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Cilantro Lime Rice

This Cilantro Lime Rice is fresh, vibrant, and the perfect side for all your summer recipes! Serve it with your favorite Mexican recipes or enjoy it on its own. It’s super easy to make and perfect for meal prep.

Cilantro Lime Rice in bowl
This Cilantro Lime Rice is fresh, vibrant, and flavorful. It’s perfect for summer.

Cilantro Lime Rice

We love rice as an easy, healthy starch to add to quick weeknight meals, but sometimes you want a bit of extra flavor in your rice. That’s why we can’t get enough of dishes like Mexican Rice and Rice Pilaf that still use this delicious kitchen staple, but amps up the flavors.

Cilantro Lime Rice is one of these simple variations that make it impossible to get bored with rice. The lime and cilantro make this dish super flavorful and bring a light summer freshness. It’s the perfect opportunity to put your herb garden to use!

This dish is perfect served with Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, but also could be added to any weeknight dinner, because it’s so easy to make.

Cilantro Lime Rice in a pot
Cilantro lime rice is the perfect dish to switch up your average side of rice.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

  • For those of us that have a serious Chipotle habit, this dish is just as delicious as their cilantro lime rice (I would say even better). It’s a great way to enjoy those Tex-Mex flavors while saving money on eating out.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice is quick to throw together with just 10 minutes of prep time needed.
  • It’s perfect for meal prep. Make a big batch of it and store it in the fridge for the perfect side to any lunch!
  • This dish is garnished with healthy ingredients. Cilantro is packed full of health benefits and lime boasts high vitamin C. It’s a great way to add more nutritional value to your rice.
  • It’s packed with flavor! Not only is the rice garnished with bold, fresh ingredients, but it’s also toasted beforehand in butter, garlic, and onion making it an absolutely mouthwatering side.

Key Ingredients

  • Cilantro – This bold herb boasts a flavor that is unmistakable. It works with the lime to bring those light, summer flavors to this dish while also adding numerous health benefits.
  • Lime – This vibrant citrus is packed with vitamin C and offers the perfect sour, tart flavor to make this rice stand out.
  • Salted Butter – Butter truly takes everything to the next level. If you’ve never toasted your rice before cooking it, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise! Toasting your rice helps give it a more nutty, deep flavor. It will also add that perfect buttery flavor that blends all the ingredients together into one amazing dish.
  • Garlic – Garlic offers its signature fragrant flavor that complements the cilantro and lime’s boldness.
  • Onion – Sweet and aromatic, sautéed onions balance out the flavors in this dish perfectly.
jasmine rice in a measuring cup
We love using Jasmine rice for this recipe, because of its soft, fluffy texture and quick cooking time.

Key Tips For Success

There are a few tips and tricks to help give this rice that coveted better-than-Chipotle status. Take note of these, and you’ll have a consistent outcome that you can enjoy any night of the week.

  • Pay attention to rice. We like using Jasmine rice for this recipe, because of its soft, fluffy texture and quick cooking time. Jasmine rice uses a 1:1 1/2 ratio of rice to water. If you choose to use another variety of rice, the cooking time may be longer and you may need more water, as some varieties of rice use a 1:2 ratio.
  • Rinse your rice. Always make sure to rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking to clean it and remove excess starch. Just make sure to fully drain and pat it dry before toasting it.
  • Swap the water with broth. Although this isn’t a required step for delicious rice, swapping your water with vegetable, chicken, or bone broth can add extra flavor and boost the health benefits of this rice. Just omit the salt if you choose to do this.
Jasmine rice in a pot
Always pay attention to the cooking times and water ratios on the package of your rice.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use brown rice for this recipe?

You absolutely can! Just note that brown rice will most likely take longer to cook. Follow the package instructions for your rice to determine the amount of water you need and best cooking time.

How long can I keep cilantro lime rice?

You can store this rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Just try to cool the rice as quickly as possible to prevent bacteria growth. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it as well.

Can I use oil instead of butter to toast my rice?

Yes! Although we love the flavor the butter adds to the rice, you can definitely substitute oil if you don’t like it or are looking for a vegan option. It still turns out delicious.

Can I adjust the level of lime and cilantro in the rice?

Absolutely. The amount of lime and cilantro can be adjusted according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a stronger citrus flavor, add more lime juice or even some lime zest. Increase or decrease the amount of chopped cilantro, based on your preference.

Can I make cilantro lime rice ahead of time for a party or gathering?

Yes, you can prepare cilantro lime rice a few hours ahead of time, though we recommend no more than 2-3 hours in advance. That way, your rice stays warm and you’ll only need to gently reheat it before serving. We do not recommend making this rice the night before, as large portions of rice that has been chilled in the fridge is harder to reheat.

What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Rice

  • We love this rice served with any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. Pork Carnitas and Carne Asada Tacos are some of our favorite taco recipes that we think would go wonderfully with this rice.
  • For those Chipotle cravings, incorporate this rice into a burrito bowl. We love the Carnitas Burrito Bowl and the Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl. Simply substitute this Cilantro Lime Rice for the rice called for in these recipes for a restaurant-quality meal.
  • This rice is the perfect way to spice up any weeknight dinner. Swap Cilantro Lime rice for plain rice to take your quick meals to the next level. Try serving it with this Easy Baked Salmon or this Easy Lemon Butter Fish for a healthy and tasty weeknight meal.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice is so versatile, you can serve it with any protein and veggie. For a full meal, try pairing it with these mouthwatering Marinated Chicken Kabobs and this Avocado Salsa.
Pork Carnitas Tacos garnished
This Cilantro Lime Rice is the perfect addition to any Mexican dish. Try pairing it with the Pork Carnitas Tacos.

More To Make And Eat

  • Easy Fried Rice – Just as good as takeout, this easy fried rice is quick to throw together and full of flavor. It’ll have you saying goodbye to takeout.
  • Chinese Sticky Rice – This rice is perfect for meal prep. With ingredients like Chinese sausage, tamari sauce, and sesame oil, Chinese Sticky Rice is definitely not lacking in flavor and the leftovers are even better!
  • Cuban Rice and Beans – Made with bold spices like cumin and oregano, and a healthy dose of bacon; this rice dish is anything but bland.
  • Easy Thai Fried Rice – Done in under 20 minutes, this Thai Fried Rice is perfect for weeknights. It’s also packed with vegetables and is balanced with protein from shrimp.
  • Instant Pot Jasmine Rice – For a classic rice recipe ready in minutes, check out this Instant Pot Jasmine Rice. Light and fluffy, this rice is the perfect side to any meal.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Cilantro Lime Rice in bowl

Cilantro Lime Rice

5 from 65 ratings
This Cilantro Lime Rice is fresh, vibrant, and perfect for summer! Serve it with your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes or enjoy it on its own.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Amy Dong


For Garnish

  • Juice of one medium sized lime
  • cups freshly chopped cilantro


  • Heat butter in a large, deep saucepan until bubbly. Add onion and garlic, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Add rice and stir 3 minutes. Add appropriate amount of water – check your rice package labeling for specific water to rice ratio for your brand/type of rice.
  • Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Without opening lid, turn heat off. Let rest an additional 5 minutes covered.
  • Fluff rice with fork and sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro. Serve warm.


  • We like jasmine rice, which is a 1:1 ½ ratio of rice to water. However, you can use any long grain rice; follow package instructions for rice to water ratio. 
  • You can use vegetable, chicken, or beef broth instead of rice. If you do this, skip the added salt.
  • Check out our favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes to serve this rice with.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 518mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Method: Stovetop
5 from 65 votes (65 ratings without comment)

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