Chipotle Knockoff Cilantro Lime Rice

4.72 from 7 votes
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This delicious zesty rice has a sharp lime kick and is a perfect side for any of your Mexican favorites!

This recipe has been updated since it’s original publishing date in 2015.

Chipotle Knockoff Cilantro Lime Rice.
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A bowl of Chipotle knockoff cilantro lime rice.

Fresh Cilantro Lime Rice

One of our absolute favorite restaurants is Chipotle- we love their burritos, burrito bowls, and all of their fillings. One of my kids absolute favorite things from Chipotle though is their rice- the slightly sweet, buttery, cilantro and lime packed delicious rice that they make so well. Today I am sharing my favorite new technique for making a Chipotle Knockoff Cilantro Lime Rice–  and it’s incredibly quick and easy!

Now, this won’t cut down on our frequent trips (I dont care how similar my foods tastes- there is just nothing compared to fresh Chipotle burritos that I don’t have to cook)- but it can help my kids satisfy their love for their rice in between trips!

Be sure to try our Instant Pot Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat and our Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa, too!

Cilantro lime rice in a white bowl with lime slices.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

To make this recipe, we need the following ingredients:

  • Butter: Adds a rich, creamy texture and enhances the overall flavor.
  • Cilantro: Provides a fresh and zesty kick that contrasts well with the richness of the butter.
  • Lime Juice: Lends tanginess and brightens up the dish, complementing the cilantro.
  • Water: The cooking medium for the rice, pretty straightforward!
  • Basmati Rice: A long-grain rice that’s aromatic and fluffy, serving as the perfect base for the other flavors to shine.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use this process:

  • In a large, heavy pan, melt butter on high. Add in 1/2 cilantro and lime juice. Cook until butter is foamy, add rice.
  • Stir rice and let butter absorb, slightly toasting the rice. Add water and turn heat to high. When water is boiling, reduce heat to low and cover.
  • Let sit 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let “steam”, 20 minutes.
  • Fluff rice with fork and add 1 tsp lime juice and second 1/2 cilantro. Serve!
A Chipotle knockoff bowl of cilantro lime rice.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice

Rinse the Rice: Wash it until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. This makes the rice less gummy.

Use a Good-Quality Lime: Fresh, juicy limes will make a difference.

Cooking Liquid: You can use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.

Butter or Oil: If you prefer, you can use olive oil instead of butter for a lighter touch.

Fluff, Don’t Stir: Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork rather than stirring to keep it from getting mushy.

Cilantro Timing: Add half while cooking and half afterward for a burst of fresh flavor.

Taste and Adjust: After it’s cooked, taste and add more lime or salt as needed.

Cooking Method: Consider using a rice cooker for consistent results.

Leftovers: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently with a splash of water.

Don’t Rush: Letting the rice sit for a few minutes after cooking helps with texture.

FAQs

Can I use brown rice instead of basmati?

Yes, but adjust the cooking time as brown rice takes longer to cook.

Can I make this vegan?

Absolutely! Use olive oil or vegan butter instead of regular butter.

How do I store leftovers?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze cilantro lime rice?

Yes, you can! Just make sure it’s cooled completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container.

Why is my rice mushy?

You may have used too much water, or stirred the rice while cooking.

What can I pair cilantro lime rice with?

It’s great with grilled meats, in burrito bowls, or as a stand-alone side.

Can I use lemon instead of lime?

Yes, but it’ll have a different, yet still delicious, citrusy flavor.

What if I don’t have fresh cilantro?

Fresh is best, but in a pinch, you can use dried cilantro. Use it sparingly, as it’s more concentrated.

Do I have to use basmati rice?

No, but it does give the best aromatic and fluffy results. Jasmine rice is a good alternative.

Can I make cilantro lime rice in a rice cooker?

Yes! Follow your rice cooker’s guidelines for water-to-rice ratio and add the other ingredients accordingly.

Lime rice in a white bowl with lime slices, Chipotle Knockoff.

What to Serve With Cilantro Lime Rice

Grilled Chicken: Especially if it’s marinated in a lime or citrus-based sauce.

Fish Tacos: The zesty rice compliments the flavors of fish tacos excellently.

Black Beans: Go for a plant-based meal by combining the rice with seasoned black beans, instant pot pinto beans, or spicy garlicky beans!

Fajitas: Whether it’s chicken, beef, or veggie, fajitas and this rice are a match made in heaven.

Shrimp Skewers: Grilled or sautéed shrimp add a seafood flair to the mix.

Chili: A spicier chili is nicely balanced out by the refreshing tang of the rice.

Burrito Bowls: Use the rice as the base and pile on your favorite toppings like guac, sour cream, and salsa.

Quesadillas: Serve it on the side to add a fresh element to cheesy quesadillas.

Steak: Particularly good with a citrus-marinated steak or carne asada.

Pork Carnitas: The rich flavors of the pork go well with the light and zesty rice.

Fresh Veggies: Keep it simple and light with some grilled or roasted vegetables.

A bowl of Chipotle knockoff cilantro lime rice.

Chipotle Knockoff Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

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A Chipotle Knockoff bowl of cilantro lime rice topped with limes.

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A Chipotle knockoff with cilantro lime rice.
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Chipotle Knockoff Cilantro Lime Rice

Delicious zesty fresh cilantro lime rice tastes just like the Chipotle classic!
Course Rice
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chipotle knockoff, mexican, mexican rice, side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 104kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup cilantro diced , divided
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup basmati rice

Instructions

  • In a large, heavy pan, melt butter on high.
  • Add in 1/2 cilantro and lime juice.
  • Cook until butter is foamy, add rice.
  • Stir rice and let butter absorb, slightly toasting the rice.
  • Add water and turn heat to high.
  • When water is boiling, reduce heat to low and cover.
  • Let sit 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let "steam", 20 minutes.
  • Fluff rice with fork and add 1 tsp lime juice and second 1/2 cilantro.
  • Serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 51mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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4.72 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

  1. Barbie O says:

    Former Chipotle manager here- cooking the butter and cilantro is an unnecessary step and will ruin the brightness of the cilantro. Just cook the rice abd toss it with salt, a teeny bit of soy oil, 50/50 lemon and lime juice and cilantro. Keep it simple!

    1. Michael says:

      Like that idea keep it simple thank you

  2. Audrey@That Recipe says:

    I have never been to Chipotle, but this looks fabulous.

    Thanks for sharing on Tasty Tuesdays, hope to see you back next week.

  3. Full of It says:

    This looks great! I’m a huge Chipotle fan so anytime I see an at-home Chipotle style anything is immediately bookmarked! Thanks for sharing!