Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Feb 26, 2023, Updated Jan 18, 2024
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Cilantro lime rice is the perfect zesty side for a variety of summer dishes. Whether it’s burrito bowls, tacos, or grilled seafood, cilantro lime rice is a great way to add a pop of flavor to an otherwise basic side. I love this recipe because it’s simple, fresh, and can be made in minutes.
Cilantro lime rice hit the mainstream thanks to Chipotle. A zesty, tangy, and flavorful rice seasoned with fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, and salt. It’s undeniably delicious and the hardest part is cooking the rice itself (aka really easy).
Table of Contents
What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice
- Long grain, jasmine, or basmati rice: you can use any style of white rice for this recipe aside from arborio rice. Arborio rice is best suited for risotto recipes like my scallops over risotto. Brown rice works as well, it just provides less of an open canvas for the cilantro and lime to shine through.
- Extra virgin olive oil or butter: Use olive oil or butter to mix into the rice. This helps the flavors cling to the rice and prevents clumping.
- Fresh cilantro: chop very finely and include the stems if you prefer, they are edible and flavorful.
- Limes: I like to juice and zest the limes for added flavor. Lime zest adds a strong pop of flavor that lime juice alone can’t achieve.
- Salt: salt is very important because it helps make all of the flavors pop. Without it, the rice can taste a little bland.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Let rest covered for 5 minutes after it has been removed from the heat.
With the rice still in the saucepan, fluff the rice using a fork. Add olive oil or butter and season with a pinch of salt. Taste and add more salt as needed.
Add cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice (image 3a). Toss until cilantro is evenly distributed. Taste and add more salt, lime, or cilantro as needed (image 3b). Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.
A microplane makes easy work of zesting limes. I use mine for finely grating garlic and cheese as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
2-3 days, sealed. Cooked rice can last about 4 days in the fridge, however, the cilantro loses its freshness quickly.
Yes. White or brown minute rice works for this recipe.
Cilantro is a unique herb with a distinct flavor profile however you can make this recipe with fresh parsley for different, yet equally tasty results.
Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- 1 cup long grain jasmine, or basmati rice, uncooked
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro, stems included
- 1/2 lime, juice squeezed
- salt, to taste
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Let rest covered for 5 minutes after it has been removed from the heat.
- With the rice still in the saucepan, fluff the rice using a fork. Add olive oil and season with salt, to taste. Toss to mix. Add cilantro and lime juice. Toss until cilantro is evenly distributed. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately. Add additional lime juice (or zest), cilantro, or salt as needed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.