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Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

Taco Tuesday just got tastier with this cilantro lime brown rice. It’s perfect to serve up with your burrito bowls, tacos or any Tex-Mex inspired recipe.

Only 3 ingredients mean this is an easy weeknight side dish infused with lime flavor and tender rice. You’re gonna love this one!!

A fork digging into brown rice topped with chopped cilantro leaves.

Why you’ll love this cilantro rice

Raise you hand if you’ve ever had Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice. This is a copycat of Chipotle, the main difference being that you don’t have to fork out the extra money for takeout or leave the house!

Plain rice is transformed with lime flavor in this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, just like the Mexican restaurants down the street! It’s the perfect side dish to make burrito bowls, or as a side for any of your favorite taco recipes.

Here’s the beauty in this healthy side dish recipe

You can make cilantro lime rice with brown rice, white rice, or even jasmine rice. So whatever you have, you can make it work for you.

Pssssstttt….you can even make this recipe with cauliflower rice. BOOM.

Ingredients to make cilantro lime rice.


There are only three, count ’em, 3 ingredients for this recipe.We’re starting with plain brown rice that’s already been cooked.

How to make brown rice with cilantro and lime juice.
  • Cooked long grain brown rice – it’s nutty and chewy, a healthy whole grain and good source of fiber.
  • Lime – I like to use a healthy dose of lime, but for less citrus flavor you can cut back on it. We’re using the lime zest and those oils from the peel, too.
  • Cilantro – people either love this or hate it. I happen to love, love, LOVE this herb. It reminders me of parsley with a hint of citrus.
A bowl of cilantro lime brown rice on a dish towel with a fork.

How to make cilantro lime brown rice.

We’ve already cooked the rice, so now that’s outta the way, we simply need to give it a fluff with a fork and add fresh lime juice, lime zest and cilantro to blend.

Here’s a tip for you…You can make brown rice in your slow cooker, buy frozen steam-able rice, or buy pre-made packets of rice. All three of these options are fabulous shortcuts.

If you are anti-cilantro, stop hurling limes at your screen. I know from experience, people either love cilantro or hate it.

Leave it out if you want and just go for lime. You could sub in fresh parsley, too. It still gives a wonderful color and flavor and there’s no hard feelings, right???

A wooden spoon of cilantro lime brown rice.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Use plain white rice instead of brown rice.

Use lemon juice instead of lime juice. You’ll still get the citrus flavor (but lime is my #1 pick here)

For fluffy brown rice, be sure to leave the lid on while it cooks. Noooo peeking! When it’s cooked through, use a fork to fluff it.

For best results, I add a pinch of salt to the water before it begins boiling. You can see more about how to cook brown rice here.


How do I store leftover rice?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to reheat leftover rice?

I add a tablespoon or so of water to the rice, cover it, and heat it in the microwave. The steam from the water and covering it helps to bring it back to life.

What to serve with cilantro lime rice

I love to make steak burrito bowls, Crockpot Mexican shredded chicken, sheet pan chicken fajitas and Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with cilantro lime rice. This black bean tacos recipe is pretty amazing, too!

Or for something lighter, think about making a Mexican Chopped Salad and Baked Fish Tacos.

As a Tex Mex food lover, you can be sure I’ll be adding more ways you can use this side dish for your kitchen cooking benefit!

More Mexican recipes

How to Plan a Taco Bar Party

Vegetarian Refried Beans

Pollo Asado Tacos

Easy Restaurant Style Salsa

If you make this cilantro lime brown rice recipe, leave a star rating or review below. I’d love to hear from you!

made with love, Deanne
A fork digging into brown rice topped with chopped cilantro leaves.
Yield: 6 servings

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, just like the fast food joint down the street. Use cilantro lime rice to make burrito bowls or as a side for fajitas and tacos.


  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • fresh lime wedges, for squeezing over the top
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Fluff cooked rice with a fork and stir in fresh lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro until blended. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.


You can use white, brown, or jasmine rice. (Brown rice is shown in the recipe).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g


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Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Sunday 1st of December 2019

I made your recipe for a gathering the other day and everyone kept asking for the recipe. It was totally a hit!


Sunday 1st of December 2019

SO GOOD! I always get the brown rice at Chipotle. Great to make it at home!


Sunday 1st of December 2019

This is a super easy and delicious way to add flavors to simple white rice. :)


Sunday 1st of December 2019

What a great way to jazz up brown rice.


Sunday 1st of December 2019

Love this recipe! Perfect to pair with black beans and homemade salsa!

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About The Author: Even though on the go meals are now Deanne's specialty, she didn't take a direct path to get there! Go here to read her story,"How I Finally Came Home". You can see Deanne's "Table to Tailgate Cookbook and custom recipe cards here".

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