve it:

More Rice Recipes

Cilantro lime rice in serving bowl garnished with lime wedges.
5 from 1 rating

Cilantro Lime Rice

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Zesty lime and fresh cilantro bring delicious flavor to this cilantro lime rice recipe. Serve it as a side dish with enchiladas or fajitas, add it to burritos or burrito bowls, or enjoy it with chicken, fish or shrimp.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro, tough stems removed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well; drain. Set aside.
  • Add the olive oil (or butter) to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the rice and garlic and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the water and bring to a simmer.
  • As soon as the pot comes to a boil, immediately cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 15 minutes, without lifting the lid on the pot. The pot should be at a very low simmer while the rice cooks.
  • Then remove the pot from the heat and let it rest with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the rice. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and salt, to taste. Serve.

Notes

  • You can double this recipe to serve more people. As is, the recipe makes 4 smallish servings.
Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 82mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 184IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Side Dish
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