Fast & Easy Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Cilantro-Lime Rice is a quick & easy rice dish. A delightful side dish that goes with Tex-Mex meals or meatloaf, chicken, etc

Cilantro-Lime Rice is a quick & easy rice dish. A delightful side dish that goes with mexican meals or meatloaf, chicken, etc. #TexasHomesteader

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Cilantro Growing In The Garden

Cilantro has a pretty short growing season. It bolts and seeds at the very first whiff of heat. Here in zone 8 that happens pretty early in the spring.

Although I only use coriander (aka: cilantro seed) occasionally in my cooking, allowing my cilantro to go to seed  virtually guarantees that I’ll have volunteer cilantro plants in my garden the next spring.

But while it’s growing I make sure to put fresh cilantro to good use. I love this Cilantro Rice recipe. And it’s so easy too!

Cilantro lime rice is a simple recipe using long-grain rice, lime juice and zest and fresh cilantro.

Keeping Cooked Rice From Being Sticky

I’ve learned it’s important to rinse rice before cooking. This rinses off the excess starch and helps your rice to cook up fluffy, instead of a blob of starchy mess. #askmehowiknow.

Be sure to rinse raw rice to remove excess starch before cooking to keep it from being sticky. #TexasHomesteader

So before I ever start my recipe, I measure out my rice and put it in a hand-held strainer. I run fresh water through the rice until it runs clear. Once it’s rinsed I’ll set it aside as I prepare to cook it.

Sauté Aromatics – Garlic & Onion

You can use butter for this step, but in our home Bacon Grease is king! So I add about a tablespoon of bacon grease to the bottom of my pan and turn the heat on to medium. When the grease is melted I add my chopped onion.

Saute onions. A quick & easy rice dish that uses fresh cilantro and lime. A delightful side dish that goes with anything from mexican-themed meals to meatloaf, chicken, etc. #TexasHomesteader

After a couple of minutes I also add my minced garlic and rinsed rice. A few minutes longer and I’m ready to cook  my rice.

Cooking Rice – What Works For Me

Now conventional wisdom says to cook long-grain rice you add 1 part rice to 2 parts water or broth & simmer for 20 minutes.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time I follow those standard cooking directions I end up with a clump of mushy, over-cooked, slightly burned-to-the-bottom rice.

Why? I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s the power in my stove’s gas burners or what. But that’s the way it turns out each & every time I try to make rice that way. Does that happen to you too?

If so, here’s how I now cook our long-grain rice.

Cilantro-Lime Rice is a quick & easy rice dish. A delightful side dish that goes with mexican meals or meatloaf, chicken, etc. #TexasHomesteader

I add broth to the rinsed rice bring it to a simmer. Then I cover the pot, lower the heat and set my timer for 10 minutes.

After that time I turn the heat off but allow the rice to remain covered for an additional 10 minutes. This steams the rice for the remaining ‘cooking’ time without danger of scorching it to the bottom.

After that 10 minutes is up I’ll remove the lid and inspect my rice. With a fork I’ll fluff it up and look for any remaining broth in the bottom of the pan.

If there’s any remaining broth I’ll recover the rice and give it a few minutes more for the rice to soak up the remaining broth before inspecting it again.

Zero-Waste Lime Juice & Zest

I always have a whole lemon and a whole lime in my freezer to use in cooking. (It’s my Zero-Waste Citrus Tip, y’all)

I use a vintage juicer to extract the juice and then zest the thawed lime. Now both juice & zest stand ready for my rice dish.

Zero-waste citrus juice trick. A quick & easy rice dish that uses fresh cilantro and lime. A delightful side dish that goes with mexican-themed meals or meatloaf, chicken, etc. #TexasHomesteader

I’ll sample a few grains of rice to make sure it’s cooked to my liking. Is it firmly soft but not crunchy nor mushy? Yep!

So now I’ll add my chopped fresh cilantro, the lime juice and zest and fluff again with a fork. Time to serve!

What goes With Cilantro Lime Rice?

We don’t stick with Tex-Mex Themed meals for serving this cilantro lime rice. But our favorites are:

Instant Pot Roast

Air Fryer ‘Fried’ Chicken

Carnitas Tacos

Sheet Pan Beef Quesadillas

Stacked Chile Relleno Casserole

Taco-Stuffed Peppers

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Taco stuffed red bell peppers on white plate with cilantro garnish, tomato, jalapeño #TexasHomesteader


It’s so good, and so easy. Plus it assures that I can utilize that fresh cilantro from the garden while it’s at the peak of freshness.

Did you make this Cilantro/Lime Rice? Please rate the recipe in your comment below!

Fresh minced cilantro and fresh lime for cilantro-lime rice side dish. #TexasHomesteader
5 from 1 vote

Rice With Fresh Cilantro & Lime

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Cilantro, Lime, rice, zest
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 cup rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups broth (mine is unsalted)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (I used bacon grease)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt to taste (I use 3/4 tsp)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest


  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear, then set aside.
  2. Into pan add a Tablespoon of butter or bacon grease and the chopped onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add minced garlic & rinsed, drained rice. Sauté one minute more

  3. Pour in 2 cups broth I add ¾ teaspoon for my unsalted broth) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn heat off and leave pan covered 10-12 additional minutes. (Sample the rice for texture - it may need a couple more minutes of steaming. If not, proceed to next step.)

  4. Stir in ½ cup chopped cilantro, 1 Tablespoon lime juice & 1 Tablespoon lime zest. Fluff with fork and serve.


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Tagged in           A list of our posts about cooking with the garden's harvest. #TexasHomesteader    All our favorite posts about rice. #TexasHomesteader    All about growing, preserving and cooking with herbs. #TexasHomesteader

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One thought on “Fast & Easy Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

  1. Thelma Briggs

    5 stars
    I made this cilantro lime rice last night. I batch-cooked the rice in the Instant Pot, then pulled out a portion of cooked rice and added butter, chopped cilantro and lime juice & zest. My family loved it! A nice way to change up plain white rice.


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