A Mexican restaurant we discovered in Spokane for the first time inspired this recipe; it became our go-to date night spot! Something about Mexican food makes me happy. I created some of our favorite Mexican food at home to save money and have fun in the kitchen. Today, we share this delicious Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe that I know you will love!
Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Do you have a favorite Mexican food recipe you make at home? I’d love to hear about it!
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make epic Cilantro Lime Rice! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Long-Grain Rice - Jasmin rice, American white rice and brown rice, basmati rice
- Bay Leaf
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Lemon Juice
- Large Saucepan or Pot with Lid
- Large Strainer
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Citrus Juicer (optional but helpful!)
- Kitchen Spoon/Stirring Utensil
Preparation and Storage
Make Ahead: As we’ve shared in many of our recipes, you can prep cooking staples like cilantro ahead of time by chopping these staples a few times a month and storing them in the freezer in freezer-safe bags or containers.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy them within three to four days.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Transfer freezer-bound Cilantro Lime Rice leftovers to an airtight, freezer-safe container and enjoy them within three months.
How to Reheat: Reheat leftover rice using your microwave or stovetop, depending on how many portions you need to serve. Thaw frozen leftovers overnight in the fridge to ensure they reheat evenly.
Substitutions: We love basmati rice in this recipe, but you can use jasmine, white, or brown rice if you don’t have this rice variety. Remember that the final result will be a little different if you swap!
Vegetarian + Vegan Option: This recipe is 100 percent plant-based, making it safe for vegetarians and vegans!
Gluten-Free: All ingredients in this recipe, including basmati rice, are gluten-free.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: We use two cups of basmati rice to make this Cilantro Lime Rice. Scale the written recipe to your desired yield.
Make it Spicy: We’ve seen versions that add chili powder or jalapeños for Cilantro Lime Rice with a kick.
Sugar-Free: None of the ingredients in this recipe are known to contain sugar, so it should be safe for those who can’t consume a lot of sugar.
Tips for the Best Cilantro Lime Rice
- You can replace the salt with garlic salt if you enjoy garlic flavor in your Mexican food.
- While freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice produce the best zesty flavor in this dish, you can use their bottled equivalents if you want to skip the labor.
- Be sure to remove the bay leaf before serving; you know precisely why if you’ve ever received it in a dish and tried eating it. LOL!
- Fluff the cilantro lime rice with a fork right before serving
This easy cilantro lime rice recipe is perfect for burritos, burrito bowls, paired with chicken fajitas, or really anytime you need a great side dish.
What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice
Our Cilantro Lime Rice is a fan favorite whenever we have a Mexican night, host friends or family, or want a light, fresh, and healthy entree accompaniment. Here are some south-of-the-border options from our recipe collection to inspire your menu planning!
Sides: Viral TikTok Taco Pickles, Black Bean Salsa, Cranberry Salsa, Southwest Black Bean & Corn Salad, CrockPot Refried Beans, Grilled Avocado, 7 Layer Taco Dip, Tequila Spiked Guacamole, CopyCat El Pollo Loco Avocado Salsa, CopyCat Chili's Salsa
Main Dishes: CrockPot Pineapple Salsa Chicken Tacos, Easy Cheese Enchiladas, Air Fryer Taquitos, CrockPot Mango Chicken, Slow Cooker Nacho Chicken, Carne Asada Street Tacos, Mexican Pulled Pork, CrockPot Mexican Chicken Tostadas, CrockPot Pork Chili Verde
Drinks: Alchemy Bar Mojito Martini, Tequila & Sprite Cocktail, Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini, Mexican Mule, CopyCat Chevy's Sunburn Margarita, Frozen Mango Margarita, Key Lime Colada, Avocado Margarita, Blue Agave Margarita, Cactus Colada, Piña Colada
When to Serve Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Night
- Family Gatherings
- Cocktail Night
- Tailgating Parties
- Great side dish
Great Mexican Recipes
We’ve been having fun making new dishes! Here are a few of my favorites that we have shared!
You can't go wrong pairing these dishes with a frosty frozen mango margarita!
Great Recipe Collections
Vegetable Side Dish Recipes - Easy vegetable forward side dishes for any meal.
Vegetarian Air fryer Recipes - Epic easy vegetarian recipes you can make in the air fryer.
Sour Cream Recipes - Check out all of our recipes with Sour Cream.
Celery Recipes - Are you wondering what to make with the celery that has been in your fridge? These are our favorite recipes with celery in them.
Rotel Recipes - From Rotel Dip to chicken spaghetti with Rotel and Rotel Cheese Dip this collection of Rotel recipes include all the very best. Appetizers, Main Dishes, and even bread taste better with a bit of Rotel!
Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- Bring 8 C of water to a boil in a pot.
- Add the rice, salt, and a bay leaf.
- -Return the water, rice, salt, and bay leaf to a boil.
- Boil for an additional 12 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Using a fine strainer drain the rice.
- Rinse with hot water.
- Put the rice in a bowl.
- Cut the cilantro into little pieces.
- Juice the lime.
- Juice the lemon.
- Stir in the cut cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice.
- Add salt if more seasoning is needed.
Recipe originally shared on November 15, 2015. Updated January 2021