Cilantro Lime Rice

This recipe tastes just like Cafe Rio and Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice! It’s a simple and delicious rice prefect for a salad, burrito, or taco. Now you can make this delicious lime rice from home!

This copycat recipe is simple and takes just a few minutes to prep. It’s great to make and serve in burritos or to use as a side dish for any Mexican meal, like chimichangas or enchiladas.

Cilantro Lime Rice aka Chipotle Rice on plate

just like chipotle and cafe rio!

Earlier this week, I shared a recipe for Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken. It obviously comes from one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Rio, and is such a delicious chicken recipe perfect for burritos, chimichangas and tacos.

Today, I’m sharing another recipe from two favorite restaurants (Cafe Rio and Chipotle) for their Cilantro Lime Rice. I had never had this kind of rice before going to either of these food chains, but it’s definitely a favorite.

We’ve always had our standard red Mexican Rice, but this Cilantro Lime Rice has a really unique flavor that we love, and is so easy to make too.

We like to make it when we have a burrito bar for dinner to add to our rolled creations, but the kids like to eat it as is with their tacos and quesadillas. It really is a great side dish and is perfect for all your Mexican meals.

If you’re like us and want to use it for a burrito bar, just cook up some flour tortillas (we actually like to buy the uncooked pre-made ones that just need cooking up), have some meat available (the chicken recipe is HERE and the sweet pork recipe is HERE), add this rice and have all the fixings like sour cream, cilantro, cheese, and Cafe Rio’s Cilantro Ranch Dressing.

It will seriously become a new family favorite meal!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice process pics

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

The thing I love about making this cilantro rice, is that it’s pretty quick (30 minutes tops), and it’s low maintenance. You don’t have to sit and stir it, you just have to pop a lid on it and let it simmer! This recipe just has 3 easy steps.

Begin, by pouring all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked.You may need to stir it once or twice towards the end and to make sure everything is cooking evenly.

When it’d done, fluff and serve warm.

What kind of rice is best for cilantro lime rice? You can use your favorite kind of rice for this cilantro lime rice recipe! But here are some suggestions:

  • Basmati rice
  • Extra long grain white rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Brown basmati rice
  • Long grain brown rice

Can you use brown rice? Yes, you can. Brown rice isn’t as absorbent as white rice and will work in this recipe. Just note that you may need to cook it for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Cilantro Rice in Pan

frequently asked questions

Can you freeze cilantro lime rice? If you have leftover cilantro lime rice or you want to make this recipe ahead of time, you can definitely freeze it.

Once the rice has been cooked completely, let it cool to room temperature. Divide the rice into how many servings you want and put them into freeze safe bags with a seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to reheat? If you wanting to reheat cilantro lime rice that has been frozen, let it thaw in the fridge. Then transfer to a microwave safe container and warm it up for 4-6 minutes in the microwave. Do the same with leftover cilantro lime rice kept in the fridge.

How long does cilantro lime rice last? It can last up to 3 months in the freezer and 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

What to serve with cilantro lime rice?

Like we mentioned, we love serving this recipe whenever we are making burrito bowls or salads. Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve it with:

Cilantro Lime Rice

I think I’m craving a taco night! I’ll take any excuse I can get to make this yummy cilantro lime rice. 😉

For more rice recipes, check out:

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Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

4.95 from 17 votes
This recipe tastes just like Cafe Rio and Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice! If you've ever been to either of these restaurants, you know how delicious cilantro rice is inside a salad, burrito, or taco. Now you can make this delicious lime rice from home! 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 271 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 2 cup rice
  • 4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste


  • Pour all ingredients into a large pan and bring to a boil.
  • Add lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes (stirring occasionally), until rice is cooked.
  • Fluff and serve warm. ENJOY!


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Adapted from Sweet Basil.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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