This light and fresh Cilantro Lime Rice is the perfect side dish to any Mexican meal, but also great with grilled chicken and fish. A new and exciting way to enjoy rice, it is made with just a few ingredients and ready in under 25 minutes.
We are always looking for new ways to make rice a bit more exciting. Not only it this a delicious rice dish, but it's super simple to make too. Simply cook the rice, and then mix in plenty of lime juice and cilantro (coriander), a little oil and season. There are lots of ways to adapt it to add extra flavours too. It's our new favourite side dish.
If you are looking for other ways to use coriander (cilantro), then why not try our Carrot and Coriander Salad or Carrot and Coriander Soup.
Why you will love it
- A new and exciting way to enjoy rice - Rice is such a versatile side dish, but it can get a little boring. This is an easy way to make it more exciting.
- Just 7 ingredients - Most of them you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Low in calories - there is only 265 calorie per serving.
- Easy to adapt - Use this is a base and then adapt it with different flavours.
- Rice - We used basmati, as that's what we had in our cupboard. However, you could use short grain white or brown if that is what you have. Just be sure to use the right rice to water ratio for the rice you are using and adjust cooking time if needed.
- Water - This is what the rice is cooked in.
- Oil - We used a good quality olive oil.
- Limes - Make sure they are juicy limes, otherwise you will need to use more.
- Garlic - Fresh is best. Make sure it is finely crushed, almost like a puree, to ensure even distribution in the rice.
- Coriander (cilantro) - This is the star of the rice and always use fresh.
- Salt and pepper - Season to taste.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Rinse the rice in cold water and then add the to a saucepan with the water and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Bring to the boil and then cover. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
Two: Juice the limes and chop the cilantro (coriander).
Three: Fluff up the rice with a fork and then add the rest of the oil, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and cilantro.
What to serve with Cilantro Lime Rice
This is such a versatile side dish and anything that you would usually serve rice with, you can serve this with. Because it is bursting with lime and cilantro, we think it goes really well with Mexican dishes. Why not try it with our Chicken Burrito Bowl, Turkey Chilli, Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken or Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas.
It also goes really well with Thai dishes like our Vegetable Thai Green Curry or Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry.
You could also keep it simple and just serve it with some grilled chicken, salmon or vegetables. It's an easy side to put together for a BBQ when you want to bulk out the sides without making too much effort.
The great thing about this rice is that it' so easy to adapt. You could keep it classic with just the lime and cilantro, or add a little kick of spice. We like a sprinkling of red chilli flakes stirred in at the same time as the lime and cilantro. Or, you could chop up some fresh jalapeños to add on top.
If you like a little more crunch in your rice, then some chopped up spring onions (scallions) or even some shallots. Why not give it a green boost with some finely chopped spinach to add at the same time as the cilantro? I also think some chopped sun-dried tomatoes work really well.
If you wanted to make a lighter and lower carb version of this, then swap half the rice for grated cauliflower.
Store: Rice left out at room temperature can develop harmful bacteria quite quickly, so if it has been left out for more than 2 hours, discard it.
To store cooked rice in the fridge cool it as quickly as possible and put in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible. Once cooled, put into sealable bags, squeeze out as much air as possible and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: You can keep rice in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat cooked rice, sprinkle with a little water and put in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until the rice has heated through. Frozen rice can be added directly to dishes like stews, casseroles, stir fry or soups when cooking. You can also reheat it in a pan on the stove with a tablespoon of water, stirring it as it heats.
White rice is best rinsed in cold water before cooking to remove its starchy coating. Put the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water and then simply swirl with your hand. Repeat a few times until the water is clear. By doing this, it will prevent the rice from clumping together when cooking.
There is no difference - they are the same thing. Kind of! It all depends where you are from, and the coriander/cilantro terminology can get a little confusing.
Coriander is the term used in the UK to describe the leaves of the herb. In the US, however, fresh leaves are referred to as cilantro. The seeds of the Coriandrum sativum plant (where the coriander/cilantro leaves come from), are called Coriander Seeds in the UK, and simply Coriander in the US.
You can read more UK/US food name differences here.
Yes, as long as you make sure there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
Yes, this is vegan.
Yes, there is no need to cook it as it can be eaten raw.
• You can swap the lime for lemon if you prefer it, or if that's all you have.
• Not a fan of coriander? You could use parsley or basil instead.
• Give the rice a kick of spice with some red chilli flakes or chopped jalapenos.
• You can give the rice a green boost with some chopped spinach.
• You can use a different rice to what we have used, but be sure to use the correct rice to water ratio and adjust the cooking time if needed.
• Don't throw away the stems of the herbs. Chop them up as well, as they have so much flavour.
• For some extra lime flavour, add some lime zest to the cooking water.
• Let the rice cool a little before adding the cilantro, as you don't want the heat of the rice to cook it because it will lose some of the flavour.
More rice recipes
If you’ve tried this cilantro lime rice recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Cilantro Lime Rice
- 240 g (1.25 cups) Basmati rice
- 300 ml (1.25 cups) Water
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 Limes - (juice and zest only)
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 25 g (1.5 cups) Fresh coriander (cilantro) - finely chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Rinse 240 g Basmati rice in cold water and then add the to a saucepan with the 300 ml Water and 1 tablespoon Olive oil. Bring to the boil and then cover. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
- Juice 2 Limes and chop the 25 g Fresh coriander (cilantro).
- Fluff up the rice with a fork and then add 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 Garlic clove, Sea salt and black pepper, lime juice and cilantro.
- You can swap the lime for lemon if you prefer it, or if that's all you have.
- Not a fan of coriander? You could use parsley or basil instead.
- Give the rice a kick of spice with some red chilli flakes or chopped jalapenos.
- You can give the rice a green boost with some chopped spinach.
- You can use a different rice to what we have used, but be sure to use the correct rice to water ratio and adjust the cooking time if needed.
- Don't throw away the stems of the herbs. Chop them up as well, as they have so much flavour.
- For some extra lime flavour, add some lime zest to the cooking water.
- Let the rice cool a little before adding the cilantro, as you don't want the heat of the rice to cook it because it will lose some of the flavour.
This looks delicious! Lime is one of my favorite flavorings so I'm all for adding this recipe to my repertoire!