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This is my version of Chipotle’s famous Cilantro Lime Rice. It’s an excellent side dish choice for a wide variety of entrées and so easy to make at home.
This recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice is part of a collection of recipes that I make so often I don’t need to refer to the recipe anymore. I remember how unique it seemed when we first tried Chipotle’s version back in the 90’s. It’s hard to believe now that it has become such a regular on our menu. I’m determined to get these “everyday recipes” published here on Valerie’s Kitchen so I can share them with you all.
I’ve discovered some key ingredient and method tips that ensure a light and fluffy rice, just like Chipotle’s. This is a quick and easy side dish that I hope you will love as much as we do.
- It is important to start with a long grain white rice. I most often use jasmine rice but basmati also works well. There is no need to rinse or soak your rice in advance. Toasting the rice in a little vegetable oil at the beginning of the process enhances the flavor and I’ve found that it helps ensure the cooked rice will not be sticky or starchy. I use this method with my Restaurant Style Mexican Rice and it has never failed me.
- Either low sodium chicken or vegetable broth is used in place of water to add additional flavor to the rice.
- The rice is flavored with a little salt, fresh lime juice, and a good amount of cilantro. Salt is an optional ingredient and can be added to taste.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
- Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and season with salt, if using. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 4 or 5 minutes.
- Add broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and use a spoon to stir and fluff the cooked rice.
- Add the juice from one lime and plenty of roughly chopped cilantro leaves.
Cilantro Lime Rice is the perfect side dish for Mexican entrees like enchiladas and makes a super tasty base for burrito bowls. I also love to serve it with seafood and recipes with Asian-inspired flavors. Here are some of my recipes that pair perfectly with this rice.
- Shredded Mexican Beef or Carnitas (for the most awesome burrito bowls EVER!)
- Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce
- Steak Fajitas
- Easy Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables
- Blackened Mahi Mahi
- Orange Sesame Ginger Glazed Salmon
More Easy Rice Recipes
- Coconut Rice with Cilantro and Lime
- Almond Rice Pilaf
- Jambalaya Rice
- Salsa Rice
- Spanish Rice with Ground Beef
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1½ cup long grain white rice like jasmine or basmati
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth can use water, if desired
- 1 fresh lime juiced
- ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro or to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over MEDIUM heat. Add the rice and season with the salt, if using. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir and fluff the rice with a spoon. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro and serve.