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March 30, 2024

Cilantro Lime Rice

Fresh cilantro, lime zest and lime juice flavor this bright, herb-studded rice, which upgrades all of your favorite Mexican-inspired meals (and more).


homemade cilantro lime rice in a bowl with a wooden spoon

More Simple & Yummy Rice Recipes To Liven Up Your Meal

Our Homemade Cilantro-Lime Rice Recipe Makes The Perfect Side Dish

That super-delicious, fluffy white rice with a hint of lime juice that fills Chipotle burritos and burrito bowls is really easy to replicate at home, and our easy cilantro-lime rice recipe proves it. If you can cook white rice (and even if you think you can’t) you can make this simple, flavorful cilantro-lime rice. It’s a great side dish for any Mexican meal, and of course it’s a truly perfect partner for Cilantro-Lime Chicken Thighs. Add guacamole and homemade salsa and you have a true feast.

cilantro, rice, oil, salt, lime zest and juice in prep bowls to make cilantro lime rice

The Best Cilantro-Lime Rice, In Just 5 Ingredients

  • Long-grain white or jasmine rice

  • Vegetable oil

  • Salt

  • A lime

  • Cilantro. If you’re a person for whom cilantro tastes soapy (it’s a genetic thing, apparently) don’t substitute anything. Since this rice really only has two main ingredients, it’s pretty tough to sub in any alternatives. Try our Coconut Rice which pairs beautifully with a lot of the same dishes as this one, like Carnitas or Carne Asada.

long grain white rice being rinsed in a fine mesh sieve
rice, water and oil in a pot
white rice being tossed with cilantro, lime zest and lime juice in a pot
cilantro lime rice in a pot made with white rice tossed with cilantro and lime juice and lime zest

How To Make Cilantro-Lime Rice

  1. Rinse your rice, and seriously don’t skip this step! Rinsing the rice removes the starch (as well as any residual dust from processing) from the grains, which is the secret to fluffy, non-clumpy rice. A fine-mesh strainer is helpful for this.

  2. Pour the rinsed and drained rice into a saucepan or small pot with a lid that fits well along with salted water—we’re working with a ratio that’s nearly 1:1 water : rice—and a bit of oil for richness.

  3. Simmer time! Simmer—and don’t fuss with that lid—for a full 20 minutes.

  4. Lift the cover and fluff the rice with a fork.

  5. Gently stir in the the lime zest (the easiest way to zest a lime is with a microplane grater), juice and cilantro and stir until it is herby and delicious.

homemade cilantro lime rice in a bowl with a wooden spoon

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Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 110


  • 2 cups long-grain white or jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, 2½ cups water, the vegetable oil, and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  2. Remove the lid and fluff the rice using a fork. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit on the hot stove for another 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories110
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates15 g
  • Total Fat5 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium395 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Cilantro Lime Rice

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Flora

    How do you rewarm the rice if you put it in the refrigerator

    Cover it with a damp paper towel in the microwave to keep it from drying out while reheating.

  • adrinna

    Do I have to add the cilantro.?

    Hi Adriana, you can leave it out.

  • Laura

    I started using coconut oil instead for this recipe and holy moly let me tell ya... There's a party in my mouth.

    Oh fun! I will have to try this next time!