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:

Cilantro Lime Rice

rate this recipe:
5 from 73 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, divided
  • 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 of 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sarah

    5 stars
    I made the cilantro rice and crispy sesame tofu. Loved them both! We opted for the jalapeños over the red pepper flakes for the rice. This rice will pair with so many things. I will make it again and again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Noelle

    how do I double the recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      HI Noelle, you can just double all of the ingredients.

  3. Molly B

    5 stars
    My general rule of thumb is to only try recipes with 5 stars when finding a new recipe online. This one does NOT disappoint!! Truly a GREAT recipe. The flavors all work so well together, it’s so easy and quick to make, and it reheats well with a little water and a microwave! We served it with coconut shrimp and it was the perfect accessory!

  4. Tania

    5 stars
    This was phenomenal. I literally could not stop eating it straight out of the pot – and even before I had a chance to throw in the cilantro. It’s definitely a new staple for me!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you loved it!

  5. Patricia

    5 stars
    I don”t do Instagram
    Made this today and used some of my back Pepper Lime instead of “hot kind.”
    I’m cooked the dark wild rices which I love. Cooking for one I am enjoying these special combinations!!

  6. Kim

    5 stars
    The basmati rice was crucial. It was a perfect accompaniment to a spicy meal.

  7. olivia

    how long does this last in the fridge? I am hoping to meal prep some of your recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Olivia, I’d say a few days, rice gets dry in the fridge. I usually reheat it with a little water stirred in. You could also probably use these seasonings with another grain (quinoa, millet or farro) that would stay fresh a bit longer (3-5 days). Hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been searching for a recipe that comes close to a fantastic bowl of rice served with creamy black beans that I had in a lovely restaurant at Downtown Disney, FL several years ago. (We live in NY.) Nothing has come close until now. Thank you for a wonderful taste memory! My husband says I have to make this rice dish to accompany every Mexican style meal that I make from now on. It is delicious! Thanks again and again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both loved it!

  9. Holly PDX from Love%20and%20Lemons

    5 stars
    This was tasty and fresh — had it with Cuban chicken and black beans and it gave a nice kick of lime and an herby finish from the cilantro and green onion. Simple to make and not that much more time than regular rice, but it tastes so much more special. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Jill Johnson

    They all look so delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Jennifer Tellers

    5 stars
    A family favorite! We have this at least once a week. It’s super easy and very tasty.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yay, I’m so glad it’s made it to the regular rotation!

  12. Mandy

    5 stars
    This was awesome but only issue- they wasn’t enough! So apparently I need to make twice as much lol do I just double the entire recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha, yep! In a larger pot, if need be. I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Tracy Fernandes

    I love your recipes. I’ve made the Mediterranean chickpea salad and easy pasta salad so far. These are fabulous recipes.
    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tracy, I’m so happy to hear that!

  14. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. I was so good and had such a great fresh taste. I will definitely be making this again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mindy, I’m so glad you loved it!

  15. LJCM from

    This looks absolutely delish and I have a cilantro field in my household so this will go over quite well. Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I hope you enjoy!

  16. Angela

    5 stars
    I made this recipe with cauliflower rice and it was so delicious!!! I used it with a vegan Kung Pao dish I made…it was very flavorful and light!

  17. Vikash Prasad

    5 stars
    Woo amazing 😍
    Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

  18. Connie

    I’m actually making your Portobello Mushroom tacos tonight, and now I know what I’m serving them with! I love lime rice, but have never made it at home, so I’m excited.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yum! I hope you enjoy!

      • Connie

        5 stars
        It was delicious!

  19. i’ll be serving this with some kind of tofu (and LOTS of hot chilies — e.g., Sichuan dried red chilies, piment d’espelette, or any number of dried chilies in my pantry) in the very near future, but i’m going to sub 1 t. of toasted sesame oil for 1 t. of the EVOO. or maybe i’ll go all out and do the final 2 t. as sesame oil.

    DISCLAIMER: i’m an omnivore, not a vegetarian (NEVER vegan!) — i just happen to love tofu and veggies as much as i love meat! and hot peppers go with everything (dessert included) in my house.

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.