Cilantro Lime Rice

If you are like me and love Mexican-inspired meals more than life, this cilantro lime rice will be your constant friend.

Almost as simple as making every day white rice, this cilantro lime rice gets a boost from sautéing the rice quickly in a pat of butter. A few simple seasonings are thrown in, and before you know it, you’ll have some seriously delicious cilantro lime rice for the eating.

Here are a few recipes that are worlds better with this cilantro lime rice:
Honey Lime Tilapia
Sweet Paprika Chicken Skillet
Smothered Sweet Pork Burritos
Grilled Island Chicken

So. If cilantro lime rice has not been part of your world, you should definitely change that. It’s so yummy – I can’t get enough!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Yield: Serves 6 as a side dish

Cilantro Lime Rice

Lots of people have asked if this recipe can be made with brown rice - there are updates from commenters who have tried it in the comment thread below!


  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups rice (long grain white rice or jasmine rice works best)
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. In a skillet or medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the rice. Stir, letting the rice and butter cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-16 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

27 Responses to Cilantro Lime Rice

  1. Meesa says:

    Made this tonight with brown rice in the instapot= AMAZING! 1 1/4 c liquid per cup of rice, manual 20 min (high) + 10 min natural release.

  2. Cathy says:

    Mel – would you adjust the amount of liquid in an instant pot?

    • Mel says:

      Good question, Cathy – in general, yes. I usually do 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cups liquid when making rice in the Instant Pot (for white rice…I do Manual –> 4 minutes).

  3. Ariane says:

    I threw all these ingredients in my rice cooker and it turned out perfect. We had it with taco bowels, the rice was my favorite part!

  4. Lauren Adams says:

    Can I make this a day ahead?

  5. Robin says:

    My family all loved this recipe served with the bean curry. I use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. Mine was a little mushy by the time it absorbed all the liquid but it still tasted good. I might try Karin’s idea of the little freezer kits.

  6. Kirstin says:

    I made this tonight and loved it! I am going to take dinner in to a neighbor who just had a baby and am their family prefers brown rice. Any suggestions for altering measurements to ensure success? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Kirstin – I haven’t made this with brown rice so you’ll have to experiment but I suppose if you added more broth (following the ratio of liquid to rice for brown rice) and cooked it much longer it would probably work out. Good luck!

  7. Marta says:

    It’s super delicious, I made it two days in a row and I’m considering making it tomorrow. My fiance agrees wholeheartedly 🙂

  8. Sheri says:

    I cannot have dairy. Have you tried it with coconut oil or coconut butter instead of butter?

  9. Julie says:

    Could this be made using a rice cooker??

  10. ALICIA says:

    Hi Mel,

    I’m from australia and can never find Cilantro at the supermarket. Alot of your recipes call for it & I like to follow the recipe as much as possible, especially the first time making it. Can you recommend any substitutes for it? Thanks!

  11. Stacie A. says:

    Made this tonight (tripled it for a party) and it was so yummy!

  12. Victoria says:

    This rice is so delicious!! My boyfriend and I both ate his twice today topped with a spicy shrimp dish I made. Definitely becoming a staple dish here! 🙂

  13. Kerri says:

    I seriously crave this:). Made (again) tonight!!!!!

  14. Kerri says:

    Karin, you are so smart! I am so going to try that! This is a great side dish for roast chicken or pork. Thanks for another yummy and healthy(?) dish.

  15. Karin says:

    This is SOOOOOOO good. I’ve made it about 5 times now and everyone LOVES it. I made little “freezer kits” so it comes together very quickly. In a ziplock bag I mixed 1/4 cup water with the salt, pepper, lime juice and zest, cilantro, cumin, and added 2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules. Then when my husband asks for the rice, I only have to melt the butter, cook the rice, then throw in 2 cups of water and the contents of the bag. Thanks for the super yummy side dish!!

  16. Mel says:

    Melissa – I’ve doubled this before and only increased the time by 1-2 minutes.

  17. Melissa says:

    How should I adjust cook time if I double the recipe? Thanks!

  18. Mathea says:

    I am in love with cilantro and will give this one a try to see if I want to add it to my list of sides.

  19. Mandy says:

    I started making your Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin in the slower cooker but my husband requested carnitas for dinner instead. Good thing it was a huge roast so I can make the balsamic glaze for the leftovers (or I could just make the glaze and drink it). I took the some of pork and whipped up a Cuban-inspired sauce and decided to make this recipe as a side. I used farro instead of rice and it was amazing! My 9 month old has a dairy allergy so I didn’t want to saute in butter first but I read somewhere that roasting ancient grains, like farro, brings out the flavor. I tried it and, while I’m sure that I would’ve preferred butter (who doesn’t?), the farro had a nice nutty flavor. Thank you so much for all your great recipes. My husband and I decided that I’ve really gotten my dinner groove back since finding your site!

  20. Deb says:

    I had to try this because it reminded me of the rice they serve at Chipotle 🙂 It had great flavor but it was a little dry – I used brown rice to try to up the nutrition factor but I’m thinking that’s what made it dry. I should have just listened to you when you said you already figured out which rice was best 🙂 I’ll definitely make this again because of the the flavor, but actually following the recipe this time!

  21. Bonnie says:

    We tried this tonight and really like it!! I did add about twice as much cilantro and a little bit more cumin. Thanks so much for the great recipes…

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