Cilantro Lime Rice

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Cilantro Lime Rice will transform taco night forever. Fluffy white rice is upgraded with colorful cilantro and fresh zesty lime to create the best side dish to accompany every Mexican dish you make! 

As much as we love Mexican Rice, we’re also in love with the zesty freshness created in this rice dish! We add this cilantro lime rice to burritos, serve it alongside Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, or using it as a side with other tex mex favorites like loaded nachos and taco casserole!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl with lime with a green and yellow napkin

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

Basmati and long grain white rice are cultivated for their distinctive flavor profiles and are less starchy so they cook up drier and stay separated, which is perfect for cilantro and lime rice recipes. To make this cilantro lime rice recipe:

  1. RINSE: Rinse and drain 1 cup of basmati or long grain white rice (this keeps it from getting sticky).
  2. SIMMER: Bring water, rice, a bay leaf to a simmer.
  3. FLAVOR: Once cooked squeeze fresh lime over rice and add finely chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.

Rice recipes are the perfect side for pretty much any meal!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a saucepan with limes and cilantro

Serve with fish tacos, enchiladas, or even Easy Chicken Fajitas! Maybe a little chipotle cilantro lime rice for some color and a flavor punch!

For a healthier Keto or low carb version, make a cilantro lime cauliflower rice using riced cauliflower. Making a cilantro lime brown rice is healthy alternative as well because whole grain brown rice is loaded with fiber and complex B vitamins!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl with lime

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How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice with Instant Rice

Talk about a time saver! Lime cilantro rice is even faster to make with instant! Just be sure to buy a basmati, or long grain white or brown rice and don’t over boil it because instant rice is par-cooked, so it’ll be easy peasy! Lime cilantro rice is so colorful and tasty, you’ll want to serve it all the time!

Cilantro Lime Rice in a bowl with lime with a green and yellow napkin
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Cilantro Lime Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This flavorful cilantro lime rice will transform taco night. Fluffy white rice is upgraded with colorful cilantro and fresh lime to create the best side dish ever. 


  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grain white rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ lime juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro finely chopped

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  • Rinse rice and drain well.
  • Bring rice, bay leaf, water and salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Stir in lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 171, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 63mg, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 0.4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cilantro lime rice
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex
Cilantro Lime Rice with cilantro on top
Cilantro Lime Rice in a wood bowl with limes

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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