Cilantro lime rice is an incredibly versatile and outrageously delicious side dish to have in your kitchen repertoire. It tastes exactly like Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice recipe and it’s super easy to make at home!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Raise your hand if Chipotle is a dangerous experience for you? Are you with me?? 

Sometimes there’s nothing that makes my week better than a quick random email from my friend Joan around 11:30, when I’m already starving for lunch and counting the minutes until noon, that asks if I’m free for lunch. Chipotle is usually our go-to since it’s quick and central to both of our offices. And it always always always hits the spot.

I’ve made my own burrito bowls at home over the past couple of years, sometimes with rice and others with quinoa, but I always feel like the rice gets a little lost. And if I’m going to eat rice, I really do want to taste it! 

Enter this cilantro lime rice. It’s a recipe that’s been kicking around my consciousness for years and with it sounding exactly like the Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe, I finally put it to good use a couple weeks ago with our most recent round of bowls.  And honestly, it was the first thing Kyle commented on after he dug into his bowl. 

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

We both loved it equally though; he was just the first one with the fork in his mouth. Ha!  With just enough tang from the lime juice and freshness from the cilantro, this cilantro lime rice is definitely the way to go for any Tex-Mex meal.

It’s so easy to make too! First, you’ll make the rice according to the package instructions.

While the rice is cooking, you’ll blend fresh cilantro leaves, fresh garlic, chicken broth, lime juice, and olive oil in a food processor until everything is smooth.

Once the rice has finished cooking, you’ll fluff it with a fork and mix in the cilantro-lime mixture. Serve it up with some extra cilantro sprinkled on top for an extra punch of flavor!

More Ways to Use this Rice

If burrito bowls aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine! This cilantro lime rice recipe would also be great served with shredded taco chicken and refried black beans, the best chicken enchiladas ever, or inside a burrito. Or maybe underneath a bed of chicken tikka masala, warm and cozy chili con carne, this Indian butter chicken, or the classic baked eggs in tomato sauce dish: shakshuka!

If you want to make this rice with tacos, my favorite recipes are these healthy turkey tacos, these crispy baked fish tacos, and the ultimate beefy brisket tacos. However, you basically can’t go wrong with any kind of taco with this rice!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Yield: 3 cups of rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Inactive Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes

Cilantro lime rice is a super easy and incredibly versatile recipe to make at home. It tastes exactly like Chipolte's cilantro lime rice recipe and it's a fantastic way to boost your side dish game for tacos and enchiladas, or as a base for chili, tikka masala, or shakshuka.


  • 1 cup long grain rice (see note below)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water), divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped


  1. Combine the rice, 2 cups broth, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring the broth to a boil, stir once then turn the heat to low, cover the pot and cook according to package directions. (White rice will take about 15 minutes; brown rice will take about 40 minutes.)
  2. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the remaining 2 tablespoons broth, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor (with the steel blade) and pulse the ingredients until well blended.
  3. When the rice has finished cooking, fluff it up with a fork then stir the cilantro-lime mixture into the rice until well-combined. Serve the rice hot.


I used brown rice in this recipe since we very rarely eat white rice. It takes about 40 minutes to cook but since it's a healthier option to white rice, I don't mind the extra time it takes.

adapted from Everyday Food, April 2008 via Annie's Eats

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Leave a Comment

  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    April 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Often less is better. This would make a wonderful side dish to complement another perhaps more complicated dish. Sometimes the main dish is so wonderful that the side dishes kind of get lost. This one has enough snap and interest in the flavor that I think it would stand up well.

    • taraliptak
      April 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Agreed, Carol! This rice as a side to tacos, enchiladas, etc. would still be pretty stellar.

  • taraliptak
    April 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Great to hear! I LOVE those shrimp enchiladas! We made them together when she, Josie, Elly, and Courtney were here to visit a couple of years ago.