Home Recipes Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat Recipe)

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat Recipe)

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.

A bowl of cooked rice with cilantro and slice lime beside.
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

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.

Cooked rice in a bowl garnished with cilantro beside sliced in halves lime.


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.

Closeup of cooked rice in a bowl with lime and cilantro leaves.

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!

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
  • 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!
Top view of cilantro lime rice on a bowl.

How to Store & Freeze

I love serving this leftover rice with carne asada and Mexican Buddha bowls. For a cheap meal, it’s also great with Cuban black beans!

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 

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





This copycat recipe for Chipotle cilantro lime rice is easy to make at home! It’s perfect for serving with tacos, burritos, and other delicious Mexican meals.


  • 1 cup basmati or long-grain white rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


  • Rinse the basmati or long-grain white rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
  • Combine the rice, water, bay leaf, and salt in a medium pot. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook it for 18 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • Remove the bay leaf and add lime juice, lemon juice, and cilantro. Stir it until well combined.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Be sure to remove the bay leaf before serving, as it’s not meant to be eaten.
  • Lightly toast the dry rice in olive oil for an extra layer of flavor.
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment