With tender white rice flavored with fresh cilantro and zesty lime, this easy cilantro lime rice is the perfect side dish or garnish for any flavorful meal.

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Cilantro lime rice garnished with lime wedges.

About Cilantro Lime Rice

When it comes to simple-yet-flavorful side dishes, this cilantro lime rice recipe could easily become your next go-to accompaniment.

Trust me on this. Once you’ve tried it, it will quickly become one of those go-to dinner fillers for when you’ve put all your time and energy into the main course – and you’ll still love everything on your plate.

And even though this rice side dish goes perfectly with Mexican cuisine, don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to what you serve with cilantro rice. I’ve served this with American dishes covered in ranch and cheese, and even some teriyaki-infused Asian recipes, and have loved it every time.

Easy cilantro rice flavored with lime.

What is cilantro lime rice?

Thankfully, this is one of those recipes that is exactly what it claims to be:

A heaping helping of white rice with hints of lime and cilantro.

This particular recipe also includes chopped green onion for an extra dose of texture, but I sometimes like to mix in a small amount of corn as well.

How long does cilantro lime rice last?

If you’ve just whipped up this recipe, then the rice can be left out for serving for up to four hours.

Once that time has passed, the rice should be stored in a sealed container or bag and kept in the refrigerator. When kept chilled, cilantro rice will remain good for up to three days.

Can you freeze cilantro rice?

Yes, you totally can!

Once made, allow the rice to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer container or bag.

Frozen rice will remain good for up to three months.

What goes with cilantro lime rice?

Due to the dashes of lime and cilantro, this rice dish is typically served with Mexican-themed dishes. However, I’ve also served it with American classics and it’s been just as good.

A couple of my favorites include:

Fork fluffing cilantro lime rice.

What type of white rice should you use?

When it comes to white rice, it typically comes in three different types that are distinguished by the length of the rice kernels. This measurement, called “grain length,” is determined by the length to width ratio of the rice once cooked.

As far as the different types, there are:

  • Short Grain Rice – This rice is short and plump in size, almost the point of looking round. Short grain rice is soft and sticky once cooked. Rice like this is typically used in dishes like sushi.
  • Medium Grain Rice – These rice kernels are wider, typically two to three times longer than it’s width. Medium rice is commonly used in dishes like paella or rositto.
  • Long Grain Rice – As the name implies, this rice is long and thin, typically four to five times longer than its width. This recipe for cilantro rice calls for long grain rice, and it’s also used in recipes for pilafs and salads.

Notes & tips for cilantro lime rice

  • Want to use brown rice instead? You totally can! Just use an additional 1/4 to 1/2 broth and cook for another 5-15 minutes. And for those extra minutes, be sure to check the rice often to see how fast it’s absorbing the liquid. You can stop cooking as soon as no liquid pools when using a spoon to scoop aside some of the rice.
  • I made this recipe on a stovetop, but you can also whip it up in a rice cooker. Check your rice cooker for any specific cooking instructions they recommend (such as rinsing the rice before cooking, cook times, and any “rice to liquid” ratios [ex: 3/4 cup rice to 1 cup liquid]) and make adjustments to the recipe listed on this page. From there, you’re set to replace rice cooker wherever saucepan is mentioned in the recipe.

More great side dishes

How to make cilantro rice

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large saucepan, toss in the vegetable broth (or chicken broth or water), white rice, butter, garlic, lime juice, and lime zest. Give everything a stir, then bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Step 2 – Remove saucepan from heat and let it rest five minutes.

Step 3 – Fluff the rice, then gently mix in the cilantro and green onion.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Cilantro lime rice garnished with lime wedges.
4.39 from 13 votes

Cilantro Lime Rice

10 minutes prep + 20 minutes cook
205 kcal
Yields: 4 servings
With tender white rice flavored with fresh cilantro and zesty lime, this easy cilantro lime rice is the perfect side dish for garnish for any flavorful meal.



  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring vegetable broth, rice, butter, garlic, lime juice, and lime zest to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and rice let stand five minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir rice with a spatula, loosening any rice that may be stuck along the sides or bottom. Add cilantro and green onion to saucepan, then gently mix them with the rice.
  • Serve cilantro rice immediately. If desired, garnish rice with lime slices.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 499mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 469IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating

1 comment

    • Nicole
    • 5 stars

    So good! I have tried similar recipes but this one is hands down the best. Will definitely make it again. Thank you for sharing!