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Cilantro lime rice tastes just like Cafe Rio and Chipotle rice! It’s simple and delicious, perfect for a salad, burrito, or taco.

This copycat recipe is simple and takes just a few minutes to prep. Cilantro lime rice is great to make and serve in Burritos or to use as a side dish for any Mexican meal, like Chimichangas, Enchiladas, or Carne Asada.

Cilantro Lime Rice aka Chipotle Rice served on a plate.

Just Like Chipotle and Cafe Rio!

In the past, I’ve 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.

Cilantro lime rice is from two favorite restaurants (Cafe Rio and Chipotle). 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 Homemade Spanish Rice Recipe, but it 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 Chicken Fajitas and quesadillas. It really is a great side dish and is perfect for all your Mexican meals.

Make a Burrito Bar

If you’re like us and want to use it for a burrito bar, just cook up:

It will seriously become a new family favorite meal!

Cooking rice in a pot of water.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

The thing I love about making this cilantro lime rice recipe 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.

COMBINE. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

COOK. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, until rice is cooked.

SERVE. Fluff and serve warm.

Fresh limes. You only need one lime to squeeze out 1 tablespoon of lime juice. For even more lime flavor add some lime zest. 

Best Rice to Use

You can use your favorite kind of rice for this chipotle rice recipe! Here are some suggestions:

  • Basmati rice
  • Extra long-grain rice (white)
  • 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.

Cooked rice and cilantro in a pot.

Storage Tips

STORE. Leftover cooked copycat chipotle rice can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

FREEZE. 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 freezer-safe bags with a seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat. Thaw first if applicable. Transfer to a microwave-safe container and warm it up for 4-6 minutes in the microwave. Do the same with leftover easy cilantro lime rice kept in the fridge.

Cilantro Rice in a pan on the stove.

Serving Suggestions

As 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 served with a fresh wedge of lime.

Recipe FAQ

Do I need to rinse the rice to make cilantro lime rice?

Rinsing the rice prior to cooking can help remove excess starch as well as any dust and other unwanted particles. By removing the extra starch the rice will be less sticky and more fluffy.

What rice is best to use for cilantro lime rice?

I recommend using any long-grain rice including basmati, jasmine, white rice, or brown rice. Note that if you use brown rice, you will need to cook it for a few minutes longer.

Why is my cilantro lime rice gummy?

The main reason that cooked rice is gummy is that it has absorbed too much liquid. Be careful to keep the liquid-to-rice ratio balanced. For more lime flavor add lime zest and not lime juice.

For More Rice Recipes, Check Out:

4.97 from 62 votes

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Cilantro lime rice tastes just like Cafe Rio and Chipotle rice! It's simple and delicious, perfect for a salad, burrito, or taco.
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cover, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, until rice is cooked.
  • Fluff and serve warm.



What kind of rice is best? We prefer long-grain white rice, but you can also use basmati rice, jasmine rice, brown basmati rice, or long-grain brown rice (add a few extra minutes of cooking time for brown rice).


Serving: 1g, Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 615mg, Potassium: 105mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 144IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Adapted from Sweet Basil.

About Kristyn

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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