American Recipes/ Dinner/ Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes/ Side dish

Cilantro Lime Rice

16 February 2022 | Last Updated: 29 May 2022 By Aleksandra

Cilantro lime rice is easy to make and so flavorful you will eat it straight from the pot. It’s really the best alternative to plain rice. With just a couple of ingredients, you can transform plain rice into a delicious side dish. Using this simple recipe and the right rice to water ratio, you’ll get perfectly cooked, fluffy rice.

Another great flavored rice is this coconut rice.

Cilantro lime rice in a blue bowl surrounded with cilantro and limes.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need for cilantro lime rice:

  • rice – I used Jasmine rice but you can use any kind of long-grain rice for this recipe (for example regular white rice or basmati rice)
  • butter – or coconut oil
  • water – you can use chicken broth for even more flavor
  • fresh garlic – provides another layer of flavor to the rice but it won’t taste overly garlicky
  • cilantro – a small bunch
  • limes – we will need lime juice and lime zest, lime juice will not make the rice taste sour – just refreshing, you may need to adjust the juice amount to your taste, many recipes call for 1 1/2 Tbsp of lime juice per 1 cup of rice which was too sour for me, lime juice may vary in acidity depending on how ripe your limes are

You could also add chopped jalapeno or red pepper flakes for some heat.

Labeled ingredients for cilantro lime rice.

Cilantro and lime add such an amazing and refreshing flavor to any dish! You may also like our cilantro lime vinaigrette or creamy cilantro lime avocado dressing.

How to make it

A collage of 6 photos showing how to make cilantro lime rice step by step.

STEP 1: Add the rice, butter, and garlic into a small/medium pot.

STEP 2: Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and then for about 30-60 seconds or until all the rice grains are coated in butter and the garlic is fragrant.

STEP 3: Add water and salt, stir to combine.

STEP 4: Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook for 12 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat (leave the lid on) and let rest for 10 minutes.

STEP 5: Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.

STEP 6: Add finely grated lime zest, lime juice, and finely chopped cilantro. Stir with a fork until evenly distributed.

Season to taste with salt (if necessary) and black pepper.

Enjoy!

Top tips for the best cilantro lime rice

Two most important things when cooking rice:

  1. Water to rice ratio – most recipe call for too much water for 1 cup of jasmine rice! The ratio is 1 cup jasmine rice to 1 1/4 cups water. If using regular white rice or basmati rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. Tightly fitting lid – this will prevent rice from burning and maked rice cook evenly. If your lid is not tightly fitted to the pot, the water will evaporate and your rice will be undercooked and possibly burned/sticked to the bottom of the pot.

Rising rice – I find it not necessary with the right water/rice ratio and tightly fitting lid. Rinsing rise removes surface starch that make the rice clump, but after some testing I haven’t noticed a huge difference for rinsed and not rinsed rice. I prefer to not rinse rice, I don’t like to do it and it saves time. Just look at the photos, the rice is perfectly cooked and not clumped.

If you’d like to rinse your rice anyway, add 2 tablespoons less water per 1 cup of rice to account for the water from rinsing the rice.

How to rinse rice: Place rice in bowl, fill with water. Swish with hand then drain. Repeat 3 times ā€“ water will never be completely clear. Drain on a fine-mesh strainer.

Storage

You can store this rice in the fridge for up to 3 days. It reheats very well but the cilantro will be a little bit less bright green. I usually reheat it in a non-stick pan with a small amount of butter or in a microwave.

You can also freeze leftover rice for 3 months.

What to serve with cilantro lime rice

Cilantro lime rice in a blue bowl surrounded with cilantro and limes.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice is easy to make and so flavorful you will eat it straight from the pot. It’s really the best alternative to plain rice. With just a couple of ingredients, you can transform plain rice into a delicious side dish. Using this simple recipe and the right rice to water ratio, you’ll get perfectly cooked, fluffy rice.
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Cilantro lime rice in a blue bowl surrounded with cilantro and limes.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 774kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 small cloves garlic pressed through garlic press
  • 1 cup jasmine rice 190g
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • zest from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add the rice, butter, and garlic into a small/medium pot.
  • Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and then for about 30-60 seconds or until all the rice grains are coated in butter and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add water and salt, stir to combine.
  • Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat (leave the lid on) and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Add finely grated lime zest, lime juice, and finely chopped cilantro. Stir with a fork until evenly distributed.
  • Season to taste with salt (if necessary) and black pepper.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If using regular white rice or basmati rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water. The ratio for jasmine rice is 1 cup jasmine rice to 1 1/4 cups water.
  • Rising rice – I find it not necessary with the right water/rice ratio and tightly fitting lid. After some testing I haven’t noticed a huge difference for rinsed and not rinsed rice. If you’d like to rinse your rice anyway, add 2 tablespoons less water per 1 cup of rice to account for the water from rinsing the rice. How to rinse rice: Place rice in bowl, fill with water. Swish with hand then drain. Repeat 3 times ā€“ water will never be completely clear. Drain on a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Calories = whole recipe (2 1/4 cups), this is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
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