This rice cooker cilantro lime rice recipe is a delicious side dish for your favorite tacos, burritos, or fajitas! Best of all, it’s so easy to make it — you only need 5 ingredients!

Cilantro lime rice
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Why I Love This Recipe

Rice is the perfect companion for so many recipes. Sure, the cilantro-lime flavor is a classic pairing with tacos, burritos, bowls or any other Mexican-inspired dishes. But it can be just as great paired with veggies or all on its own!

When you need a versatile side dish that makes great leftovers, this recipe is as easy as it gets. You only need five ingredients! I like to make mine in a rice cooker, but if you don’t have one it’s just as simple to make right on your stovetop.

All you have to do is add the basmati rice, salt, and oil into a rice cooker. Cook until the rice is fluffy then toss it with lime juice, cilantro, and a little extra salt. That’s it! You’ll have this tasty side ready in about 20 minutes or less. It also reheats really well, so you can enjoy it all week long!

If you love the rice from Chipotle, this recipe is a great copycat. Just make sure you use plenty of salt, around a ½ teaspoon. It may seem like a lot, but that gives the rice so much flavor. For that signature Chipotle taste, a heavy sprinkle of salt is essential!

What is Basmati Rice?

You may be wondering what makes basmati rice different from other kinds of rice. There are a few reasons it’s my favorite to use for copycat Chipotle rice!

Basmati is a long-grained rice. It’s a little chewier than jasmine rice and provides more nutrients and flavor than plain long-grain white rice. When cooked, it’s tender, fluffy, and has a wonderful aroma! You should be able to find it at most grocery stores.

The biggest reason I like to use basmati is because these types of longer-grain rice don’t clump together like other kinds of rice. But always remember to rinse it first! This removes any excess starch that could make your rice overly sticky. After that, it’s ready to go.

cilantro rice ingredients

Substitution Ideas

  • You can always use brown basmati rice if you prefer! It contains more fiber and has a lower glycemic index than white basmati. Or, if you prefer regular brown or white rice, that works too!
  • For your oil, I recommend using either olive oil or vegetable oil. Olive oil is going to give the rice a slightly more savory taste. Vegetable oil, on the other hand, will taste the most like the rice from Chipotle.
  • Don’t like cilantro? Swap it out for another fresh herb like parsley, basil, or oregano! This will change the flavor of the rice, but it can be fun to try different varieties. Parsley will be the closest to the original taste.

How to Juice a Lime

A juicer is the fastest, easiest way to get the juice out of a lime, lemon, or any other kind of citrus. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry! It’s still really easy to juice your lime. First, roll the whole lime between your hand and a hard surface. This helps loosen some of those tough membranes. Next, cut the lime in half and stick a fork in the center. Finally, flip the lime upside down over your bowl, then squeeze the lime while turning the fork. You’ll get plenty of juice that way!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

  1. Add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to a rice cooker, then set to cook.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Toss with the oil, cilantro, and salt.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice on the Stovetop

A rice cooker is going to be the fastest method, but you definitely don’t need one. A pot on the stove works just as well! Just cook the basmati rice in a pot on the stove according to the directions on the label. Once it’s ready, add the oil, cilantro, and salt, then serve. So easy!

How to Store and Reheat Rice

Store your cilantro lime rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days. One of the best parts about this recipe is that it reheats beautifully. Just pop your rice in the microwave or heat it on the stovetop and you’re ready to go. Enjoy your rice as a tasty side for just about any meal!

cilantro lime rice in a bowl

What to Serve with Rice

I’m all about serving rice for Taco Tuesday (or any other night of the week)! It goes beautifully with these classic oven baked tacos loaded with refried beans, black beans, green chilis, diced tomatoes, and plenty of cheddar cheese. For a big crunch with an addictive cilantro cream sauce, vegan broccoli tacos are always a winner. Or for something different, try these butternut squash tacos with crispy chickpeas and avocado cream!

For a full meal, you can make rice and beans in your rice cooker!

More Side Dish Ideas

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Rice Cooker Cilantro Lime Rice

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 19 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Rice Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This rice cooker cilantro lime rice recipe is a delicious side dish for your favorite tacos, burritos, or fajitas! Best of all, it’s so easy to make it — you only need 5 ingredients!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (juice from about 1 lime)


  1. Add the rice, water, oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a rice cooker.
  2. Cook until the water has been absorbed, then transfer the rice to a large bowl.
  3. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Add additional salt to taste.