Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Have you ever been a situation when you wanted to throw out all things complicated - be it from serious life to career issues to as simple as clearing out a crumpled up wardrobe to your bookshelf? Ah! I know how it feels. Sometimes I feel that we all make things too complicated when they need not be. A simple solution is all it probably needs. Simplicity is the best cure for most of our problems but well, it can be the hardest thing to get (what a paradox!).
Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
I LOVE chipotle and especially their Vegetarian Fajita Burritos. Down to earth ingredients come together to form such a delicious and clean flavor. Its an epitome of simplicity. I especially love their rice and I was surprised to see that there are quite a few lovers for that rice like me (Web- what do we do without you?). Here is the recipe for Chipotle style Cilantro and Lime Rice. Has only 3 main ingredients and takes like 10-15 minutes to cook!

Enjoy it in Black and Mango Quesadillas for a substantial lunch, or in a burrito along with Vegan Frijoles refritos (Refried Beans), Guacamole, Pico de gallo or vibrant Mango Salsa. Its great as a side to any spicy meal which is how we enjoy it more often along with chilled Watermelon Agua Fresca.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup Basmati or any other long grained rice, rinsed lightly in cold water
  • 1 tsp oil (for that authentic taste use 1 tbsp butter)
  • 1-2 small limes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • about 3 tbsp cilantro
  • salt to taste
1. Soak the rice in some water for 10 minutes. Although it is not required, I find that it helps to keep the grains separate and avoids it getting mushy!
2. In a skillet, in low heat, add the butter/oil along with rice and sugar. Let the rice get coated with the oil. Once the rice gets aromatic add juice of 1 lime. Stir for a minute.
3. Add 2 cups of water and salt - cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Check to see if the rice has absorbed all the water. ( Note: Some people like to cook Basmati with 1 cup water. For me 2 cups works well since I find that 1 cup gives a crunchy grain and is not completely cooked.)
5. Stir it v lightly and add chopped cilantro. You can add more if you like. Taste and add more lime juice if required. Remove from flame, fluff the rice lightly and let it sit for 1-2 minutes with the lid on.
You can optionally add lime wedges as garnish. I served it along with Frijoles Refritos ( Refried Beans). This rice goes very well with spicy and hot dishes. The flavors are simple though they burst with the freshness of lime and aroma of cilantro. Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

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9 Member Reviews

By Linda on Jun 13, 2014

Followed your instructions to the T. Turned out perfect! Slightly more mild in the cilantro taste but I actually like that better! I found another recipe for making the copy cat beans. I poured the beans on top of the rice and topped it with shredded  monterey jack and sliced avacado. I will definately make it again! Thanks!

By Robin on Oct 11, 2012

It's very good.I made it with a little less Cilantro since we don't like alot of Cilantro.We're having it with chicken tacos...Yummy.thanks for the recipe..................

Read All 9 Reviews →


By Nicole on Sep 29, 2015

Made this as written and loved it. My brand of rice called for 1.25 cups of water per cup of rice, so I did somewhere in between that and your recommendation of 2 cups (about 1 and 2/3). Next time, we'll have to make more than one cup. So good!

By Sanam on Jul 1, 2015

Don't stir the rice while cooking, that will make the rice sticky. Cook the rice on low for the last 7 minutes and keep it covered (after the rice comes to boil)- it will make the rice fluffy.

By Melissa on Mar 24, 2015

Hello- I made this today; and my rice was really sticky. What did I do wrong? was it to add 2 cups of water for 1 cup rice?

By Chipotle Rice Recipe | News Blog on Nov 7, 2014

[...] Chipotle style cilantro lime rice recipe | mexican recipes This easy and fast rice recipe is a mock/copy cat version of the famous chipotle styles cilantro lime rice. under 15 minutes with just about 3 main. [...]

By Chipotle Rice Recipe | News on Nov 7, 2014

[...] Chipotle style cilantro lime rice recipe | mexican recipes This easy and fast rice recipe is a mock/copy cat version of the famous chipotle styles cilantro lime rice. under 15 minutes with just about 3 main. [...]

By Chipotle Rice Recipe | Artikel Terupdate on Nov 6, 2014

[...] Chipotle style cilantro lime rice recipe | mexican recipes This easy and fast rice recipe is a mock/copy cat version of the famous chipotle styles cilantro lime rice. under 15 minutes with just about 3 main. [...]

By Peggy on Oct 28, 2014

I love this recipe..I use regular white rice though, I buy in bulk so I didn't want to purchase different rice. It still worked perfect. I was worried that the Lime would overpower it, but it didn't. I'm actually making it again tonight, for the second week in a row. Delicious. I used it with chicken Fajitas, black beans,corn and avacado, putting it together in a bowl minus the tortilla.

By Miriam on Sep 26, 2014

8) :mrgreen: :lol: This is a fantastic recipe, very clear and very simple. Thanks for posting it! I cook with basmati frequently (Middle Eastern food), and there is no substitute. At least one commenter mentioned minute rice... the rice makes all the difference. Buy one of those burlap bags of basmati that you can find in the international foods section of your store. Soaking definitely gives the described light, fluffy texture. I usually soak the rice 1 hr to overnight in salted water (and omit the salt in the water when cooking). Fresh cilantro and lime juice is best, but I have also had good results with Nellie and Joe's lime juice. I've also used dry cilantro when no fresh was available, adding it to the water while cooking. Another good variation (but not Chipotle-style) is to sautee some finely chopped onion in the butter before adding the rice to the pan.

By Pam Umscheid on Sep 25, 2014

This sounds great! just 1 question when you cook the rice for 10 to 15 min what temperature still on low heat?

By Tony on Sep 18, 2014

8-O :mrgreen: :-D :) AWESOMENESS thanks for the recipe!!

By Annie on Jun 24, 2014

Made this for my son's 21st birthday dinner. He and the rest of the clan absolutely loved it. Thanks for sharing!

By Recipe Review: Cilantro Lime Rice | back for more… on Jun 3, 2014

[...] strolling for yummy recipes, I came across this stellar gem: Chipotle Lime Rice (Chipotle Style) at Chef In You. You have to go check out this website and this recipe! It was so good! I fully intend on making it [...]

By My Pinterest Meals- Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas meal ideas | Jonesin' For Taste on Apr 15, 2014

[...] Dish 2: Chipotle Style Cilantro Lime Rice by Chef In You Filed Under: chicken, make-your-own-takeout, Mexican, My Pinterest Meals, side [...]

By Julie on Mar 23, 2014

Just made this - I followed the former Chipotle worker's tip of adding lemon juice too, and the kosher salt. Used butter because I love it. It tasted pretty darn close! Thank you!! 8)

By My Pinterest Meals- Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas meal ideas | My CMS on Mar 11, 2014

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By Tonia on Feb 25, 2014

:cry: Tried this recipe with Minute Rice----Yuk----bland and starchy---even soaked the rice. Thank goodness it was just going in burritos or I would have had to chuck it! Followed the Chipotle person and added the oil, lime and cilantro after the rice was cooked.

By toni on Feb 17, 2014

I agree with more water with Basmaati rice. Problem with following a recipe is that some struggle when quantities and timing needs to be tweaked. Cooking always needs to be adjusted depending on ingredients and variation in lots of things. Anyway, thanks for the rice idea.

By everythingofcooking on Jan 30, 2014

I often cook rice, we love it in our family and we love cilantro too, so your recipe is a great find for me! :)

By gwen on Oct 28, 2013

I really do not want to try the sugar in rice and I always learn to every cup of rice you use two cups of water and whats up with soaking the rice for 10mins its not beans

Its not beans - obviously! 'cos then you would soaking them overnight. But soaking the rice for few minutes, draining and then cooking it helps to keep the grains separate and fluffy.This method is popularly followed by the Indians to make their pulaos. --DK

By Megan on Sep 30, 2013

There is no sugar& there is no butter! its soy oil and salt with lemon lime juice and 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 cups of cilantro!

By Sides | Pearltrees on Jul 28, 2013

[...] Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe Avocado [...]

By Samara Swafford (samaraswafford) | Pearltrees on Jul 16, 2013

[...] all make things too complicated when they need not be. A simple solution is all it probably needs. Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe home • iPhone & iPad app • android app • contact • blog • facebook [...]

By Kema on May 25, 2013

:) Yesterday was my first time eating at Chipotle and I loved it! I'm in culinary arts school and automatically thought of trying it at home when I tasted it. So when I found the recipe today, I knew this would be for dinner.

By esbee on May 5, 2013

Love this. Assumed it was much harder than it was. I used one cup brown rice and one cup sushi rice (we like it sticky) in the rice cooker and added everything afterwards. Turned out amazing!

By Carol on Apr 15, 2013

:-P num num

By Carol on Apr 15, 2013

:-P , num num

By Nicole on Mar 26, 2013

I just made this and my family loves it. I added less water( I always add 1/4 cup of water less) and mine required 25 minutes to cook (followed the cooking instruction on the bag of rice.)

By Connie on Feb 14, 2013

I like to add a bit of finely grated lime zest into the rice for a more intensely lime taste.

By Making Our Life Matter on Feb 4, 2013

Love love love Chipotle rice! Thanks so much for sharing this. I found you via StumbleUpon.

By Lunch | Pearltrees on Jan 5, 2013

[...] Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe | Mexican recipes From the molten yolk and bacon crunch of a hand-held breakfast, to the gooey charm of grilled cheese for lunch, nothing matches the simple pleasures of well-made sandwiches. They're quick to assemble, infinitely adaptable, easy to eat, and immediately satisfying—the very definition of good food. The 25 sandwiches you're about to meet can be thrown together during the average basketball halftime or, with practice, during the seventh-inning stretch. (Who needs hot dogs, anyway?) [...]

By theultimatefoodaddict on Dec 19, 2012

I want to try this too. Thanks for sharing.

By Benefits of Limes | Baja Directory on Nov 28, 2012

[...] 10-15 minutes, and you will need some long grained rice, cilantro, two limes, and some butter (recipe here). The Cilantro can be served next to Vegan Frijoles Refritos (Refried [...]

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[...]  Turkey Cutlets with Cool Pepper Sauce, Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, and Side [...]

By Ana on Nov 3, 2012

Does chipotle use sugar in their rice?

By Dana on Oct 28, 2012

I have been searching high and low for a dish like this as the old-standby (spanish rice) is getting old. This looks so appetizing and I like the fact it has cilantro in it. I'll be making this soon.

By Dinner | Pearltrees on Sep 7, 2012

[...] Chipotle style Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe | Mexican recipes Have you ever been a situation when you wanted to throw out all things complicated - be it from serious life to career issues to as simple as clearing out a crumpled up wardrobe to your bookshelf? Ah! Easy Coconut Rice . Kitchen Explorers . PBS Parents If you like the flavor of coconut, this coconut rice is a killer side dish. It is about two minutes more work than normal rice, and it is a great change of pace because the rice goes from being the neutral canvas for other components to stealing the show. My family loves it with black beans and slices of avocado and mango, or pan-fried plantain slices. V ery easy to do, this is a nice change from traditional water cooked or steamed potatoes. [...]

By Last day of summer « The Further Adventures of Somer on Aug 26, 2012

[...] used this recipe for cilantro-lime rice and it was delicious. Due to time constraints, I didn’t soak the rice first and next time I [...]

By megan on Jul 28, 2012

cant wait to make t his

By Stacey Burton on Jul 21, 2012

:-P Loved this rice. I cooked the rice in my rice cooker and then added all of the rest of the ingredients. I tripled it to make for a get together. Turned out great! All gone at the end of the end of the night:)

By » Blog Archive » Playing in the Kitchen: Chipotle’s Lime-Cilantro Rice on Jul 19, 2012

[...] juice) at the end of the cooking process will help enhance the flavor. Recipe Inspiration: Source: via Cindy on [...]

By Ila on Jul 9, 2012

I made this. Cooked rice separately, then added sesame oil, lime juice and cilantro, salt and pepper. I was hungry so I also chopped up two hard boiled eggs. Yummy.

By $10 dinner: Fried Chicken and Watermelon Popsicles on Jul 6, 2012

[...] side dish suggestions: Cilantro lime rice, Oven fries, or your favorite picnic side, like coleslaw or potato salad! Live it up, its only [...]

By Catherine on Jun 20, 2012

Chipotle adds the seasoning after the rice is cooked. I was in there today and watched them prepare the brown rice. Also, for great fluffy brown rice, rinse rice, bring 4 cups water for every 1 cup of rice to boil. Add rinsed rice to boiling water. Boil uncovered for about 40 minutes. Drain. Return to pot. Cover leave without heat on burner for about 20 minutes. I boil rice like pasta to make a Persian dish as well--the rice comes out amazing.

By Daniel on Jun 12, 2012

This came out great! I used parboiled rice, cooked it first, then sauteed it in olive oil and butter, then added the sugar, lime, and cilantro at the end. Definitely doing this again. Taste like I was at Chipotle.

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By Kristen on May 2, 2012

I made this last night and have to say I was quite disappointed because it came out super mushy. I've never made rice like this before but followed the directions as posted and set my timer. Not sure why it didn't turn out like other posts.

The problem with rice is that the quality differs from place to place, brand to brand and at times the shelf life. It is hence better to not follow the timings exactly as per any recipe given but use as a guideline. Next time try with less water since from what you tell me, I think ur rice needs less water. --DK

By Courtney Desormeaux on Apr 25, 2012

This looks amazing! Love the flavor of cilantro...

By chitra on Apr 23, 2012

Lovely, new to me. Looks yummy..

By kbob on Apr 7, 2012

Turned out amazing. Love this recipe. Exactly like the chipotle rice

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[...] Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Style) [...]

By Grill girl @ Chipotle on Mar 26, 2012

Chipotle also adds a couple bay leaves to the rice while it is cooking :)

By Meredith on Mar 26, 2012

Do you think it would freeze well?

By Cilantro lime rice - - Network Panda – cPanel Web hosting, PHP, MySQL, unlimited disk space and bandwidth on Mar 25, 2012

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By Shari on Mar 25, 2012

Will this also work with brown rice?

By Shari on Mar 25, 2012

Will this also work with brown rice?

I havent personally tried it myself, but I see no reason to why it should not. You probably would need a tad bit more seasoning and herbs --DK

By Former Chipotle Worker on Mar 9, 2012

I use to work at Chipotle. This isn't the exact way to make it, but if it works go for it! Chipotle uses a rice cooker, then adds soy oil once the rice is cooked. Then add kosher salt, lime and lemon juice, fresh cilantro. The cilantro will wither over time and turn dark green rather than the fresh green color.

Nothing like from "the horses mouth". Will def. try ur way and see the difference. Thanks for taking out the time :) --DK

By Duyarlı&Duygusal « Futfak on Mar 9, 2012

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By Chicken enchiladas….well, sort of… « genscrazylife on Mar 9, 2012

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By April on Feb 16, 2012

I ate at Chipotle for the First time this past weekend and now I am hooked, I was wondering if it would make any Difference if you Use Fresh Cilantro or dried Cilantro. Also about how much Lime Juice do you use, because some limes have more juice than others.

I have never tried with dried cilantro hence cant comment on it, although I think fresh might be better than the dried version - but then I might be biased cos I just love the chipotle version to death :) --DK

By 1-month update! « From House to Home on Feb 7, 2012

[...] which will definitely be repeated in this cilantro and lime-loving household. I’m not sure if this is the exact recipe he used, but it was something very similar. Super [...]

By kylie on Dec 15, 2011

this is going on pinterest! :D

By Regina Richards on Jul 9, 2011

I made this. Delicious! I added black beans in at the end with the cilantro and served it with a side of sliced avacado and grapes. The family loved it!

By Nicholas Johnson on May 12, 2011

This recipe does not work with enriched medium grain rice.

By Mrs. Stranded on Feb 23, 2011

My hubbie has been bugging me to make Chipotle-style rice. This recipe looks easy enough. I plan to make it tonight aside some broiled salmon.

By Andy on Feb 16, 2011

I used to work at Chipotle, and there is lemon juice in the rice is well. There is an equal amount of lemon and lime juice.

By Matt on Jan 14, 2011

I've now made this recipe twice. Definitely a keeper! A couple of things I did differently - I used regular old jasmine rice. I used just under a cup and a half of water. And I used about 2x the amount of cilantro (we LOVE cilantro). Made a barbacoa roast in the crockpot and we are eating in style!

By maggie on Dec 17, 2010

Thanks-this looks awesome and I can't wait to try it!

By Carol Dunlap on Dec 14, 2010

I haven't made this yet, but was wondering can you use Jasmine Rice?

By Ashley on Oct 14, 2010

I'm going to be trying this recipe later tonight. I'm a single college student who spends WAY too much money on Chipotle, so I want to try making their burritos and bowls at home. How long could this keep in the fridge? Would it be okay to add the cilantro and keep it all refridgerated for a few days? Or should I cook the rice and add the cilantro and lime as I use it?

I would personally suggest using the lime and cilantro when you are eating it and preparing just the rice ahead. That way it still tastes fresh. One of my friends adds even lime and stores it and feels that the sitting time helps to improve the flavor, while I feel that it doesnt taste "fresh". I think it comes down to one's taste buds. But add the cilantro fresh every time.

By cacklinrose on Aug 2, 2010

Do you think I can make the rice ahead of time and add the cilantro when I reheat and serve?

I am sure you can :)

By Feeling Good About Fish Tacos « on Jul 29, 2010

[...] with fresh margs, chips, and guac. The meal will include corn on the cob with jalapeno butter, basmati rice with  cilantro and lime, and corn tortilla tacos with broiled talapia and [...]

By mike on Mar 8, 2010

Does anyone know if Chipotle uses Basmati rice and if so what type of Basmati? Apparently enriched white rice is nutritionally worthless (like white bread) and certain types of Basmati could actually be healthy.

By mriduladas on Feb 13, 2010

amazingly simple.... too cool. hey could we do this with coked basmati rice too? well am trying it now. will post the result.

Oh yes I am sure you can! Yes, do let us know how it turned out! :) --DK

By Sarah on Dec 20, 2009

Made this today! Tasted great. Although I got a little bit impatient and added more lime before I got a real taste. One lime is more than enough. Same as Chipotle!! Thanks for the recipe

By Cilantro Lime Rice | Recipe Reviews on Nov 11, 2009

[...] Cilantro Lime Rice I love different styles of rice to pair with meals rather than plain white rice some times, like coconut rice, or chicken stock in rice or this cilantro lime rice. It gives the rice a nice taste to it and can be eaten with any kind of Mexican food. This is from Chef In You: [...]

By Maureen on Nov 5, 2009

Stupid question but do you think I could use brown rice for this?

Awe comeon, Its such a logical question. I think you can - of course it wont be chipotle rice ;) but its sure healthier :)

By natalie on Nov 5, 2009

yum! love love love chipotle's rice! the fajita burrito bowls are my fav!

By Michykeen on Nov 4, 2009

Yes! Love Chipotle rice! We devised a similar recipe and decided to go for the whole burrito and made Pork Bowls. Soooo goood! If you're interested in what comes next:

By Dawit on Nov 3, 2009

Hey nice Site and amazing dish...Approved by Ethiopian! Loved it!

By easy recipes on Nov 3, 2009

What the difference between the rice types? can I use some other rice for this recipe?

There are long grained, medium and short grained. long grained ones are great for recipes where you want the texture distinct and separate and not mushy. the medium and short grained rice tend to get mushy faster and hence are ideal for pudding's etc.

By notyet100 on Nov 3, 2009

platter looks so yummy,..

By Chinese Fried Rice Recipes on Nov 2, 2009

Wow, the cooking way of this cilantro lime rice is great, I'll try it later. just one question: how can i add your blog into my rss reader, thanks so much.

Hi, thanks for your kind comments. :) You can subscribe to ChefInyou via RSS in the first section in the top right of any page. You can also do the same at the end of every post where I have 2 icons both for mail and RSS. Thanks for your interest. Appreciate it.

By Anu on Nov 2, 2009

Looks perfect! Exactly like Chipotles! Awesome! Now, you should just have this with some grilled veggies and a spicy salsa!

By Food-Rave » Blog Archive » Cilantro Lime Rice (chipotle style) on Nov 2, 2009

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By Uma on Nov 2, 2009

mmm. such a simple recipe yet looks soooo tempting. Yum!! :)

By peanutts on Nov 2, 2009

Such a simple but delicious recipe ! And you are right about simplicity , simplicity is always the best. :-D Love your photography

By Nithya on Nov 2, 2009

Rice looks so yummy and the photographs are phenomenal. Great going. love your blog. :)

By Vaidehi on Nov 2, 2009

Delicious recipe.. I am a big fan of chipotle rice

By Cilantro on Nov 2, 2009

I was wondering what to make for dinner and here it is a simple recipe... I love the Chipotle rice too.

By Pavani on Nov 2, 2009

Simple dish with tons of flavor. Great pics as usual.

By Stephanie Quilao on Nov 2, 2009

I'm revisiting my relationship with Cilantro. Bad tequila night in Cabo scarred me for life. Trying simple dishes to get back into the groove, and this rice dish looks like it'll help out :)

I am a cilantro lover hence might sound biased ;) Simple recipes like this, will help to soothe out all the complicated foods out of your system. You can also try it with the suggested vegan refried beans. Its simple too and I find it makes harmony at the table. We all need a break from eating rich and junk food at least sometimes! ;)

By Ambika on Nov 2, 2009

Hey DK, I completely agree with you, I too LOVE chipotle and especially their fajita bowls, with lots of guacamole!! I also make this rice exactly like this :)

OMG! That was some fast comment. I like published this post like 10 seconds ago - You go girl :)