Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe | The Recipe Critic

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This cilantro lime rice makes the perfect side dish to complement any Mexican meal! It is packed with flavor, and the best part is… it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

If you love cilantro lime rice and need some ideas on what it should go with, then you should start with some of my favorites! This goes delightfully with these Amazing Street Tacos, these White Chicken Enchiladas, or these delicious Birria Tacos! They are a match made in heaven!

A pan of cilantro lime rice with a lime wedge on top.

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

Cilantro lime rice is a classic Mexican side dish that gets its flavor from a mixture of cilantro and lime. (Surprise!) They brighten up the neutral rice flavor and it creates a side dish that complements so many different Mexican recipes. There is a local restaurant near me that adds this to their sweet pulled pork salads and their burritos, and It not only takes the flavor to the next level, but the texture is perfection.

This side dish only requires a few ingredients. You can whip it up in less than 30 minutes, and it goes with just about anything! I like to cook my rice in chicken broth (rather than water) to elevate the base of the taste and give it some added flavor. It’s so delicious, and you must try making this recipe!

Ingredients in Cilantro Lime Rice

These ingredients are simple, and once you try this recipe, you will come back to it over and over again… It’s that good! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Uncooked Rice: I used long-grain, white rice for this recipe.
  • Butter: I used unsalted butter in this recipe, but you can use margarine if that’s all that you have on hand.
  • Garlic Cloves: If you don’t have fresh garlic cloves, then you can use minced garlic. ½ teaspoon usually equals about one clove of garlic.  
  • Lime Juice: I always like to use fresh lime juice for a brighter flavor, but you can use it from a bottle too.
  • Chicken Broth: I like to add some chicken broth to the after so that the rice has some flavor to absorb while it’s cooking!
  • Water: You will cook your rice in this to make it nice and tender.
  • Sugar: This adds a slightly sweet flavor to the cilantro mixture.
  • Cilantro: I used freshly chopped cilantro. You can add more than the recipe states if you love cilantro as much as I do!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

This recipe is super easy! You just pour most of it in, let it cook, and then mix the flavors together. It’s a great side dish for any meal and I know that you are going to love it!

  1. Cook Rice: In a medium saucepan combine rice, butter, and garlic, 1 tsp. lime juice, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from heat. 
  2. Add Flavor: In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.
4 pictures showing how to add all of the ingredients to a pan on the stove and add the cilantro to the cooked rice.

What Kind of Rice Should I Use?

My favorite kinds of rice are basmati rice or long grain white jasmine rice for this cilantro lime rice recipe! I like the texture and taste of them the best. However, you can also use brown rice if you want to make this a bit healthier. You just need to double-check and use the proper liquid-to-rice ratio as stated on the rice instructions.

A gray bowl of cilantro lime rice with a lime wedge on top.

How to Store Leftovers

This cilantro lime rice stores great and sometimes even tastes better the next day! Heat it up and add it to a delicious burrito bowl for lunch!

  • In the Refrigerator: Once the rice has cooled then, you can store the leftover rice in an airtight container and keep it in your refrigerator. It will last about 3-4 days.
  • To Reheat: When you are ready to eat it again, just heat it up in the microwave and fluff it with a fork!


  • In a saucepan combine rice, butter, and garlic, 1 tsp. lime juice, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from heat.

  • In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


Originally Published on August 1, 2012
Updated on September 12, 2022

Serves: 6

Calories129kcal (6%)Carbohydrates27g (9%)Protein2g (4%)Fat1g (2%)Saturated Fat0.5g (3%)Polyunsaturated Fat0.1gMonounsaturated Fat0.3gTrans Fat0.03gCholesterol2mg (1%)Sodium9mgPotassium45mg (1%)Fiber0.4g (2%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A36IU (1%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium12mg (1%)Iron0.3mg (2%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American, Mexican

Keyword cilantro lime rice, rice recipes





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