Cilantro Lime Rice

This easy cilantro lime rice recipe is fresh and bright. Serve it as a side dish with Asian or Mexican food, or use it as the base of your next burrito bowl.

Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is even better than Chipotle’s.

Yup, I said it. This easy cilantro lime rice is fresh and bright, flecked with chopped cilantro, lime zest, savory scallions, and jalapeños for heat. It’s an epic base for a homemade burrito bowl—just add black beans, fajitas veggies, salsa, and guac!—but it’s also a versatile side dish. Serve it with Mexican fare like tacos or enchiladas, with an Asian-inspired meal like crispy sesame tofu, or with whatever you’re grilling. This recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious. I think you’ll love it!

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe Ingredients

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is easy to make!

First, cook the rice. I recommend using long-grain white jasmine or basmati rice for this recipe.

  • Both these varieties cook quickly, in about 15 minutes.
  • They’re also fragrant and aromatic, so they add depth of flavor to the final dish.

For rice cooking instructions, see my guide to how to cook rice on the stove. You can also make Instant Pot rice or prepare the rice in a rice cooker. Tip: Rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch from the outside of the grains. Without rinsing, the cooked rice will be sticky. You want it to be fluffy for this recipe. 

When the rice is cooked, but still hot, toss it with garlic, scallions, and lime zest. Adding these ingredients while the rice is still warm helps it soak up their flavor.

Let it cool slightly, and then add olive oil, sea salt, diced jalapeño, lime juice, and cilantro. I wait to add these ingredients until the rice has had a chance to cool so that the cilantro and jalapeño don’t soften or wilt.

Season to taste and serve. That’s it!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.


Not feeling white rice? Feel free to use another type of rice in this recipe.

Cilantro lime rice recipe

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is a fresh, flavorful side dish. I especially love it with Asian and Mexican-inspired dishes. Pair it with crispy sesame tofu or baked tempeh, or serve it alongside enchiladas or taquitos. It’s also a great addition to a taco bar!

Of course, à la Chipotle, the rice is a tasty base for burrito bowls too. Build your own with

…or check out my burrito bowl recipe. Tip: cilantro lime rice is delicious in a sushi bowl too!

How do you like to serve cilantro lime rice? Let me know in the comments!


This recipe is best on the day it’s made, but leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Enjoy them cold or at room temperature, or pop them in the microwave to reheat!

Cilantro Lime Rice

More Favorite Rice Recipes

If you love this cilantro lime rice, try one of these easy rice recipes next:

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Cilantro Lime Rice

rate this recipe:
5 from 105 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
This easy cilantro lime rice recipe is a great side dish for Asian or Mexican-inspired meals. Of course, we also love it in homemade burrito bowls!


  • 1 cup long-grain jasmine rice, rinsed well and drained
  • cups water
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, or ¼ diced jalapeño, optional


  • Combine the rice, water, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes (or check the time listed on the package of your rice).
  • Uncover and fluff with a fork. Add the garlic, scallions, and lime zest and stir to combine. Let cool for 1 minute, then add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, lime juice, cilantro, and red pepper flakes or jalapeño, if using. Stir to combine and season to taste.



5 from 105 votes (78 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Fozia

    5 stars
    Perfect recipe. Making again.

  2. Greg LaFrance

    5 stars
    The family gave it 5. I had picked up a boxed cilantro lime to have with my chicken taco dinner and said I would make this with the leftovers and must say it was awesome!!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Greg, so glad it was a hit!

  3. Jonathan Barnes

    Is there nutritional information for this recipe?

  4. WildBird

    5 stars
    This recipe worked wonderfully for me.
    I only had leftover rice so I first steamed it and put garlic, grated lime zest and scallion.

    I will do it again, and I will tell Japanese ladies to try this recipe mentioning your website name.

  5. Janice

    5 stars
    This was delicious and the garlic and lime just popped! Served with stir fry veges!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Janice!

  6. Kayh

    Turned out sticky. Not sure what I did wrong.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kayh, did you use long grain rice? Short grain rice would be a bit more sticky.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.