Rice and beans are a Mexican meal staple and this Cilantro Lime Rice is a flavorful twist to Mexican Rice or plain white rice. Perfectly steamed long grain white rice is toasted first and cooked in an herb and stock blend with lime juice and zest added after steaming. I have a few tricks that keep this different from the many Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice copycat recipes out there.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
For this Mexican rice dish I use a white long grain rice, and instead of water, give it an extra flavor boost from chicken stock blended with the cilantro.
A tip I’ll share with you is to rinse the rice to remove all starch, it tends to make the rice clumpy, and we want light and fluffy.
The rice is toasted in butter with the chopped onion and garlic for a pilaf style instead of just being steamed.
For the rice to completely absorb the chicken stock and get fluffy, I lay a kitchen towel over the saucepan and put the lid back on top after it’s steamed, too.
I see a lot of copycat recipes out there for the Chipotle restaurant chain’s version, and their cilantro lime rice copycat recipes usually are steamed white rice tossed with chopped cilantro and lime juice squeezed on top at the end.
This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe holds true to many authentic Mexican and Tex Mex restaurants, NOT the restaurant Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice versions.
Why my recipe works
- I rinse the white rice to remove starches that keep the rice from being fluffy
- Blend the cilantro with the chicken stock in lieu of plain water to cook the rice in
- Let it sit for 10 minutes with a kitchen towel under the lid after it’s been cooked (see above photo)
- Remove lid, add the lime juice and zest after it’s been steamed, and fluff before serving
The result is a wonderfully fluffy and flavorful Mexican rice dish. For another wonderful, flavored rice dish, try my Green Rice (Arroz Verde), made using chiles.
Finish the meal with these Churro Chips with Whipped Cream and Dulce de Leche. Enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups cilantro leaves
- 2 limes 4 tbsp juice, zest from one lime
- Over medium heat in a medium saucepan melt the butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Rinse the rice until water runs clear to remove starch. Shake excess water out and add rice to saucepan with onion and garlic. Toast for 3-4 minutes.
- In a blender add chicken stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the cilantro leaves. Blitz for 30 seconds and add to toasted rice. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, cover with lid, lower heat to simmer and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place kitchen towel under lid and allow to rest at least 10 minutes.
- Remove lid and towel, add lime juice and half the zest. Fluff rice with a fork and serve with remaining cilantro and lime zest on top.