Cilantro Lime Rice
This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is an easy side dish for all your favorite Mexican and Asian meals. It’s flavorful with fresh lime and cilantro, plus extremely versatile. Serve it alongside tacos and grilled meats, stuff it into burritos, or add it to your favorite rice bowls!
Easy Cilantro Rice Recipe
This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is an easy side dish for all your favorite Mexican and Asian meals. It’s fresh and flavorful, plus extremely versatile. Our family prefers it over plain rice, any day of the week!
If you like the rice at Chipotle, you’re going to love this recipe. Fresh lime and cilantro add delicious flavor to the rice, plus this dish is easy to make at home using either a rice cooker or the stovetop.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Side Dish
This cilantro lime rice promises to quickly become a go-to side. Here are a few reasons why:
- Quick and easy! Whether you cook it on the stovetop or in a rice cooker, this side is ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Only 4 ingredients. Rice, lime, cilantro, salt (plus water to cook it in) – that’s all you need!
- Super flavorful. Using both lime juice and lime zest, plus fresh cilantro, means this is a super flavorful way to serve rice.
- Versatility. This dish goes with so many meals. We make cilantro lime rice at least once a week!
What You’ll Need
This is a very simple recipe, requiring only 3 ingredients besides water and salt.
See the recipe card below for exact measurements and full instructions.
- Water – Water is used to cook the rice – you could use chicken or vegetable stock if desired, which would impart some extra flavor. On the stovetop, I use a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part rice. Rice cookers sometimes call for different ratios of water and rice – so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on your specific rice cooker for the best results.
- Rice – See notes below.
- Salt – Salt seasons the rice, to give it a little boost of flavor.
- Cilantro – Cilantro adds a fresh, herby flavor to the rice. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, parsley is a great substitute.
- Lime – Lime juice and zest add a fresh acidity to the rice.
What’s The Best Rice To Use?
You can make homemade cilantro rice with pretty much any type of rice you prefer. I’m using long grain white rice but basmati rice or jasmine rice would also work well.
Brown rice can also be used, but keep in mind that it takes a bit longer to cook – usually 30-35 minutes on the stovetop.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
Below you’ll find the directions for making this easy lime rice side dish using a rice cooker or the stovetop.
- Rinse the rice. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold water, until the water runs clear.
- Cook the rice (RICE COOKER – my preferred method). Add the rice, 2 cups of water (or the amount of water your specific rice cooker calls for), and salt to the rice cooker. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then gently fluff with a fork.
- Cook the rice (STOVETOP). To prepare the rice on the stovetop, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then add the rice and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.
- Add the cilantro and lime. Transfer the cooked rice to a medium bowl, along with the cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest. Fold to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. (When we’re not entertaining, I just fold everything together right in the rice cooker and serve from there.)
Cooking Rice On The Stovetop vs Using A Rice Cooker
You can definitely prepare the rice for this recipe in the rice cooker or on the stovetop. However, I personally prefer to cook rice in the rice cooker – this is a no-fuss cooking method that results in perfect rice every single time, with a light, fluffy texture. I also like the “keep warm” function that keeps the rice at the perfect temperature throughout mealtime.
However, if you don’t have a rice cooker, the stovetop will work just fine! Just be sure to fluff it with a fork before adding the other ingredients, as this method does result in a heavier rice.
Ways to Serve Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro lime rice makes a great side dish to a wide variety of meals, but especially to grilled and roasted meats, Asian meals, and Mexican cuisine. It’s a perfection addition to burritos and rice bowls for added flavor, texture, and heartiness.
A few of my favorite dishes to serve this rice with include:
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Hunan Beef
- Honey Garlic Chicken Bowls
- Tex-Mex Scallop Bowls
- Margarita Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Pork & Pineapple Tacos
- Autumn-Spiced Cheddar Chicken Tacos with Apples
- Pork Carnitas
- Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon
- Mexican Grilled Shrimp Bowls
- Turkey Taco Bowls
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Store any leftover cilantro lime rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop. (Or enjoy chilled in rice bowls!)
More Easy Sides:
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- 2 to 4 cups water (see Notes)
- 2 cups (uncooked) long grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime zest
- Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear, about 1-2 minutes.
- To cook rice in RICE COOKER (my preferred method): Add the rice, 2 cups of water, and salt to the insert of the rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the rice is finished, fluff it gently with a fork before continuing.
- To finish the cilantro lime rice: Add the cooked rice to a medium bowl, along with the cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest. Fold to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (When we’re not entertaining, I just fold everything together right in the rice cooker and serve from there.) Enjoy immediately.
- To cook rice in saucepan on STOVETOP: Add 4 cups of water to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and salt and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, for a gentle simmer, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before continuing.
I prefer to cook rice in a rice cooker because it cooks the rice perfectly every single time and gives the rice a great texture. Although still very good, the stovetop method results in a heavier rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.