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Cilantro Lime Rice (stove + rice cooker)


Fragrant and citrussy, this cilantro lime rice can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker! Easy to prepare and no sautéing, this is the great side dish for Mexican and Asian recipes.

While I love a kind bowl of great, fluffy rice, you can obtain so creative with the flavors: from saffron rice to coconut rice, a few simple ingredients can really level up the flavors!

cilantro lime rice in brown bowl on grey background

This cilantro lime rice is the great example of how a few simple ingredients can really take your rice to a whole other level. Fragrant, citrussy, with refreshing cilantro flavor, it is great to serve with Mexican or Thai entrées.

Reasons you’ll ♡ cilantro lime rice

  • it pairs well with a variety of entrées
  • no sautéeing any ingredients means you can cook it quickly on the stove or in the rice cooker
  • the rice infuses with so much flavor as it cooks

Recipe video

Watch the video below to see how simple this rice is to cook. You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

ingredients for cilantro lime rice recipe in the rice cooker

Ingredient notes

  • rice– use long grain white rice; I highly recommend using basmati. If you use long grain brown rice, you’ll need to commute the cook time accordingly.
  • oil– I’ve used coconut oil, which helps soften the rice and make it fluffy. You may swap for butter.
  • lime– to keep the bright, citrussy flavors while avoiding sourness, we are just using the zest of the lime to cook the rice, adding in some fresh lime juice just before serving.
  • cooking liquid– the recipe lists water, however you could swap for chicken or vegetable stock for an even more flavorful recipe.
  • cilantro- add it just before serving. This keeps the flavors bright and the texture from being soggy and unpleasant.

chipotle cilantro lime rice in rice cooker (after cooking)

Recipe tips

Rinse the rice

Rinsing your rice helps remove extra starch from the surface of the grains, making your rice kind and fluffy. You can rinse it in one of two ways: 1) use a colander and rinse under tap water or 2) BEST- add rice to the pot, cover with water, swirl, carefully decant the water, and repeat 3-4 times, or until the water becomes clear.

Always let your rice rest

In addition to rinsing your rice, it’s crucial to allow the rice to rest after cooking by allowing the moisture to evenly distribute in the pot. After your pot of rice has finished cooking through, transfer to a cold burner and allow to rest (no peeking!) for 10 more minutes, before fluffing with a fork, folding in the cilantro, and serving.

If you are using a rice cooker, the rest period should be built into the cook cycle, so no need to do this.

Storage + Reheating

While rice does have a bad reputation, if handled properly, there should be no food safety issues:

  • Get it into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking- do not let it sit at room temperature for too long as this is the temperature at which harmful bacteria can replicate
  • Store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
  • Reheat until steaming hot
  • Do not reheat more than once

Read more about food safety and rice.

Freezing

This rice freezes well, though the cilantro does obtain soggy. You can freeze it in meal prep containers or in freezer bags (I love these re-usable silicone freezer bags!). Some people add a small bit of water when re-heating freeze/thawed rice, as it does end up slightly dryer than fresh rice.

Instant Pot

After many trials and tribulations, I finally cracked the code for great Instant Pot basmati rice. To make cilantro lime rice in the Instant Pot, add the quantities of lime zest, coconut oil and salt listed in the recipe card in this post, but cut the cooking liquid down to 1 1/4 cups.

lime cilantro rice in brown bowl on grey background

What goes well with this recipe?

This recipe is infused with subtle citrus and herb flavors that pair well with Mexican and Asian recipes. Here are some ideas:

More rice recipes

Cilantro Lime Rice

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Mexican

Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, rice, vegan

Calories: 199kcal

Servings: 4

Fragrant and citrussy, this cilantro lime rice can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker! Easy to prepare and no sautéing, this is the great side dish for Mexican and Asian recipes.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time35 mins

Total Time40 mins

Instructions

Stove Top

  • In a medium pot, combine the basmati rice, coconut oil, salt, lime zest and water. 

  • Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. 

  • Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before adding the cilantro and lime juice and stirring up.

Rice Cooker

  • Spritz your rice cooker insert with some spray oil. Add the basmati rice, coconut oil, salt, lime zest and water.

  • Cook using the ‘white rice’ function (or regular function if there is not a white rice option).

  • Once the cook time is up, stir in the cilantro and lime juice before serving.

Notes

1- you can use any long grain white rice, but check the package; Jasmine rice has a different water: rice ratio than basmati.
2- I recommend refined coconut oil as it does not have a prominent coconut flavor; swap for butter if you’d like.
3- for an even more flavorful rice, swap the water for chicken or vegetable stock.
Storage
Get rice into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking, and do not let it sit at room temperature for extended periods of time.

  • fridge- store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
  • freezer- store in a meal prep container or sturdy freezer bag (rolled flat) for up to 3 months

Reheating
Heat back up in the microwave until steaming hot; some people add a splash of water to help revive the rice as it can dry out slightly as it stores.
Never reheat rice more than once.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of batch | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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