Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice is the perfect side dish for chicken, steak or pork! Use it as a burrito filling, for rice bowls or as a side to dinner!

We love taco night, or any Tex-Mex night at our house, so it happens way more than once a week. Try making these Teriyaki Chicken Burritos with this rice recipe or as a side dish to these crispy Chicken Chimichangas!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl

Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

Because we love the Cilantro Lime Rice at Chipotle’s so much, we had to figure out how to make it at home! We use this rice in tacos, burritos, chicken and steak rice bowls, or just as a side dish to dinner.

We kept this recipe at a half a cup of fresh cilantro, but you can go up to a cup if you’re really a fan. Our kids like it better if we stick to the half a cup, but you can make it however you and your family like it!

How To Make Cilantro Lime Rice

A tip for getting the most flavorful rice recipe is to brown the rice in the butter and onions before adding the liquid. Once the rice is nice a toasty, add chicken broth and water and stir.

rice in a pot with a wooden spoon

Season the rice with salt, ground cumin and fresh garlic (just like the cilantro, you can add as much garlic as you like!) then cover the rice and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and add fresh lime juice, lime zest and the chopped cilantro. Cover the rice again and let it rest for 5 minutes. Taste the rice for seasonings and serve!

Rice recipe with fresh cilantro in a pot

Can You Make This Rice Recipe With Brown Rice?

You definitely can, and we have. Just follow the cooking time on your rice package and adjust the recipe. Brown rice will take longer to cook than white rice so just be sure to go by the package directions.

Short Cut: If you’re really tight for time, you can use leftover rice or cooked, frozen rice! You won’t get that nutty, toasted rice flavor but it will still be delicious. Just cook the onion in butter to soften, then stir in the rice, garlic, cilantro and seasonings.

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl from the top

How Long Can I Keep Leftover Cilantro Lime Rice?

We meal prep for the week with this rice recipe all the time. A good 5 days in your refrigerator is going to be just fine, ours usually doesn’t last that long though! Just keep the rice in an air tight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap in a bowl.

Reheat the rice in the microwave just until warmed though.

What Dinner Recipes Can I Serve Cilantro Lime Rice With?

This rice recipe will go perfectly with so many dinner recipes, it’s hard to choose here. But we’ll start with some of our favorites!

Looking For More Rice Recipes?

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This copycat version of Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice tastes just like the restaurant version! Serve it as a side to chicken, steak or pork or use it in taco bowls or burritos!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste or chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Add the oil to a medium size pot or dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then stir in the garlic paste or chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  2. Stir the rice, salt and cumin into the onions and garlic and let toast, while stirring for 5 minutes until slightly golden in color.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and water, stir, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice, lime zest and chopped cilantro to the rice, fluff with a fork and serve.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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