Super Delicious Copycat Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

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Learn how to make Chipotle cilantro lime rice at home with this easy copycat recipe. Soft, fluffy rice infused with citrusy lime and bright cilantro is a tasty, zesty side dish for bowls, burritos, and more.

Make your favorite Chipotle side dishes from the comfort of your kitchen. Try my Super Simple Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe and Easy Chipotle Black Beans Recipe next!

a bowl of rice beside a larger pot containing more and scattered limes

Chipotle cilantro lime rice is a delicious Mexican side dish. If you want to upgrade your plain white rice, this dish is flavorful and clump-free.

It’s as simple as simmering rice with a bay leaf, fluffing it, then adding lime juice and cilantro. Your wallet and your taste buds will be thankful for this one!

a bowl of cilantro lime rice

Why you will love Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice:

Cheap! I love Chipotle, but when you’re feeding a family, eating fast food adds up quickly. Making this rice at home is a budget-friendly way to enjoy the same delicious flavors without breaking the bank.

Flavorful! This recipe is packed with fresh, vibrant flavors from the citrusy lime and aromatic cilantro, creating a tasty and refreshing side dish that elevates any meal.

Versatile! This cilantro lime rice pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, from burritos and bowls to grilled meats and veggies, making it a versatile addition to your meal rotation.

close up view of Chipotle cilantro lime rice

Ingredients for Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

To make cilantro lime rice from Chipotle, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. Jasmine rice: Rinse and drain this long-grain rice to remove excess starch. This prevents the rice from becoming sticky and clumping together.
  2. Water: You need liquid to cook the rice.
  3. Salt: This enhances the overall taste.
  4. Bay leaf: This adds a mild herbal note.
  5. Lime: Fresh lime juice gives the rice a vibrant pop of citrus flavor.
  6. Cilantro: Finely chop the cilantro so you get that flavor in every bite of rice. And yes, you can use the stems!
a bowl of rice beside a larger pot containing more and scattered limes, cilantro, and a juicer

How to Make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Begin by thoroughly rinsing the jasmine rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This ensures the removal of excess starch for perfectly fluffy rice. Then, in a pot, combine the rinsed rice with 4 cups of water.

Alternatively, you can use the “finger trick” method: after adding the rice to the pot, fill it with water until it reaches the first knuckle of your index finger when you rest your fingertip on the surface of the rice.

one finger inserted into a pot of rice and water

Sprinkle in the salt and add the bay leaf for a subtle hint of flavor. Place the pot on the stove uncovered and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

rice cooking in a pot with a bay leaf

After this time, remove the pot from the heat but keep the lid on. This allows the rice to rest and absorb any remaining moisture for an additional 5 minutes.

cooked rice in a pot with a bay leaf

Then take off the lid, discard the bay leaf, and stir in the finely chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice until everything is well combined. Your Chipotle cilantro lime rice is now ready to be served immediately. Enjoy!

fluffed rice in a pot

Tips and Variations

  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Chipotle uses bran oil for their rice but you honestly don’t need to use oil for this recipe. The rice cooks perfectly with just water.
  • To make this cilantro lime rice recipe with brown rice, increase the cooking time to about 30-35 minutes, keeping the pot covered and simmering until the rice is tender. Follow the same steps for rinsing, seasoning, and adding cilantro and lime juice after cooking.
  • Once the rice has cooled down, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • To make this recipe in a slow cooker, combine the rinsed jasmine rice, water, salt, and bay leaf in the slow cooker, then cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the rice is tender. Once done, remove the bay leaf, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, and serve immediately.
a bowl of rice beside a larger pot containing more and scattered limes

What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Grilled Chicken: The fresh, citrusy flavors of the rice complement the smoky, savory taste of Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor perfectly.
  • Fish Tacos: The zesty lime and cilantro in the rice enhance the flavors of the fish and add a refreshing element to the dish.
  • Burrito Bowls: Cilantro lime rice serves as a flavorful base that ties together all the ingredients in a burrito bowl. Add some juicy steak bites and Fajita Veggies for bold flavor.
  • Black Beans: Top your rice with tender black beans for a quick protein-rich vegetarian meal.
close up view of a bowl of rice

FAQ

Chipotle uses brown rice and white rice.

A single serving of cilantro lime rice is 205 calories.

Both the brown and white rice at Chipotle are made with cilantro. While some locations may be able to honor a request for rice without cilantro, it’s not standard.

If cilantro isn’t your thing, you can replace it with parsley or oregano.
Parsley adds a fresh, mildly peppery flavor with a hint of earthiness. Oregano, on the other hand, imparts a more robust, slightly minty, and aromatic taste, for a Mediterranean twist.

a bowl of rice beside a larger pot containing more and scattered limes

More delicious rice recipes you’ll love

a bowl of Chipotle cilantro lime rice
Yield: 6 servings

Super Delicious Copycat Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Learn how to make Chipotle cilantro lime rice at home with this easy copycat recipe. Soft, fluffy rice infused with citrusy lime and bright cilantro is a tasty, zesty side dish for bowls, burritos, and more.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 whole Lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Rinse your rice under water until the water runs clear. Now add 4 cups of water into the pot with the rice, or use the “finger trick” method: after adding the rice to the pot, fill it with water until it reaches the first knuckle of your index finger when you rest your fingertip on the surface of the rice.
  2. Sprinkle your salt into the pot and add in your bay leaf. Place the pot on the stove uncovered and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat down to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let the rice simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the lid on for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid. Take out the bay leaf, add in the cilantro and the lime juice, and stir until everything is fully incorporated. Serve right away, and enjoy!

Notes

Finger trick method to cook rice: After you rinse the rice until the water runs clear, place your index finger on top of the rice and add the water until it reaches the first line of your finger! It is the perfect amount of water every single time! Whether you’re using a rice cooker, pot, instant pot… you don’t even need a measuring cup.

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