Cilantro Lime Rice

As much as I love the traditional Mexican rice and refried beans that are often served alongside Mexican food, sometimes it is nice to change it up a bit.  Recently I made these shrimp enchiladas, an old favorite I just can’t get enough of.  Instead of refried beans, I made these spicy citrus black beans, and instead of Mexican rice, I made this cilantro lime rice.  This was a great variation on a theme and the citrus flavors paired well together.  Another perk of this recipe in my mind is its simplicity.  If a side dish is complicated, I’m not likely to make it, especially when the main dish is fairly involved (as with enchiladas).  This is as simple as cooking the rice, blending up the cilantro-lime mixture, and stirring it all together.  That’s the kind of side I can handle!

Cilantro Lime Rice
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1 cup long grain rice
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine the rice, 2 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low.  Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, 16-18 minutes. (Cooking time can vary depending on the brand of rice.  Check the package directions.)

While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.

Source: adapted from My Baking Heart, originally from Everyday Food, April 2008

21 Responses

  1. Here I thought I invented this dish!

  2. I make a Cilantro Lime rice also, but instead of olive oil I use butter, and I add lime zest to mine. Otherwise it’s the same. Yum!

  3. Oh my, I adore the cilantro rice at Chipotle. Does this mean I can make it for myself at home? That would be a blessing AND a curse!

  4. I adore the cilantro-lime combo, so I know I’ll love this rice dish. It sounds so tasty.

  5. I have also made this before. It is the simplest tweak to a simple rice, and yet makes a world of difference. The lime and cilantro make it taste so fresh and summery.

  6. I got this recipe from EveryDay Food a few years back–it is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES–so good with baked fajita tostadas!

  7. Love the simple cilantro and lime rice. So refreshing.

  8. I agree with you! Thanks for passing along the recipe. I love Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice…..looking forward to your version, which I’m sure is even yummier!

  9. can’t wait to try this recipe!

  10. I’ve been wanting a lot of rice lately, this looks perfect for Mexican dinners. 🙂


  11. Love this combo!

  12. that looks so good! definitely would be a great side for enchiladas.

  13. This rice dish is my favorite food in the world, second only to chicken noodle soup. Since I eat it so much, I try to make it a little healthier by stirring in some baby spinach to the cilantro lime puree. It makes it very bright green too!

  14. Growing up, we ate a lot of white rice with our Cuban food. Rice was served just about daily. Plain white rice has gotten pretty boring for me. I can’t wait to try your cilantro lime rice.

  15. Had to comment…I had an Annie’s Eats night. I made shrimp enchiladas, cilantro lime rice and chocolate chip scones….all super YUMMY and HUGE hit! Thanks so much!

  16. I love this, simple and it sounds delicious. Saving this to try soon. Might even try to sneak it by my older son who professes to hate cilantro just to see if he can taste it if he doesn’t know it’s in there;)

  17. I love this flavor combination – can’t wait to try the recipe this week!

  18. I’m not usually a rice kinda gal, but add cilantro and lime juice as you’ve done here and I just might change my mind. I can’t wait to try this out!

  19. I thought I was doing a double take when I saw this recipe here and remembere seeing a cilantro rice in a recent issue of Everyday Food. I went back and found the article and it’s for a “green” rice that is double the amount of cilantro PLUS some parsley. This version seems much more subtle and probably tastier!

  20. I made this the other night with your chicken fajitas and it was a huge hit! So easy too. Definitely going to go into the rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I knew this was going to be a hit when my husband walked into the kitchen, tasted it and said, “wow, tastes just like chipotle.”

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