Learn how to make this zesty Cilantro Lime Rice with minimal ingredients and simple preparation steps! The bright and tangy flavors of cilantro and lime effortlessly elevate the rice, resulting in a side dish that perfectly complements a wide range of meals, from Mexican-inspired dishes to Asian stir-fries.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to Prepare. Cilantro lime rice is generally simple and quick to make. With just a few ingredients and minimal effort!
- Refreshing. The combination of aromatic cilantro and tangy lime juice creates a vibrant and invigorating flavor profile that will awaken your taste buds.
- Customizable. You can adjust the amount of cilantro and lime juice to achieve your desired level of flavor intensity.
- Versatile. Cilantro lime rice is a versatile accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. It pairs wonderfully with Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Asian-inspired cuisines!
- Long-grain white rice. This type of rice has a mild taste and a light and fluffy texture when cooked, making it ideal for this dish to ensure the rice doesn’t over power the lime or cilantro flavors, or clump together.
- Water. To cook the rice.
- Butter or olive oil. Depending on your preference or dietary requirements, butter or olive oil can be used in this dish.
- Lime zest and juice. A key component, both the zest and the juice will ensure this dish has the perfect amount of citrus.
- Fresh cilantro. The complimentary flavor profile of cilantro with lime will take your rice to another level! Always use fresh cilantro.
- Salt. To taste.
How to make Cilantro Lime Rice
Step 1 – Rinse and cook the rice. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Step 2 – Create the lime-cilantro mixture. In a separate small bowl, combine the lime juice, lime zest, and chopped cilantro.
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Step 3 – Mix the butter or oil into the rice. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and add the butter or olive oil. Mix it in gently until melted and well distributed.
Step 4 – Combine the lime-cilantro mixture and rice. Pour the lime-cilantro mixture over the rice and toss to combine making sure the rice is evenly coated. Cover the saucepan again and let the rice rest for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Then serve!
Tips to make the best recipe
- Cook the rice properly. Use the appropriate rice-to-water ratio and follow the instructions on the package to cook the rice to perfection.
- Fluff the rice before adding the cilantro and lime. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains and release any excess steam. This step prevents the rice from becoming clumpy.
- Use fresh ingredients. Fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice are key to achieving the best flavor in this dish.
- Adjust flavors to taste. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to the intensity of cilantro and lime flavors, so experiment a little! Additionally, you can add other ingredients like garlic or jalapeños to further personalize the dish.
To store: Allow the rice to cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. When reheating, add a small amount of water prevent drying out.
To freeze: You can freeze cilantro lime rice for longer-term storage by placing it in freezer-safe containers, ensuring to remove any excess air, for up to 3 months.
- Rice cooker. Rice can always be cooked in a saucepan but I prefer to use a rice cooker for the perfect rice, every time.
- Saucepan. Will still do the trick!
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! Brown rice can be used as a healthier alternative to white rice in cilantro lime rice recipes. Keep in mind that brown rice generally requires a longer cooking time.
Yes, if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute it with other herbs like parsley or basil. This will provide a different flavor profile but still give you a fresh and aromatic rice dish.
Yes, cilantro lime rice can be made ahead of time. Prepare and cook the rice, then let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the rice and add fresh cilantro and lime juice for the best flavor.
Yes, cilantro lime rice can be served cold as a refreshing side dish or used in cold salads. Make sure the rice is fully chilled before serving to maintain its texture and flavors.
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 cup rice white, long-grain
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 zest lime
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed. Allow it to rest (covered) for 5 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the lime juice, lime zest, and chopped cilantro.
- Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and add the butter or olive oil. Mix it in gently until melted and well distributed.
- Pour the lime-cilantro mixture over the rice and toss to combine making sure the rice is evenly coated. Cover the saucepan again and let the rice rest for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Then serve!