Cilantro Lime Rice is a step up from plain white long grain rice with added fresh cilantro and the zest and juice from a lime. This copycat recipe just happens to be perfect with my Chipotle Chicken! (It gets RAVE reviews!)

Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice

If you have ever wondered why Chipotle Restaurant’s rice is so tasty, it’s because they make cilantro lime rice. Or, if you ever wonder what that green thing is that is stuck in your teeth after eating the rice, it’s probably cilantro. It’s easy to duplicate at home for a tasty side dish. Or, add it to your chicken or beef burrito with all of your other favorite fixings like fajita veggies and easy guacamole.

Bowl of Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice Ingredients

Rice: I used long-grain white rice in this recipe. Long-grain rice is best for side dishes, pilafs, and salads because it remains fluffy. It is long and thin and includes American white and brown rice, Basmati rice, and Jasmine rice. You could use any of these varieties.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is used in this recipe. It’s a flavor that some people love, but some stay away from it altogether. Wash the cilantro well before using. Remove the leaves and discard the stems. Chop or rip the leaves to the size you prefer.

Lime: Both the zest of a half of a lime and the juice from that half is used in this recipe. Before juicing the lime, get the zest off of half of it. Then, cut the lime in half and juice it. (You will use about a teaspoon of zest and a tablespoon of lime juice.)

How to Make Cilantro Rice

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

It’s really easy to get this side dish made. First, to make the rice, cook the long-grain rice per package instructions. If you use medium or short-grain rice, the texture of the dish will be not as light and fluffy. After the rice has been cooked, add it to a large bowl with the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, butter, and salt. Combine everything together and serve warm.

Bowl of Cilantro Rice

How to Freeze Rice

Rice to great to make ahead of time and freeze, especially if you are into meal planning. If you make a double or triple batch of this rice, store the leftovers to eat later. To freeze the rice, first, let it cool completely. Then, equally, divide the rice into freezer-safe, zipped bags. Label and date each bag; the rice will last 6-8 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator and heat it up in the microwave when ready to eat.

More Side Dishes

Cilantro Lime Rice

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Cilantro Lime Rice is a step up from plain white long grain rice with added fresh cilantro and the zest and juice from a lime.


  • 4 cups long-grain rice, cooked per package instructions
  • ½ medium lime, zested and juiced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice with the zest of a lime, lime juice, fresh cilantro, butter, and salt.

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Reader Comments

  1. What would you use instead of the cilantro? My husband and I are in the small percentage that get a soap flavor from it…which is REALLY sad because SOOOOO many recipes use it now.

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