Fragrant and citrussy, this cilantro lime rice can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker! Easy to prepare and no sautéing, this is the perfect side dish for Mexican and Asian recipes.
This cilantro lime rice is the perfect example of how a few simple ingredients can really take your rice to a whole other level. Fragrant, citrussy, with refreshing cilantro flavor, it is perfect to serve with Mexican or Thai entrées.
Reasons you’ll ♡ cilantro lime rice
- it pairs well with a variety of entrées
- no sautéeing any ingredients means you can cook it quickly on the stove or in the rice cooker
- the rice infuses with so much flavor as it cooks
Watch the video below to see how easy this rice is to cook. You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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- rice– use long grain white rice; I highly recommend using basmati. If you use long grain brown rice, you’ll need to change the cook time accordingly.
- oil– I’ve used coconut oil, which helps soften the rice and make it fluffy. You may swap for butter.
- lime- to keep the bright, citrussy flavors while avoiding sourness, we are just using the zest of the lime to cook the rice, adding in some fresh lime juice just before serving.
- cooking liquid- the recipe lists water, however you could swap for chicken or vegetable stock for an even more flavorful recipe.
- cilantro- add it just before serving. This keeps the flavors bright and the texture from being soggy and unpleasant.
Rinse the rice
Rinsing your rice helps remove extra starch from the surface of the grains, making your rice nice and fluffy. You can rinse it in one of two ways: 1) use a colander and rinse under tap water or 2) BEST- add rice to the pot, cover with water, swirl, carefully decant the water, and repeat 3-4 times, or until the water becomes clear.
Always let your rice rest
In addition to rinsing your rice, it’s crucial to allow the rice to rest after cooking by allowing the moisture to evenly distribute in the pot. After your pot of rice has finished cooking through, transfer to a cold burner and allow to rest (no peeking!) for 10 more minutes, before fluffing with a fork, folding in the cilantro, and serving.
If you are using a rice cooker, the rest period should be built into the cook cycle, so no need to do this.
Storage + Reheating
While rice does have a bad reputation, if handled properly, there should be no food safety issues:
- Get it into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking- do not let it sit at room temperature for too long as this is the temperature at which harmful bacteria can replicate
- Store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
- Reheat until steaming hot
- Do not reheat more than once
Read more about food safety and rice.
This rice freezes well, though the cilantro does get soggy. You can freeze it in meal prep containers or in freezer bags (I love these re-usable silicone freezer bags!). Some people add a little bit of water when re-heating freeze/thawed rice, as it does end up slightly dryer than fresh rice.
After many trials and tribulations, I finally cracked the code for perfect Instant Pot basmati rice. To make cilantro lime rice in the Instant Pot, add the quantities of lime zest, coconut oil and salt listed in the recipe card in this post, but cut the cooking liquid down to 1 ¼ cups.
What goes well with this recipe?
This recipe is infused with subtle citrus and herb flavors that pair well with Mexican and Asian recipes. Here are some ideas:
- Fajita Chicken Skewers
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
- Thai Salmon Patties
- Chipotle Chicken Marinade
- Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
More rice recipes
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf
- Mexican Rice Recipe
- 7 Easy Rice Recipes
- Herb Lemon Rice Recipe
- Pesto Green Rice
- Golden Turmeric Yellow Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice note 1
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil note 2
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 lime zested
- 2 cups water note 3
- ½ cup cilantro leaves chopped
- ½ lime juiced
- In a medium pot, combine the basmati rice, coconut oil, salt, lime zest and water.
- Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before adding the cilantro and lime juice and stirring up.
- Spritz your rice cooker insert with some spray oil. Add the basmati rice, coconut oil, salt, lime zest and water.
- Cook using the 'white rice' function (or regular function if there is not a white rice option).
- Once the cook time is up, stir in the cilantro and lime juice before serving.
- fridge- store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
- freezer- store in a meal prep container or sturdy freezer bag (rolled flat) for up to 3 months
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