Cilantro, lime juice, and garlic transform regular white rice into something irresistible! This easy Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is a wonderful side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican meal, steak, chicken, or fish!
Cilantro haters, this one is not for you – I’m not even going to try and convince you. HA. It is worth mentioning, though, that I (who doesn’t love cilantro, either) can scarf down all four servings of this Cilantro Lime Rice and be sad when it’s all gone.
Might be how it’s used. Or maybe I just simply love rice that much. Probably both. I’ve said many times that if I had to choose between rice and pasta, rice would win. I could (and have!) made a meal out of this Rice Pilaf, Spanish Rice, and Cilantro Lime Rice. I also often serve it with my Chile Relleno Casserole, which is perfect together!
Cilantro Lime Rice isn’t as fancy as it might sound, and really only requires a few basic ingredients. But the end result is a little salty and a little zesty – it’s fantastic and seriously irresistible.
What Ingredients Do I need for Cilantro Lime Rice
- Rice – I use long grain white rice. Basmati rice would also work nicely. Brown rice would work, but you’ll need to increase the liquid and probably double the cook time.
- Cilantro – use fresh cilantro! No need to chop it up for this recipe, since you’re just going to throw it in the food processor (or blender.)
- Lime – you’ll need fresh lime juice and zest for best flavor.
- Garlic – I use 1 large clove of garlic, but if garlic is your life, feel free to add more.
- Olive oil – regular vegetable oil can be used, but olive oil will provide the best flavor.
- Salt – don’t skip the salt! This rice dish needs it. My recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, but adjust to taste.
- Water – naturally you’ll need liquid to cook the rice. I always just use water. I’ve heard of people using chicken broth instead, which I’m sure is super delicious.
- You could give the rice some heat by adding in a small jalapeño.
- If you love onion, add in some scallions.
- Add 1/2 cup of canned black beans (rinsed and drained) to the cooked rice for some protein.
How to store leftovers
- To store: Cool completely, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Add a splash of water over the top to loosen any clumps of grains. Reheat the rice in the microwave, covered, using 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until rice is warmed through.
This rice is such a great filling for my (copycat) Chipotle Burrito, Chile Rellenos, taco bowls, or as a side for skillet steak, grilled chicken, or fish tacos. Or do what I do and just eat it on its own!
Other rice recipes we love
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a medium pot, over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Mix in rice and salt; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add in 1 1/2 cups of water, the lime zest, and bay leaf; bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, place cilantro, lime juice, garlic, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor or blender; give it a few whirls until combined and smooth.
- Remove bay leaf from rice; fluff with a fork. Fold in the cilantro-lime mixture until combined.
- Serve right away and enjoy!