If you’re on the hunt for a simple, inexpensive and easy-to-make side, look no further than my Cilantro Lime Rice recipe. It’s zesty and flavorful, but is so easy that even my teenage daughter loves to make it! Use it as a base for burrito bowls or a side dish for any meal. The whole family is sure to love it!
What is your staple side dish? Do you eat frijoles with every meal? Are you a pasta kinda person? Is salad more your style? There are so many recipes out there that I can’t possibly pick just one, but this easy recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice definitely makes my top 10 favorites list.
Why I Love This Recipe
Cilantro lime is one of those Mexican flavor combinations I just can’t seem to get enough of. It’s bright and herbaceous, and I don’t think I’ve met a single cilantro-lime based recipe that I don’t love. This yummy rice recipe is no exception.
Long grain white rice is cooked to perfection and tossed with lime juice and chopped cilantro for a fresh interpretation of everyone’s go-to grain. This recipe is published in the Muy Bueno cookbook, and because its a fan favorite I wanted to be also sure to share here on the blog!
As much as I love the arroz I grew up eating, this recipe is a lovely alternative to the tomato base used in Mexican rice. Now that warmer weather is upon us, I’m craving recipes that are light. This rice side is exactly what I’m looking for.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s simple to make, uses just a few staple ingredients, and is always a hit. Since it is naturally gluten free and can easily be made vegan, this is a great back pocket recipe to keep on hand for guests.
TIP: If you plan to take this cilantro lime rice to a potluck, I would recommend doubling the recipe. Seriously! People just gobble this stuff up!
Without further ado, I present to you my favorite recipe for simple cilantro lime rice that pairs exceptionally well with hot and spicy dishes. I especially like it with grilled fish or spicy mole, but more on that later.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice at Home
This easy recipe requires just a few staple ingredients that I’d bet you already have on hand. Grab some long grain white rice, butter (or vegan butter), salt, sugar, water, a few fresh limes, and a bunch of cilantro.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the rice and sugar. Mix briefly to coat the rice with the butter and sugar. Add half the lime juice and stir for 1 minute.
TIP: Want to get the most juice out of your limes? Give them a firm roll on the countertop for about 15 seconds before cutting them.
Add water and salt, then stir to combine. Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle the rice with the cilantro, the rest of the lime juice, and more salt if needed. Fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Watch this video to see how simple this side dish is to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
I prefer to use long-grain white basmati rice, but any kind of long grain rice will do. Jasmine or regular long grain white rice would be the easiest to sub in, but long grain brown rice can also be used. Just note that brown rice will take up to 45 minutes to cook all the way through.
Absolutely! Any leftovers can be packed into zip top freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn, then freeze flat. Once frozen, you can store them upright like books. Frozen rice will last for up to three months in the freezer.
While I’m not sure why Chipotle rice gets all the fanfare for this traditional recipe, the answer is yes. This rice recipe tastes a lot like Chipotle’s rice, but you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost.
Yummy Recipes to Pair With Cilantro Lime Rice
This delicious recipe pairs especially well with spicy foods, but you can use it in place of any recipe that benefits from a side of rice. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
- Easy Chicken Mole
- Brazilian Feijoada (Black Bean Stew)
- Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls
- Camarones a la Mexicana (Ranchero Shrimp)
If you made my Cilantro Lime Rice recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below! Those star ratings make it easier for people to find the recipe on Google. 🙂
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Cilantro Lime Rice
- In a saucepan over low-medium heat melt the butter. Add the rice and sugar. Mix briefly to coat the rice with the butter and sugar. Add half the lime juice and stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt.
- Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the rice with the cilantro, the rest of the lime juice, and more salt if needed. Fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Roll the limes against your counter helps to burst open some of the individual segments inside the so it’s easier to get at the juice.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: October 2017.