Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)
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A Mexican rice bowl is one of my favorite meals and it HAS to be made with cilantro lime rice.  This is my copycat version of Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice and it is delicious.  Serve it alongside your favorite Mexican food dish or top it with meat, veggies, salsa, crema and cheese for a wonderful meal.

I like to cook my rice in a rice cooker, but you can cook it however you prefer to cook your rice.  The recipe will work in an Instant Pot, stove top, or even in the microwave.  Adjust the water amount for whatever your preferred cooking method and add salt and cook.  Then add lime and cilantro as described in the recipe.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 374kcal
Author While It's Cooking



  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cup long grain white rice
  • 3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped fine
  • 6 tbsp lime juice fresh squeezed (approximately 3 limes)


  • Rinse rice to remove additional starches (if you skip this step you will end up with a sticky clumpy rice instead of the light fluffy rice we are going for).
  • Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Saute the rice in the oil until almost translucent.
  • Transfer rice to rice cooker and add salt and water (water should cover rice by 1/2" to 1" in order to get perfectly cooked rice).
  • Cover securely with lid and set switch to "Cook".
  • When rice is done (approximately 20-25 minutes), most rice cookers switch over to warm. Do not open right away. Let rice steam for 15 minutes before opening.
  • Remove lid carefully (don't get burned with the steam).
  • Pour lime juice over rice and fluff with a fork.
  • Add chopped cilantro and toss to ensure cilantro is evenly distributed throughout the rice.
  • Serve warm.


Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1759mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

*Photography by Brian Child

Make it a Meal

Top with carnitas, bell peppers and onions, salsa, Mexican crema, and cotija cheese for a delicious rice bowl.  Add fresh tortillas to make tacos or burritos.  Delicious!



Mexican Crema

Mexican Crema
Genti and Hyers for the New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Amy Wilson


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While It's Cooking

I love cooking. Always have. As a busy mother of two young kids, oftentimes the best time I have to pick up a cookbook or explore a new idea is while food is cooking. Sometimes I use that time to explore more about the meal I am preparing - the food, the traditions, the culture. Sometimes I use that time to figure out what I'm going to cook next and delve deeper into ingredients and techniques to experiment with. Usually while I'm cooking my family leaves me alone in the kitchen and I can enjoy a rare moment to myself. One of my favorite times of the day is "While It's Cooking."

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