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Delicious Cilantro Lime Rice is easy to make with simple ingredients in just 20 minutes! It is packed with flavor and pairs perfectly with any Mexican meal!

Top view of wild rice that is made with cilantro and lime in a round orange skillet.
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Cilantro lime rice is a popular Mexican side dish that is flavored with a mix of shallot, garlic, cilantro, and lime. It is great served alongside pretty much any Mexican recipe from tacos and burrito bowls to enchiladas and fajitas.

This rice side dish only requires a few ingredients. You can whip it up in less than 30 minutes, and it goes with just about anything! It’s so delicious, and you must try making it!

Why you should make this recipe

  • A flavorful side: Cilantro lime rice is filling, super tasty, and complements so many meals!
  • Quick & easy to make: This delicious side is so easy to prep with just a few ingredients and makes a big batch. Only about 20 mins from the pantry to table!
  • Great to meal prep: Make this on Sunday to serve with different lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Closeup view of cilantro lime rice served with a lime wedge.

Ingredients needed

The ingredients in this cilantro lime rice recipe are simple, and after one bite, you will come back to it over and over again. It’s that good! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Rice: Use long-grain white rice or a blend with wild rice for this recipe.
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the shallot and garlic.
  • Shallot & garlic: Diced shallot (or onion) and pressed or minced garlic add delicious aromatic flavor to the rice.
  • Water: For cooking the rice. Use veggie broth or chicken broth for a little more flavor.
  • Kosher salt & pepper: To bring out all of the flavors!
  • Lime: Use fresh lime juice for a brighter taste.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped cilantro to finish the dish!
Wild rice, cilantro, lime, shallot, water and garlic divided into portions.

How to make cilantro lime rice

It’s super easy to make this! Chop the shallot and garlic, sauté, add the rice, let it cook, and then mix the flavors together. It’s a great side dish for any meal! Here’s the simple process:

  1. Sauté the shallot and garlic: Rinse the rice in cold water a couple of times, then drain well. Heat the oil in a rimmed pan over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the rice & water: Stir in the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Add the water and season generously with salt and pepper, stirring well through the bottom of the pan.
  1. Cook: Reduce the heat to low and partially cover with the lid. Cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring a couple of times while cooking.
  2. Add lime juice & cilantro: Once the rice is done and tender, remove it from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Expert tips

Here are some tips, so that you end up with delicious rice every time you make it:

  • Rinse rice: Be sure to rinse and drain the rice. It contains a lot of starch, which will cause the rice to stick together and can even make the end result mushy. To eliminate this issue, it is important to remove the extra starch from the rice.
  • Use a nonstick pan: The rice soaks up all of the liquid while cooking and can stick to the bottom of the pan, so we recommend a nonstick pan, pot or skillet.
  • Sauté rice: Don’t skip the step of toasting the rice. It adds deep, complex flavor, and keeps the end result from clumping.
  • Lime juice: Bottled lime juice will not have as good of flavor as freshly squeezed lime juice. We highly recommend using fresh for this recipe!
  • Make it spicy: For a little added kick, cook diced jalapeño along with the shallot.
top view of wild rice that is made with cilantro and lime in a round orange skillet

Frequently asked questions

What type of rice is best for making cilantro lime rice?

Long-grain white rice or a blend with wild rice is best for this dish. Short-grain rice is stickier, which doesn’t work as well in this preparation. For a healthier option, you can use brown rice, you’ll just have to increase the simmer time to about 45-50 minutes. It may also be necessary to increase the amount of liquid needed.

How many servings does this recipe make?

1 cup uncooked white rice makes 3 cups of cooked white rice. 1 cup uncooked brown rice makes 4 cups cooked brown rice. This recipe will make about 5 cups of cilantro lime rice, enough for 6 servings, making it great for meal prep!

Can you freeze cilantro lime rice?

Yes, cilantro lime rice freezes very well. Let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. If using a bag, squeeze out as much excess air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.

Storing leftovers

This rice stores great and tastes even better the next day! Heat it up and add it to an incredible shrimp burrito bowl for lunch!

  • Leftovers: Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 4 days.
  • Reheating: When you are ready to enjoy, heat it up in the microwave and fluff it with a fork. It may be necessary to add a little bit more water before rewarming.
  • Freezing: Once completely cooled, store in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to about 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.
Cilantro lime rice with fresh cilantro over the top.

More Mexican inspired recipes

close up image of cilantro lime rice garnished with slice of lime and fresh cilantru

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5 from 1 vote

Cilantro Lime Rice

By: Rena
Servings: 6 servings (about 5 cups)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 23 minutes
top view of wild rice that is made with cilantro and lime in a round orange skillet
Delicious Cilantro Lime Rice is easy to make with simple ingredients in just 20 minutes! It is packed with flavor and pairs perfectly with any Mexican meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice or a blend with wild rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice in cold water a couple of times, then drain well. Heat the oil in a rimmed pan over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Add the water and season generously with salt and pepper, stirring well through the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low and partially cover with the lid. Cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring a couple of times while cooking.
  • Once the rice is done and tender, remove it from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Notes

  • Leftovers: Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 4 days.
  • Reheating: When you are ready to enjoy, heat it in the microwave and fluff it with a fork. It may be necessary to add a little bit more water before rewarming.
  • Freezing: Once completely cooled, store in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to about 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 397mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 186IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! Welcome to my blog. I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

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