If you are a Chipotle devotee, or even just a regular customer, then you likely have tried their cilantro lime rice, which gets added into pretty much every burrito and bowl they make (there is a white and a brown rice version, seasoned similarly).  The rice is addicting, and once you see how simple it is to make at home, you will realize that this can be yours as often as you like, served with whatever you feel like making for dinner.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice

On their very own website Chipotle lets us in on some of their secrets.  A bay leaf used in cooking, for instance – I really don’t think I would have guessed that, but next time I am picking up a burrito or a bowl I will see if I can detect that distinctive but subtle flavor.

Even though the predominant flavor of this rice is lime, the addition of a bit of lemon juice gives the rice a roundness of flavor, and more dimensionality.  Chipotle uses a blend of both citrus juices, so it’s fully sanctioned!  You can, however, use all lime juice if you like…or even all lemon, for a cilantro lemon rice version.

Cilantro Lime Rice: (As good as Chipotle’s!) A perfect side or companion to Mexican and Southwestern dishes as well as Asian dishes and lots of other simple meals.

Cilantro Lime Rice

What Kind of Rice to Use in Cilantro Lime Rice

Chipotle uses long grain white rice in their recipe, but basmati is another fragrant and delicate option.  

What Goes with Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice is very versatile.  Yes, it goes well with all Mexican and Southwestern dishes for sure, but it also pairs nicely with Asian dishes and lots of other simple meals.  And you cannot go wrong with pairing it with some black beans, like these or this black bean soup.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Serve Cilantro Lime Rice with:

Cilantro Lime Rice

Other Rice Side Dishes:

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Cilantro Lime Rice

(As good as Chipotle's!) A perfect side or companion to Mexican and Southwestern dishes as well as Asian dishes and lots of other simple meals.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain or basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil , divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  • Combine the water, rice, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon oil and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then cover and adjust the heat so that the mixture stays at a low simmer. Cook for about 18 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Remove the rice from the stove, and leave it covered for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Blend in the cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, and remaining two teaspoons oil. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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