Cilantro-Lime Rice

04.23.2019

Bright and flavorful Cilantro Lime Rice! This is such an easy side dish that pairs perfectly with just about any Mexican dish, it’s great with seafood too. Chances are you’ve had it at popular Mexican chain restaurants like Chipotle or Cafe Rio but nows the time to learn how to make it at home. People of all ages love it!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a cream ceramic serving bowl set over a brown matte plate. Rice is garnished with cilantro, lime, avocado and orchid flower.

Cilantro Lime Rice

My family loves this rice and I love that it’s one of those things we can all agree on. Nothing fancy, nothing too bold just simple rice with a nice zip to it.

It makes perfect left over rice so you could definitely make it a day in advance and just rewarm it the following day, I’d say the texture is even better after it has rested a while in the fridge.

It also makes a great filling for your favorite burritos, it’s perfect in a taco bowl, it’s makes a delicious side to grilled salmon, and it even makes a tasty topping on a Mexican salad too. Like I said, such a versatile side dish!

Make a batch this week! And while you’re at it pile avocado slices on top, because why not? Everything is better with avocado!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Ingredients Needed for Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Long grain white rice – I like to rinse the rice first so the end result isn’t so sticky.
  • Olive oil – used for sauteing, vegetable oil will work great too.
  • Green onion – I like green onion here because it’s more mild.
  • Garlic – love garlic? Feel free to add more.
  • Hot water – of course cold water works too, hot water will just reach a boil faster.
  • Fresh lime – only use fresh lime juice for best flavor.
  • Salt – I like to use about 1/2 tsp but I don’t like things very salty so adjust to taste.
  • Cilantro – only use fresh cilantro here, dried would give it an entirely different flavor.

Showing how to make cilantro lime rice, starting by sauteing green onion and garlic in a saucepan.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear, drain well, set aside.
  • Saute aromatics: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 30 seconds.

Boiling water in saucepan with rice and flavorings.

  • Boil water: Pour in water, 1 Tbsp lime juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cook rice: Add rice and spread even. Reduce heat to low, cover with a snug lid and let simmer until water has been absorbed, about 18 – 20 minutes.
  • Rest off heat: Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes (or up to 30 minutes).
  • Add fresh flavorings: Stir in cilantro and remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice. Serve warm.

Resting cilantro lime rice in a saucepan covered with a lid off heat on a grey napkin.

Can I Make This in a Rice Cooker?

I haven’t tested it yet in a rice cooker but it should work great in a rice cooker too.

Can I Make it with Brown Rice?

Brown rice would work as well, you’ll just have to increase the simmer time to about 45 – 50 minutes, increase water to 3 cups total and skip the rinsing beforehand.

How to Make it Spicy

Add a jalapeño for a little flair. Just mince then add along with the onion. Or toss in some canned green chilies (well drained) at the end.

Adjust the Cilantro to Taste

I’ve found 1/3 cup chopped cilantro is right about what I like but you can definitely increase to 1/2 cup or even 3/4 cup if you want a bolder cilantro flavor, or reduce to just a couple of tablespoons if you want more of a mild flavor. The beauty of cooking at home, make it exactly how you like it!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice with Chicken and Black Beans

Want to make it a one pan meal? Try my One Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken Black Beans and Rice. Delicious and so easy!

Serving bowl full of cilantro lime rice garnished with avocado slices, cilantro leaves, orchid flower and lime.

More Rice Recipes to Try:

More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love:

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Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes

This is easy side dish is brimming with bright fresh flavor, and it's perfectly hearty and satisfying. It's delicious paired with all your favorite Mexican food or try it with seafood too.

Servings: 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dry long grain white rice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 2 3/4 cups hot water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear, drain well, set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 30 seconds.

  3. Pour in water, 1 Tbsp lime juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  4. Add rice and spread even. Reduce heat to low, cover with a snug lid and let simmer until water has been absorbed, about 18 - 20 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes.  

  6. Stir in cilantro and remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts
Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 186 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 203mg9%
Potassium 68mg2%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 115IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Cilantro Lime Rice
Calories: 186 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
Post first shared Feb. 2016, recipe has been updated. If you loved the previous recipe just let me know and I can e-mail it to you! I just like this one better so I updated things a bit.

44 comments

  • Kathy Quintero: Can I make this tonight to take tomorrow for away dinner? Would it be okay to reheat in oven? I need to make double all the recipes I’m using to send dinner to my daughter’s house tomorrow..making mexican style stuffed pepper, this rice, watermelon cucumber salad (they’ll have to assemble and add dressing there) and zuchinni cake. May 23, 2019 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t ever reheated it in the oven but I do rewarm in the microwave all the time. The oven may work just cover the baking dish tightly with foil, and toss in a little water if needed. May 23, 2019 at 7:36pm Reply

  • Susan: I love the original recipe and make it all the time! Would you mind emailing it to me as well? Thank you so much! April 28, 2019 at 7:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just sent it over. Sorry I didn’t realize a lot of people were still using the previous version :). April 28, 2019 at 11:47am Reply

  • Debbie Kane: Perfectly seasoned and fluffy. Paired this with pan seared ahi tuna, soy ginger lime sauce, and chopped avocado. Thank you for sharing this recipe. April 27, 2019 at 8:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Debbie! Thanks for leaving a review! April 27, 2019 at 9:27pm Reply

  • Tee: Hi! I made the original recipe last weekend. It was so delicious and I wanted to make it again! Is there any way to get access? Thank you!! April 27, 2019 at 10:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just emailed it to you :). April 27, 2019 at 11:21am Reply

  • Dirose: Could this be made ahead of time and frozen? April 26, 2019 at 5:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tested but I’ve heard rice does freeze well so I imagine it should. April 28, 2019 at 1:32pm Reply

  • zahra: HELLO, is it a polou (pilaf) or kateh (one pot)? April 25, 2019 at 2:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Not really either but closer to a pilaf. April 25, 2019 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Cindy Garrison: I made this two times. Once for work and once for labor day. Everyone loved it. We’re having a Mexican carry in and It’s one of the things I’m making by request. September 12, 2018 at 4:14am Reply

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