Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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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 made with white rice in a bowl on a cutting board with a halved lime and fresh cilantro.

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).

What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice pairs well with my blackened salmon, cilantro lime chicken thighs, steak fajitas, salmon with mango salsa, or even baked chimichangas!

If you’re looking for some delicious tacos to serve along with this recipe, try my carne asada tacos, classic fish tacos, shrimp tacos, pork carnitas tacos, or my quick chicken birria tacos.


Raw, uncooked cilantro lime rice ingredients laid out on a cutting board.
  • 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

Step 1.

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Let rest covered for 5 minutes after it has been removed from the heat.

Cooked white rice in a saucepan resting on a wooden cutting board.

Step 2.

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.

A fork fluffing cooked white rice in a saucepan on a wooden cutting board.

Step 3.

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.

Cooked white rice in a saucepan topped with lime zest and fresh chopped cilantro.
Finished cilantro lime rice in a saucepan.

Quick Tip

A microplane makes easy work of zesting limes. I use mine for finely grating garlic and cheese as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does this last in the fridge?

2-3 days, sealed. Cooked rice can last about 4 days in the fridge, however, the cilantro loses its freshness quickly.

Can I use minute rice?

Yes. White or brown minute rice works for this recipe.

What is the best substitute for cilantro?

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.

Other Cilantro Lime Recipes

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Simple cilantro lime rice made with fresh cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.


  • 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.


While I typically use jasmine or another long-grain rice, any white rice should work for this recipe.


Serving: 3/4 cupCalories: 189kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3.3gFat: 2.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 150mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 0.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenswagger or tag #kitchenswagger!

About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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