Step aside, Chipotle! This easy Cilantro Lime Rice recipe can be made on the stove top or in an Instant Pot. Perfect for burrito bowls, tacos, and more!
Chewy and hearty, yet fresh and zingy — this cilantro lime rice recipe is the perfect base for homemade burrito bowls. I took inspiration from Chipotle's signature cilantro lime rice when creating this recipe, but I added a few extra ingredients to make the flavors really pop.
In my version, long-grain white rice is cooked in broth for added flavor. Once the rice is done cooking, I stirred in a pat of butter, fresh lime juice, and a chopped scallion.
The scallion takes this copycat Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe to the next level. I think my version is even better than the original!
Ingredients in the Cilantro Lime Rice
I kept this lime and cilantro rice recipe as simple as possible, while trying to maximize the flavor in the dish. Because no one wants to make a burrito bowl with bland rice!
You can use converted rice (aka parboiled rice) or a standard long-grain rice to make this recipe. I don't recommend using basmati, jasmine, or short grain rice as they require different cooking methods.
The rice is cooked in your choice of chicken or veggie broth and a sprinkling of garlic powder.
I prefer using garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic. It saves me a prep step so it's super easy, plus the garlic powder adds a balanced, savory flavor to the rice.
Melted butter is also stirred into the rice. And who can forget the stars of the dish, freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro?
A chopped scallion rounds things out and makes this incredibly easy cilantro lime rice taste like it came from a restaurant.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
This simple recipe comes together in just three steps. The rice, broth, and garlic powder are added to a saucepan and brought to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the rice simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and you see holes form in the rice.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes, covered. This final step helps the rice become super fluffy, so don't skip it!
Melted butter, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and a chopped scallion are stirred in last. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Can This Be Made in an Instant Pot?
Yes! If you'd like to make Instant Pot cilantro lime rice, you may certainly do so. I've given step-by-step instructions in the recipe card below on how to convert this into an Instant Pot recipe.
How to Prevent Rice From Boiling Over
I use this spill-stopper lid when I cook rice on the stove and I love it. Using it yields perfect rice every time! It not only prevents the rice from boiling over, but it also allows just the right amount of steam to escape and stay inside the pot.
Tips for the Best Cilantro Lime Rice
- You can add up to 2 tablespoons of lime juice to the rice. I typically start with 1 ½ tablespoons but feel free to add that extra ½ tablespoon to taste if you want the lime flavor to be very pronounced.
- I prefer cooking the rice in chicken or veggie broth, but you may cook it in water if desired. Just note that water will not impart the same rich flavor that broth will.
- Because this rice contains fresh herbs and scallions, it's not the best for freezing. As such, I recommend enjoying it within five days of making it.
What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice
Chipotle uses this rice as a base for burrito bowls and inside burritos, but you can enjoy it so many different ways!
I'll serve it as a side to chicken or other proteins, with meatballs, roasted veggies or on the side of enchiladas.
Here are some of my favorite recipes to enjoy with this easy cilantro lime rice recipe:
- The Best Mexican Meatballs
- Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Verde
- Creamy Black Beans
- Cilantro and Jalapeño Salsa
- Corn and Chorizo Tacos
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 cup long-grain white rice (use converted rice if desired)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (optional: water)*
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1½ tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional: 2 tbsp)*
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small scallion chopped (2 tbsp)
- In a medium saucepan, combine rice, salt, garlic powder and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer adn cover with a lid or silicone pot lid. Let simmer, covered, 13 to 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and you see holes in the surface of the rice.
- Remove the rice from the heat and let sit, covered, for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in butter and lime juice, then fluff rice with a fork. Stir in cilantro and scallions and serve immediately. Garnish with extra cilantro and callions if desired.