Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice


If you’re like me, and like most everyone else, you probably love eating at Chipotle. The burritos are just pure magic. Of course, one of the most crucial elements in those bundles of deliciousness is the rice. Chipotle makes this incredible cilantro lime rice that’s fantastic in a burrito but good enough to mainline all on its own. Surprisingly, this rice is actually quite easy to make at home and is no less tasty. I daresay that this recipe for homemade chipotle cilantro lime rice may be even better (gasp!) than the Chipotle version.

The key is in the cooking method, this recipe actually calls for boiling the rice as you would pasta. This prevents the rice from overcooking or getting sticky and wet, because nobody likes soggy rice. The result is fluffy, perfectly cooked rice simply seasoned with chopped cilantro, salt and pepper, and fresh lime. There’s not much fuss here; the recipe is beautiful in its simplicity. I think it’s safe to say that after trying this recipe, you’ll be a convert and may just start making your own burritos at home!

cilantro lime rice recipe

How to Make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

This rice is not just delicious, it is also quite easy to make. The method is probably a little different from how you usually make rice, but rest assured, it’ll turn out great. For this preparation, any long-grain white rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati will be fine. Here are the simple, easy steps to making wonderful cilantro lime rice—just like Chipotle!

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. You want about four times as much water as you do uncooked rice. So, for 1 cup of dry rice, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add a squirt of oil, a generous sprinkle of salt, and 1 lime, split in half, to the water. The oil will help prevent the rice from sticking together while the lime and salt will season it, just like cooking pasta.

2. Rinse the rice by placing it into a fine mesh strainer and running cold water over it at a medium tap. Gently massage the rice with your hands as the water is running. Let the water run for 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid that comes off from the rice starts to run almost clear. Rinsing the rice will help to remove excess starch and prevent the cooked rice from sticking to itself.  

3. Boil the rice uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Check every couple minutes for doneness. Some people prefer their rice a little more or a little less done so you can cook it to your liking.

4. Strain the cooked rice into a fine mesh strainer. Remove the lime. Return to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a pat of butter, a bunch of chopped cilantro, the zest and juice of a couple limes, and you’re all set to serve!

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

4 from 3 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time





I absolutely love eating at Chipotle, especially when Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice is on the menu. This is one recipe you’re going to want to ensure you know how to make.


  • 8 cups 8 water

  • 2 cups 2 long-grain white rice, rinsed (per above instructions)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons 2 butter

  • 3 limes

  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and roughly chopped


  • Bring the water to a boil. Add 1 lime, split in half and squeezed, the oil, and a sprinkle of salt. About 1 tablespoon of salt will do.
  • Add the rinsed rice to the water and cook at a rapid boil for 10-12 minutes, checking doneness and stirring every couple of minutes. If you desire very soft rice, you can cook for a little longer. But keep in mind, the rice will continue to carry over cook for a minute or so after you remove it from the water.
  • Strain the cooked rice out into a fine mesh strainer and let any extra water drip out.
  • Return the rice to the pot. Add the butter and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the chopped cilantro and the zest and juice of 2 limes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


  • Remember that when chopping cilantro for this rice, be sure to chop the stems too. As long as they’re chopped small enough, the stems won’t be too fibrous to eat, and they actually have more flavor than the leaves. This is one of the keys to making delicious cilantro lime rice!

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Tips and Tricks

Thankfully, making this rice is a fairly straightforward task. But there are some modifications and different versions you can make of this recipe. If you prefer, this rice can be made in your rice cooker. Simply rinse the rice the same way and cook according to the instructions on your rice cooker. It’s important to follow those directions as every rice cooker is a little bit different.

If you prefer brown rice, it can be cooked the same way, but you’ll need to adjust the ratios and times a bit. Brown rice takes much longer to cook than white rice, so you’ll need to boil it for 25-30 minutes in a bit more water, about 6 cups of water to every cup of uncooked rice. Lastly, raw brown rice yields more cooked rice than white. To make roughly the same amount of cooked rice, you could substitute 1 ½ cups of brown rice into this recipe.

This is just a base recipe that is very simply flavored. If you desire, you could add any number of extra flavorings to this recipe. You could fold sautéed onions and garlic into the cooked rice or season it with chili powder, cumin, paprika, hot sauce, or anything else you see fit.


Like many of your favorite restaurant foods, Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice is actually much easier to achieve than you might think. Give this simple recipe a whirl and never again be tormented by mushy, overcooked rice. Not only that, but it will have the amazing flavor of Chipotle rice that already know and love.

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