Cilantro Lime Rice

I love serving this cilantro lime rice recipe as a fresh, bright side dish with Asian or Mexican food. Plus, it's a great base for homemade burrito bowls!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Sometimes you just need a quick, tasty side dish to complete your summertime meal, so let me introduce you to – cilantro lime rice! This recipe couldn’t be easier, and it’s perfect to have in your back pocket for quick, weeknight burrito bowls – just add beans, veggies, salsa, and guacamole. It also pairs nicely with whatever you’re grilling – serve it alongside grilled avocados or next to grilled veggie kabobs, maybe with a little chipotle sauce or cilantro lime dressing over the top. You get the idea. On to the recipe!

Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe Ingredients

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

Making this cilantro lime rice recipe couldn’t be simpler. Beyond cooking the rice, there are only a few extra steps:

  1. Start by cooking your rice on the stove or in a rice cooker (stovetop instructions are listed in the recipe below). Long-grain white jasmine or basmati rice are my top choices, but you could also use short grain white or brown rice if that’s what you have in your pantry. Just be sure to use an appropriate water:rice ratio for whatever variety you choose.
  2. When the rice is finished cooking, mix it with minced garlic, scallions, and lime zest while it’s hot.
  3. Allow it to cool slightly, and then add olive oil, sea salt, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño or red pepper flakes if you like your rice spicy.
  4. Serve it as a side dish or use it as a component in your favorite burrito bowl!

Cilantro lime rice recipe

Cilantro Lime Rice Serving Suggestions

With its fresh, bright flavor, this green rice goes especially well with Asian and Mexican-inspired dishes. Serve it as a simple side dish with tacos or a protein of your choice or try stuffing it into peppers like these mini peppers or these poblanos! It would also be a great base for any of these bowl recipes:

Let me know what other creative uses you find for it!

Cilantro Lime Rice

More Plant-Based Cooking Basics

If you love this recipe, try one of these plant-based cooking components next:

Cilantro Lime Rice

rate this recipe:
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
I love serving this cilantro lime rice recipe as a fresh, bright side dish with Asian or Mexican food. Plus, it's a great base for homemade burrito bowls!


  • 1 cup long-grain jasmine rice, rinsed well and drained
  • cups water
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or ¼ diced jalapeño, optional


  • Combine the rice, water, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes (or check the time listed on the package of your rice).
  • Uncover, fluff with a fork, then add the garlic, scallions, and lime zest and stir to combine. Let cool for 1 minute then add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, lime juice, cilantro, and red pepper flakes or jalapeño, if using. Stir to combine and season to taste.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Nancy Brennan

    5 stars
    I made it tonight and it was awesome. I used lime olive oil and I look forward to making it again !

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nancy, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. PJ

    5 stars
    Altough I forgot the red pepper flakes, I loved this! I used it in burrito bolws along with taco quinoa “meat” and other tex-mex fixings.
    I can’t wait to make it again 😉

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Cecily

    Absolutely delicious! Love your recipes, really into meal planning and Love & Lemons is a very reliant source for good, healthy make-aheads, thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cecily, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes! Thank you for taking a minute to let us know!

  4. Lexane

    5 stars
    This is a bit off topic, but the spoon in the photo is beautiful. Do you know where it came from? Thank you so much!

    Love love love your recipes!

  5. May

    5 stars
    Very easy and tasty. I used our rice cooker and did half white and half brown rice and it was a great base for our burrito bowls.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the rice!

  6. CRK

    Is this rice dish meant to be served cold, room temperature or hot as it says it can be made ahead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cynthia, any temperature is fine. I serve it hot if I’m making it right then, room temp if I’m preparing other components, or cold if I’m eating it myself for lunch the next day. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. June

    5 stars
    I tasted cilantro lime rice at a restaurant while on vacation and I fell in love. I’ve been looking for the flavor and have bought different brands of preseasoned rice hoping for something similar. I thought I’d have to settle for mediocre until I found your recipe. This is it!!!! So simple, yet do profound! The flavor is amazing! I just made a huge pot and it’s just me, my husband and our son, but I don’t see this lasting for leftovers tomorrow! Lol. Thank you so much! Definitely a keeper!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi June, I’m so glad it was a hit and that you don’t have to settle for mediocre rice, ha ha 🙂

  8. summer

    Hi where can I find the video for this cilantro and rice recipe? thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Summer, I don’t have a video for this one yet, but I’m slowly working on getting a video for each recipe.

  9. Jen

    Hi! Looking for make ahead bbq apps. Can I make the salsa and rice the day before and then prepare the peppers day of? Or what are your favorite apps?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jen, can you let me know which peppers and salsa you’re referring to? (I’m not sure if you left the comment on the right recipe). The cilantro lime rice could be made the day before. If it gets dry in the fridge overnight, just stir in a little bit of water.

  10. Kim

    Served with sous vide salmon. Delish! Thank you for this recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Clelie Rich

    And for those of use who can’t tolerate cilantro, it’s a perfect rice base recipe to replace the cilantro with mint or parsley. I love my mint version!

  12. Dan Phillips

    Looks like a wonderful side with Blackened Chicken Tacos and Mango Salsa.

  13. Kate

    My husband and I truly enjoyed the cilantro lime rice. It was bright, fresh and perfect for our chicken rice bowl. Thanks so much.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.