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Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe) is the easiest way to elevate plain white rice! The combination of cilantro, lime and lemon juice is a match made in heaven.

white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

If you are a fan of Chipotle Mexican Grill then you are in the right place! This cilantro lime rice recipe tastes just as good… if not BETTER than the restaurant. No need to drive out for takeout, save the gas and make this budget friendly cilantro lime rice at home.

Cilantro lime rice is everything you want in a rice side dish for your taco night. It’s light, fluffy and has pops of fresh citrus flavor. Not to mention it is filled with beautiful pops of green color from fresh cilantro.

Cilantro lime rice is the perfect base for Burrito Bowls. It also makes a flavorful filling for burritos and fajitas. It’s also the PERFECT side dish for my most popular Mexican inspired recipes – Street Corn Chicken Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, and Fish Tacos!

What is Cilantro Lime Rice?

Cilantro lime rice is a long grain rice side dish that is seasoned with fresh citrus juice and cilantro. Long grain rice (ex. basmati) is cooked in water with bay leaves, which add a rich earthy flavor to the rice.

Once the rice is cooked it is fluffed with a fork, and perfectly light and fluffy. The benefit with long grain rice is that the grains do not stick together. Instead they are light and fluffy.

The rice is then seasoned with a delicious combination of fresh lemon and lime juice, salt and LOTS of fresh chopped cilantro. The result is a gorgeous fluffy rice with pops of green and a citrus aroma!

white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

What is in Cilantro Lime Rice?

bowls with long grain rice, bay leaf, lemon juice, lime juice, oil, salt and cilantro to make copycat cilantro lime rice
  • Long Grain Rice – my favorite rice to use is basmati. The grains are thin, light and fluffy once cooked.
  • Bay Leaf – adds an earthy richness to the rice as it cooks.
  • Lime Juice and Lemon Juice – the combination of both lemon and lime juice brings out the citrus flavor. The two pair perfectly together for this rice dish.
  • Cilantro – you can’t really have cilantro lime rice without cilantro but I do know that cilantro can be an acquired taste. You can swap the cilantro for parsley which has a more mild flavor and the rice dish is still amazing.
  • Oil or Butter, Optional – long grain rice is very light and fluffy. To add a bit of creaminess to the rice you can add olive oil or butter but this is optional.
  • Salt
white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

steps for cooking basmati rice with bay leaf's in a rice cooker to make chipotle copycat cilantro lime rice

Rice Cooker Cilantro Lime Rice Cooking Method

1 Wash rice well in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.

2 Add the washed rice to the rice cooker with 2 cups of water and 2 bay leaves. Stir to combine.

6 Place the lid on the rice cooker and set to “cook”. The rice cooker will take approximately 15 minutes to cook the rice.

4 Once the rice cooker finishes cooking remove the lid and carefully remove the bay leaves. Fluff the rice with a fork.

5 Optional: stir in the olive oil or butter if using.

steps for adding cilantro, salt, lime and lemon juice to a rice cooker to make chipotle cilantro lime rice copycat recipe

6 Add in the lemon juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt. Fluff the rice until evenly combined.

I recommend adding half the amount of lemon and lime juice and tasting first as this flavor can be strong depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Adjust to your personal preference.

Tip: add the cilantro until just before serving or the cilantro will brown from the heat of the rice.

Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime wedges. Serve immediately in bowls or keep warm in rice cooker until ready to serve. Enjoy!

chipotle copycat cilantro lime rice recipe in a rice cooker with a lime wedge garnish

Stove Top Cooking Method

  • Wash rice well in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Add the rice to a pot and cook stove top according to package directions.
  • Once the rice is cooked fluff the rice with a fork and remove the bay leaves.
  • Optional: stir in the olive oil or butter if using.
  • Add in the lemon juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt. Fluff the rice until evenly combined.

    I recommend adding half the amount of lemon and lime juice and tasting first as this flavor can be strong depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Adjust to your personal preference.

    Tip: add the cilantro until just before serving or the cilantro will brown from the heat of the rice.
  • Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime wedges. Serve immediately in bowls or keep warm in the pot until ready to serve. Enjoy!
chipotle copycat cilantro lime rice recipe in a rice cooker with a lime wedge garnish

Tips for the Best Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Rice – using long grain rice is the easiest way to ensure light and fluffy rice. Be sure to wash the rice well until the water runs clear. This removes any excess starch from the rice.
  • Cilantro – add the cilantro in right before serving the rice. If the cilantro is added into the warm rice the cilantro will turn brown. If making the rice ahead of time or for meal prep, follow the recipe as per usual but omit the cilantro. Allow the rice to cool at room temperature or in the fridge and then stir in the cilantro.
  • Lemon and Lime Juice – fresh squeezed is recommended for the best flavor but in a pinch you can use store bought bottled lemon or lime juice.

FAQs Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice Copycat

How to store cilantro lime rice?

Allow the rice to cool and then store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

How to reheat cilantro lime rice?

Transfer the cooled rice to a microwave safe bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of water over the rice and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each until warmed through.

Can I freeze cilantro lime rice?

Yes, you can freeze cilantro lime rice. Transfer the cooled rice to a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag. If using a bag flatten the rice so it takes up less space in the freezer. To reheat, add to a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each until warmed through.

Can I make cilantro lime rice ahead of time?

Yes! Cilantro lime rice is perfect for meal prep and make ahead. Follow the recipe as per usual but omit the cilantro. Allow the rice to cool at room temperature or in the fridge until cool. Then stir in the cilantro. This will prevent the cilantro from browning. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for future use.

white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

Looking for More Easy Rice Side Dishes?

  • Spanakorizo – Greek spinach and rice dish with all the great flavors of spanakopita but much easier to make! Tender rice seasoned with dill, lemon, herbs and feta cheese.
  • Yellow Rice – the perfect flavorful and colorful side dish for your next dinner! Seasoned with garlic, turmeric, paprika and more, it is a must try.
  • Tomato Seafood Rice – the ultimate Portuguese comfort food. A big pot of rice loaded with a variety of fresh seafood, tomatoes and vegetables!

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe) is the easiest way to elevate plain white rice! The addition of cilantro, lime and lemon juice is a match made in heaven. No need to drive out for takeout, save the gas and make this budget friendly cilantro lime rice at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 172 kcal

Equipment

  • Rice Cooker for rice cooker cooking method
  • Sauce Pan for stove top cooking method

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice, uncooked, rinsed well and drained (or long grain rice of choice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or unsalted butter, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup cilantro , finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Garnish (Optional)

  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges

Instructions
 

Rice Cooker Cooking Method

  • Wash rice well in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
  • Add the washed rice to the rice cooker with 2 cups of water and 2 bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the rice cooker and set to “cook”. The rice cooker will take approximately 15 minutes to cook the rice.
  • Once the rice cooker finishes cooking remove the lid and carefully remove the bay leaves. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Optional: stir in the olive oil or butter if using.
  • Add in the lemon juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt. Fluff the rice until evenly combined.
    I recommend adding half the amount of lemon and lime juice and tasting first as this flavor can be strong depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Adjust to your personal preference.
    Tip: add the cilantro in right before serving the rice. If the cilantro is added into the warm rice the cilantro will turn brown. If making the rice ahead of time or for meal prep, follow the recipe as per usual but omit the cilantro. Allow the rice to cool at room temperature or in the fridge and then stir in the cilantro.
  • Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime wedges. Serve immediately in bowls or keep warm in rice cooker until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Stove Top Cooking Method

  • Wash rice well in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Add the rice to a pot and cook stove top according to package directions.
  • Once the rice is cooked fluff the rice with a fork and remove the bay leaves.
  • Optional: stir in the olive oil or butter if using.
  • Add in the lemon juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt. Fluff the rice until evenly combined.
    I recommend adding half the amount of lemon and lime juice and tasting first as this flavor can be strong depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Adjust to your personal preference.
    Tip: add the cilantro until just before serving or the cilantro will brown from the heat of the rice.
  • Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime wedges. Serve immediately in bowls or keep warm in the pot until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Storage
Allow the rice to cool and then store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
Reheating
Transfer the cooled rice to a microwave safe bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of water over the rice and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each until warmed through.
Freezing
Yes you can freeze cilantro lime rice. Transfer the cooled rice to a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag. If using a bag flatten the rice so it takes up less space in the freezer. 
Nutrition information does not include optional oil or butter.
 
 
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NUTRITION

Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 3gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 442mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 115IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.4mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
white bowl with cilantro lime rice chipotle copycat recipe and a green checkerboard towel

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