This cilantro lime rice recipe will cure your Chipotle craving without having to leave home!
When I created this recipe, I was trying to recreate Chipotle’s famous version – it’s one of my favorite things on their menu, so being able to fulfill that craving super cheaply at home would be pretty sweet.
After some researching and fine-tuning, I made my first batch, but it didn’t quite taste like Chipotle’s version. It was WAY better! This is truly the best rice I’ve had.
It’s super fresh and flavorful without being too acidic, and it has a nice bright flavor that will perk up any homemade burrito bowl.
To make your own, you’ll only need a handful of ingredients and about 30 minutes of time. It couldn’t be any easier!
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- Cook the rice just with some salt, oil, and bay leaves. The other flavorings are added at the end!
- If you don’t have canola oil, use another neutral, virtually flavorless cooking oil that won’t affect the taste of the recipe.
- Once the rice is done cooking, you’ll mix in the cilantro, lime and lemon juice .
How Do You Know If Cilantro Lime Rice Is Done?
The best way to tell if the rice is done is by giving it a little taste. Does it feel soft, or is it still crunchy? If you find that the rice is still hard, then it’s best to continue cooking it for a little bit longer. If the water has evaporated, you should add in another ¼ cup and let it cook until that evaporates then try it again.
What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Rice
There are so many tasty dishes that go well with this cilantro lime rice recipe. Honestly, you can even eat it alone if you want, and it’s incredible. Or you can add it as a side to your favorite Mexican recipes. Try some of these to get started:
Can I Use Different Rice?
Yes, when you are making this easy cilantro rice, you can easily swap out white rice for something else. I like white rice because the flavor is much more like the Chipotle’s version, but feel free to try any you want. Wheat, jasmine, basmati, or cauliflower rice are all great options for this dish.
How Many Carbs Are In White Rice?
There are 45 grams of carbs for every cup of cooked white rice. If you’re watching your carbs, I recommend switching the rice out with cauliflower rice instead to keep it low carb friendly.
How Do You Know When Rice Goes Bad?
If you have rice that hasn’t been cooked yet, you can quickly tell that it’s gone bad because you will most likely notice bugs or mold. GROSS! Never ever eat rice if there is a question that it’s gone bad because you may become very ill if you risk it.
If the rice has already been cooked and you’re trying to figure out if it’s gone bad, there are a few things to consider. How long did you allow it to set out before refrigerating? If it’s more than two hours, then you shouldn’t eat it. Rice is a food that needs to be refrigerated quickly after being cooked.
Additionally, you should only reheat rice one time; then, leftovers should be discarded. You may also notice that it seems incredibly dried out; this is another indicator that it’s not ideal to eat any longer. There will also be an unpleasant odor when the rice is past its prime. These are all clues that it’s not a good idea to eat it.
How Do You Store Cooked Rice?
You should always store cooked cilantro lime rice in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of cooking it. Keep the rice in an airtight container with a lid, and it will last 4-5 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Meal Prep – How to Freeze Rice
This recipe can be frozen and used again which lends it to being FREEZER FRIENDLY!
- Prepare the rice as normal. Set aside the other ingredients. I have had the best luck freezing the rice without adding the lime and cilantro.
- Allow rice to cool in the fridge.
- Divide it into freezer-friendly bags (I like Ziploc Freezer Bags) and label them with the amount and the date. Lay them out flat in the freezer. You’ll find that they defrost more quickly when you are ready to use them.
- Reheat it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 30-45 second intervals and stir so you don’t burn the rice.
If you do freeze your rice first, I recommend heating it up and then adding the lime, cilantro and oil. I have had mixed results when I combined all the ingredients first, and then froze it.
- Only add cilantro to the rice you are going to eat immediately. If you add it to the entire batch of rice, the cilantro may discolor and won’t age well. I cut up just enough cilantro for each dish. Once cut, it really is best used immediately.
- Additional toppings for the recipe:
- Add jalapeños. Every now and then, I enjoy a little kick to this dish!
- Add sautéed onions. That dark, rich, caramelized flavoring complements these fresh ingredients nicely. It adds a nice earthy flavoring.
- Add avocados on top for a fun and healthy topping. Heck, I could ad avocados to just about anything, but it does work nicely with this rice.
- Make this with cauliflower rice. My local grocery store sells this in both the produce section (for fresh) and in the freezer section.
- If you are short on time, make this in the Instant Pot. It will result in a bit stickier white rice, but you can’t beat how easy it is to make.
Readers love this recipe! “Just made this to bring to a Cinco de Mayo party and it is BOMB! Delicious!!!” From Anne
“Perfect recipe!” From Jaime
“I love Urban Cookhouse for their cilantro lime rice. Can’t wait to make this at home. Thanks for sharing an easy, quick and a delicious sounding recipe!” From Christy
Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- 2 cups White Rice
- 3.5 cups Water
- 3 tbsp. Canola Oil
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Juice from half a lemon fresh squeezed
- Juice from half a lime fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup Cilantro finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Add water and salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Rinse and drain rice.
- Once water is boiling, add in rinsed rice, canola oil and bay leaves. Stir. Reduce to low heat. Partially cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes.
- Remove bay leaves. Fluff with fork. Then add lemon juice, lime juice and cilantro and stir with fork.
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