Chipotle cilantro lime rice is an easy and affordable side you can serve with all your meals! With this copycat version, you can make it at home.
Fluffy, zesty, bright, and plant-based, it gives white rice a refreshing twist. Pair it with your proteins, burritos, bowls, favorite Mexican dishes, and more.
You’ll swear it came right from the chain restaurant. But lo and behold, you can whip it up in just 25 minutes!
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
Basic white rice? Forget it! Jazz up your meals with this copycat Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe instead.
Fresh cilantro, zingy lime, and a twist of lemon pack the rice with a ton of flavor.
It’s just like the rice at Chipotle, but you don’t need to wait in any long lines. Just toss everything in a pot, and it’s ready in no time.
It’s freezer-friendly, too. So you can have this side ready for your next meal.
The ingredients for this cilantro lime rice recipe are super basic and easy to find. It calls for just seven kitchen staples.
Here’s what you need:
- Basmati Rice – I prefer to use basmati rice for this recipe. It turns out fluffy and light. But any long-grain rice will do.
- Water – For cooking the rice.
- Bay Leaf – To make the rice more aromatic.
- Salt – Add just a pinch to the water for seasoning.
- Lime and Lemon – Use fresh lime and lemon juice. They each add their own citrusy flavor to make it taste like Chipotle.
- Cilantro – Without fresh cilantro, it would just be lime rice! So add some for a burst of freshness and color.
How to Make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
Anyone can make this Chipotle copycat recipe. It’s so easy, you’ll memorize the steps after making it one time!
Here’s the process:
1. Cook. Combine the washed rice, water, bay leaf, and salt in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover it and cook until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
2. Garnish. Remove the bay leaf. Add the lime juice, lemon juice, and cilantro. Stir.
3. Serve. Serve it immediately.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Simple side dish recipes like this are a breeze to make. Still, cooking rice can be a little tricky. So here are some tips and tricks to ensure it turns out perfect!
- Use a rice cooker. If you own a rice cooker, I highly recommend using it. This will ensure your rice cooks perfectly.
- Kick up the flavor. Instead of water, use chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor.
- Use long-grain rice. Short-grain rice has a chewy consistency. This is great for dishes like risotto, but not so much in this recipe. So be sure to use long-grain rice.
- Make it rich and delicious. Want to make your rice richer? Add a dab of butter or ghee. As it cooks, it will enhance the flavor. For a vegan version, use plant-based butter.
- Toast your rice in olive oil. For more flavor, you can also lightly toast the dry rice in olive oil. Then, cook it according to the instructions.
- Go wild for garlic. Fresh garlic gives it a little bite and more flavor. Add as many cloves as you like!
How to Store & Freeze
Regardless of how you serve your leftovers, here’s how to store and reheat them:
To Store: Transfer the leftover rice to an air-tight container. Refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Place the cooled rice in an air-tight container. Label, then freeze it. Frozen rice will last for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Microwave the rice in 1-minute intervals until warm. Reheat it on the stove until warmed. If it’s dry, add a little water or broth.
More Chipotle Copycat Recipes
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