Cilantro lime rice is the perfect simple side for taco night and any time you want to give your rice a seriously delicious boost of flavor.
A good cilantro lime rice recipe is one of those dishes everyone should have in their cooking arsenal because it is endlessly useful. It can be used as a filling in burritos, a base to build rice bowls, or serve it as a side to complete a meal.
It’s filling, delicious, and has just the right balance of cilantro and bright tangy lime flavor so you’ll want to serve it with everything.
- Long-grain rice: I prefer long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine rice for cilantro rice because it cooks up fluffy and not too sticky. You can use almost any rice, but you might need to adjust the cooking time and amount of liquid in the recipe.
- Butter: Adding just a bit of fat to the rice gives it a little extra flavor and richness.
- Lime juice and zest: We’ll use both the zest and the juice from one lime for this recipe. For the easiest zesting, zest the lime first using a microplane and then slice it open and juice it.
- Chicken broth: Replacing the water in the rice with chicken broth adds a ton of flavor.
- Cilantro: When measuring cilantro for the recipe, very loosely pile it into your measuring cup. Don’t pack it in tightly or you’ll end up with a LOT of cilantro in your rice.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice
- Zest and then juice your lime into separate containers.
- Pour lime juice into a 2-cup measuring cup and then fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with chicken broth so you have exactly 2 cups of liquid total.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in rice, followed by the chicken broth mixture and salt.
- Cover and bring to a boil before turning the heat down to low. Cook at just barely a simmer for 20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is soft and fluffy.
- Stir in half of the lime zest and half of the cilantro, and then add more to taste if desired.
Can I make this in a rice cooker?
Yes! To make cilantro rice in a rice cooker, just add the rice, butter, lime juice, chicken broth, and salt to the rice cooker and let the cooker do its job. Once the rice is done, follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Can I make cilantro lime rice with brown rice?
You can. To make cilantro rice with brown rice, follow the measurements and cooking instructions on the rice package. Replace the water with the juice from one lime and enough chicken broth to equal the amount of water called for in the recipe, and add butter and salt. Cook according to package instructions and then stir in lime zest and cilantro to taste.
What to serve with cilantro rice?
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 lime
- Scant 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon (14g) butter salted or unsalted is fine
- 1 cup long-grain rice rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped loosely packed cilantro
- Zest and juice lime into separate bowls. Pour lime juice into a 2-cup measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with chicken broth so you have 2 cups of liquid total. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add rice and stir until rice is well-coated.
- Add chicken broth and lime juice mixture and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, until just barely at a simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is soft and all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir in half of the lime zest and half of the cilantro. Taste and add more zest and cilantro as needed.
- Serve and enjoy!
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