Cilantro Lime Rice
Get this recipe for simple, delicious, homemade cilantro lime rice! If you love Mexican-inspired meals, this rice will be your constant friend.
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
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 ¼ cups rice, long grain white rice or jasmine rice works best
- 2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice and zest of 1 large lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 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
90 Comments on “Cilantro Lime Rice”
Flavour is excellent, but I didn’t rinse the rice first – because your instructions say to put the rice in with the butter, nothing about rinse first – and it turned out gummy. I guess for some people rinsing is just assumed no matter what the recipe says, but I had it in my mind that you would have said “rinse the rice” . Just a suggestion for those of us who are very literal (hahaha), maybe suggest in the recipe that the rice should be rinsed prior to.
I love your recipes, but this rice didn’t come out right for me, so frustrating. I followed the Madison IP instructions, threw that out because it was too wet.
I did it stovetop, it was still too wet, but edible at least.
So don’t, do what I did, after carefully reviewing all the ingredients, I purchased a bone in pork roast..arrgh! I came home and reviewed recipe again BONELESS..so much work to carve the bone out than remove the fat layer. It was still very good but memo to self don’t do that again.
This was fantastic! I always feel so organized when I have something marinating all afternoon. I used chicken breasts instead of tenders. I accidentally purchased chili sesame oil instead of toasted, and to my delight it was delicious! I took the leftover marinade and reduced it on the stove while the chicken was on the grill. It was outstanding served on the chicken as well as on the cilantro lime rice that I served. A make again for sure!
Oops! This was supposed to be a review for the ginger lime chicken tenders recipe!
Mel, do you have IP directions for this rice? I see some in the comments I could try, but wondered about your feedback. Thanks!
I have made it a few times in the IP but don’t have a super tried-and-true recommendation (yet). My best advice is to use 1 1/4 cups liquid for every cup of rice (and it helps to rinse the rice first so it isn’t gummy). I usually cook white rice in the IP for 4 minutes.
I tried it in the rice in the IP, it was too wet..I threw it out and made it stovetop.
There are IP instructions from Madison in the comments below.
This rice is perfection. I serve it every time I make your Hawaiian Grilled Chicken, always making a little extra Hawaiian Chicken sauce because I love adding a few spoonfuls of sauce to each serving of rice. Such a winning combination!
We love this recipe so much! Can’t get enough of it. I always make a double batch and it’s just the hubby and me… that’s how much we love it! We make it a meal by adding drained black beans and diced green onions at the very end (off the heat, put the cover back on and let sit another 5 minutes or so) and we scoop it up with tortilla chips. I like mine topped with fresh tomato, avocado and extra cilantro. So good! 10 stars!
My favorite Cilantro Lime Rice. I made it for our church Relief Society Social and everyone loved it and was asking about the recipe. I use Calrose rice it was the only rice I had and turned out great!!!
Have you ever made this cilantro lime rice recipe with caulflower rice? I have to watch my carbs, so I’d like to try it.
I haven’t – sorry!
Large quantities of rice is no problem if you prepare it in the oven. Almost all rice recipes work – https://alohadreams.com/rice-for-a-crowd-easy-oven/.
Thank you for the recipe, cannot wait to try it out.
I always double this recipe and I always make it in my instant pot, so I’m going to leave some directions for anyone who wants to do it that way (and me when I come back to make it again ).
2 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Juice and zest of 2 large limes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Rinse and drain the rice. Add the 2 Tbsp butter to the IP and select sauté. Add rice to the melted butter and stir around for a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
Thanks Mel, for such a delicious recipe. My kids get so excited when this is on the menu.
Thank you so much for posting your IP version.
Thank you! My family loved your recipe too!
Mel, thank you for your delicious recipe and Madison, thank you for posting your IP version!
I just made SIX double batches and they all turned out beautifully. So fast and easy!
I used parboiled rice and it came out exactly like Café Rio’s.
Thank you Madison for the IP directions!
Thank you Madison for the IP directions!
If you triple/quadruple the recipe would you have to do more than 4 minutes on the instant pot or do I cook it the same amount of time no matter what?
For a triple or quadruple batch, I’d add one more minute.
Made this in our rice maker – so flavorful, easy, and delicious! Thank you so much!
Did you put all ingredients in the rice cooker, or did you add some after the rice was cooked?
I would like to make this rice in the oven, if possible. I need to 6x the recipe for 30 people. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.
I’ve never made it in the oven, Alice, but I think you could try maybe 325 degrees for 25 minutes (in a covered dish). That’s just a guess based on a quick google search.
Thank you, Mel. If I 6 x the recipe, do you think I need to 5 or 6 x the liquid?
I would probably still 6X the liquid just to be safe.
This is SO delicious, so easy, and worked GREAT in the IP! New favorite, go-to rice! Thanks Mel!
Could you cook this recipe with dried cilantro? or does it have to be fresh cilantro?
You could definitely try dried cilantro.
Was about to chime in and say this works great in the IP, and I realized that somehow, some way, my rice cooked perfectly in the IP even though I didnt have the sealing ring in the lid! What?! No idea how. But nevertheless, here I am to say this works great in the IP (sealing ring optional)!
What the heck? That’s crazy!
I made this last night with basmati rice – threw everything in the rice cooker and it was AMAZING!
Such a simple side dish! Everyone including my picky husband and 4 year old loved it and told me to make it again!
Can you make Cilantro Lime Rice in the rice cooker?
I haven’t tried it but you could experiment!
Yes, absolutely! You can do the saute in butter all in the rice cooker pot too.
Love this simple recipe for rice. I’ve made it several times in a couple of different ways. Turns out great every time. Thank you for the recipe.
Simple easy delicious.
Better than Chipotle’s! My friend has a tree full of key limes, so everything I cook lately has lime juice in it. I used 2 large key limes, both juice & zest. Outstanding flavor. Thank you Mel!
Mel, I make your recipes daily so I thought it was time to pop in and let you know! My 11-year-old son begs for this rice! I am making it this evening and he is so excited!
That makes me happy! Thanks, Ellen!
This is delicious!! I 6x the recipe as I was cooking for a big church youth group but only 5x the liquid and it worked out perfectly! I’ve never made cilantro lime rice but kept sampling it over and over…couldn’t get enough!
I also added about a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of my big oval slow cooker (which I stirred here and there) and it did okay sitting in there on “Warm” setting for about 90 minutes before we actually ate it!
Thanks for another home run! I don’t go anywhere else for my recipes. Thank you!! And Merry Christmas!
Can this be made ahead and reheated? Do you think it would still taste good? We are thinking of taking it camping and reheating it in the dutch oven or something….
I haven’t had the best experience with reheated rice – the texture tends to suffer, but you could definitely try it. I’d try to reheat it over low heat if possible so it doesn’t dry out.
This is way late, but I have a good tip with reheating rice! I lived in Korea for a year and a half and learned from a Korean to put uneaten rice in a plastic baggy, smash it flat, and freeze. When you’re ready to reheat it pull it out of the freezer and plop it right in the microwave (keep the bag closed). Reheat, flipping it every 30 seconds until warm. Keeping the bag closed keeps the moisture in and keeps the texture like fresh cooked rice! I’ve also done this with brown rice, but often I add a little water to the bag before reheating so it stays moist enough. Not too helpful for camping (per this comment thread), but I always cook lots of rice at a time and freeze it and it’s awesome to have on hand for dinner!
Wow!!! What a great tip!! Thanks!
this recipe is so easy to do camping- I premeasured things and just took exactly what I needed in small baggies or containers, also just used 1 can chicken broth. I think a can doesn’t measure exactly as the recipe but it worked just fine! No need to make ahead, all you need is a small camp pot!
I know this is late, but it’s my favorite leftover. I always eat it the next day heated up and it’s fantastic.
This is one of my family’s favorite recipes! Do you have any suggestions for making it for a crowd? I tried tripling it and it didn’t turn out very well.
I’ve 7X the batch before and it turned out much soggier, for lack of a better word. I’ve found that when I more than double the recipe, shouldn’t tripe or quadruple the liquid. If I triple it, I usually only 2 1/2 the liquid. Does that make sense?
This is amazing and our new family favorite. It’s the only way we make rice now!
I have been making something similar to this in the PRESSURE COOKER. It infused the lime zest excellently.
Café Rio Cilantro Lime Rice (stove top or pressure cooker directions)
copycat recipe from Jamie’s friend, Camille Lewis
Heidi Jarvis says that this is the BEST RICE EVER. After you zest your lime, save the lime, cut it into wedges, and have each person squirt desired amount on their rice after plating.
I have tripled this for the pressure cooker and only used the zest of one lime.
1 cup rice
1 tablespoon oil
1⁄2 onion, chopped
1⁄2 tsp salt (optional)
1⁄3 bunch cilantro
1 lime, zested (important)
lime wedges for individual plating.
2 cups water + 2 bouillon cubes OR 2 cups chicken broth
REDUCE LIQUID OF CHOICE TO 1.25 CUPS IF MAKING IN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER.
Brown onion and rice in oil. Place chicken broth, cilantro, lime zest, and salt in blender till blended thoroughly. Add blended mixture to rice and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. (40 minutes for brown rice)
IN PRESSURE COOKER, WHITE RICE FOR 12 MINUTES, BROWN RICE FOR 22 MINUTES. Natural release — or for at least 10 minutes if you are in a hurry. This will keep your valve from clogging with sticky steam from the rice. When rice is cooked, fluff with fork.
Put some lime wedges or a bottle of lime juice on the table and let each person add their own.
If I don’t have enough lime wedges, I prefer key lime bottled juice to regular lime juice.
I’m making this for a teacher luncheon and want to make sure I follow your directions accurately. If I triple this in the insta pot I should use 4.25 cups of water correct?
I’d use about 4 1/2 cups water.
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.
Mel – would you adjust the amount of liquid in an instant pot?
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).
Meesa is cooking the same ingredients for 20 minutes with 10 minute wait to open. Is your rice actually cooked after 4 minutes? Is it instant white rice?
Sounds like she might be using brown rice. I cook white rice (long grain or basmati or jasmine – not instant) all the time in the IP at about 4 minutes high pressure and brown rice for about 22 minutes.
We’ve been using the Della light brown rice from Costco (cooks in 20 min on the stove), so 4-5 min under pressure seems to do it + natural release. Sorry I didn’t see the question until now. Love your site, Mel–we use it weekly & I’m always recommending it to others!
I meant 6-7 min for the short cook brown rice. 20 min for regular brown rice!
I’ll have to look for that rice at Costco!
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!
Can I make this a day ahead?
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.
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!
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!
It’s super delicious, I made it two days in a row and I’m considering making it tomorrow. My fiance agrees wholeheartedly 🙂
I cannot have dairy. Have you tried it with coconut oil or coconut butter instead of butter?
Sheri – Yep, works great with coconut oil.
Could this be made using a rice cooker??
Julie – I haven’t made it that way but I’m pretty sure others up above in the comment thread have done so.
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!
Alicia – Dried coriander can sometimes be substituted or flat leaf fresh parsley but the flavor will be slightly different. Good luck!
Made this tonight (tripled it for a party) and it was so yummy!
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! 🙂
I seriously crave this:). Made (again) tonight!!!!!
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.
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!!
Melissa – I’ve doubled this before and only increased the time by 1-2 minutes.
How should I adjust cook time if I double the recipe? Thanks!
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.
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!
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!
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…