This Cilantro Lime Rice is a simple and easy Mexican side dish that’s great with fajitas, tacos and burrito bowls just like Chipotle! Make this recipe with brown rice for a healthy substitute. Either way it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Rice is easily one of my top two Mexican side dishes. (Refried beans is my other favorite.) It can be served with many dishes and is one of those foods that “mops up” and collects all the delicious salsas and juices found in so many Mexican foods!
While many people usually stick to the standard Authentic Mexican Rice recipe made with toasted rice and a tomato broth, sometimes you want something a little more refreshing and bright, especially during warm months.
That’s where this Cilantro Lime Rice comes in. It’s been made pretty famous and mainstream by Chipotle restaurants here in the U.S. and I’m totally a-okay with that, because it’s delicious!
(Also, be sure to check out my recipe for Arroz Verde (Green Rice). I know you’re going to love it!)
Why this Cilantro Lime Rice is so great
- It’s got light and punchy flavors
- It goes great in burrito bowls topped with black beans, fajita veggies and flavorful meats like carnitas, carne asada, steak fajitas, or simple shredded chicken.
- It’s so easy to make!
If you’re getting hungry just thinking about it like me, here’s what you need to get started.
Ingredients in Cilantro Lime Rice
- vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
- long-grain white rice
It’s a short list of ingredients that packs a big punch of flavor, which makes it perfect for easy weeknight meals.
Making this dish is super simple. Just cook white rice as you normally would, then mix in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and a touch of water. That’s it!
How to make Cilantro Lime Rice
- Bring broth to a boil. In a medium saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the broth. Bring to a boil.
- Add rice. Stir in rice and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, until rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed.
- Let rice sit. Remove rice from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add cilantro and lime. Add cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and water to cooked rice. Gently fluff the rice with the ingredients and serve.
- Make it with brown rice for a healthier option!
- Give this rice a little heat by adding some finely chopped peppers (like jalapeno or poblano)
- This easy dish can be bulked up with even more veggies by adding some finely diced onions.
- If you really want to get your veggies in, make the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice version of this dish!
Tips and Tricks
- Rinse the rice before adding it to the saucepan. In addition to removing any dirt or particles that may be on the rice, it also removes some starch that can sometimes make rice clump together and become sticky. Rinsing it helps you get that perfect fluffy rice every time.
- To make this with brown rice for a little added fiber and other health benefits, simply cook the brown rice according to your package instructions. Then mix in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and water in this recipe.
- This recipe contains a good amount of cilantro because I love it! If you’re not as enthusiastic about cilantro, add in 2 tablespoons first, taste it and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons if you like.
- If the rice tastes too bland, the culprit is usually not enough salt. Add a little, taste and then add more if necessary.
- Need to save this easy side dish for later? You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4-6 days.
More recipes you’ll love
- Authentic Mexican Rice
- Mexican Arancini Rice Balls
- Mexican Ceviche Rice Bowl
- Healthy Turkey Fajita Rice Bowl
I hope you love this quick and simple recipe – be sure to give it a review below! And to get more easy Mexican recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my weekly email newsletter. You can also follow Isabel Eats on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
- 2 cups broth, vegetable or chicken (you can also use water)
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- In a medium saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the broth. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in rice and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, until rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed.
- Remove rice from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
- Add cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and water to cooked rice. Gently mix together and serve.
- Don't forget to rinse the rice. Rinsing the rice removes some of the starch, making it less sticky and clumpy.
- Leftover rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-6 days.