This Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe is made with just four ingredients! This copycat Chipotle restaurant recipe is perfect for Mexican-style dishes like Black Beans and Rice, as a filling for burritos, or as a side dish for enchiladas, fajitas, or tacos.
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is the perfect fast and healthy side dish. It's super flavorful and this version is actually a copycat of Chipotle's famous side dish.
If you are used to using those packed rice boxes, you'll be surprised at how quickly these healthy rice recipes come together without the kit. In fact, you only need four ingredients and this rice is super tasty. Plus the ingredients are fast, fresh and ones you probably already have in your pantry or fridge.
This versatile dish has SO many uses including as the base for my Easy Black Beans and Rice, Burrito Bowls, or as a key ingredient of burritos. It's also the best side dish for any Mexican or Southwest-inspired dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, or tacos.
Plus this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and clean eating.
My Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe... it's simple, healthy, and oh so delicious. And oh yeah... it tastes like that fabulous burrito chain - Chipotle- I love so much.
Why You'll Love This Healthy Cilantro Lim Brown Rice...
- The best part about this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe is how versatile it is! There are so many delicious ways to use it.
- It uses nutritious and easy-to-cook brown rice.
- A serving is less than 180 calories.
- It's healthy. This recipe has no butter or oil.
- It's great for making ahead and meal prep. Burrito Bowls for lunch anyone?
- It's simple and easy to make... even if you aren't much of a chef.
Is brown rice healthy?
Brown rice is considered part of a healthy diet. The outer two layers of the rice - which make it brown- are germ and bran which contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Since white rice removes those layers it's not as nutritionally dense. If you like brown rice, it's a great healthy option. It's naturally gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free.
- Brown Rice: For this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe you can use your favorite type of brown rice including regular or instant. You can also pick long or short grains. You'll just need to cook it according to the package instructions. I added the general amount of water you use to cook brown rice to the recipe, but it never hurts to check your package just to be sure. There can be some variation in brands. I like to add salt to the water when I'm cooking my rice.
- Lime: One fresh lime add a lot of pep and flavor to this dish. I use both the fresh lime juice from the lime and the lime zest.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is the other key ingredient in this healthy side dish. Use freshly chopped cilantro from the produce section of the grocery store.
- Garlic: You can use minced garlic or substitute a touch of garlic powder to get the same flavor.
- Salt and Pepper
- The first step to making Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is to cook the brown rice according to package instructions. You'll need to boil the water and cook the rice. Cook the rice with the amount of water specified on your package.
- Fluff your rice with a fork.
- Stir in the minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest.
- Add salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve with your favorite dishes like Black Beans and Rice.
I like this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe as written, but here are some simple ways to mix it up.
- Mix Up the Grain: This basic recipe can be used to make regular white Cilantro Lime Rice or Cilantro Lime Quinoa. Just mix up the grain. You could even use basmati, brown basmati, farro or wheat berries.
- Make it Richer: To make this a bit richer you can stir in some butter, olive oil, or avocado oil after cooking.
- Add Mix-Ins: Make this rice more vibrant by adding some mix-ins like corn, black beans, green onions, peas, or chopped tomato.
- Use Broth: You can add more depth of flavor to your rice by cooking it in a broth instead of just water. Chicken or vegetable broth are both options, depending on your diet.
- Make it Shortcut: If you are short on time use the microwave rice packets or frozen brown rice.
How much rice does this recipe make?
1 cup of dried rice cooked in 2 cups of water generally makes three cups of rice. When you add in the other ingredients this makes around 3 ½ cups. Make sure to check your rice package for the exact water amounts they recommend.
Can I half or double this recipe?
Yes! This recipe is very adaptable for any size party. To make half of the rice just use ½ cup of rice and cook it with 1 cup of water. To double the recipe use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water.
Once again, be sure to check your rice package to see if they recommend a different amount of water because it can vary by brand.
How do I store leftovers?
Leftovers store well and this recipe is great for make-ahead meals and meal prep. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze this recipe?
YES! Freeze your Cilantro Lime Brown Rice in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Rice actually freezes well.
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is the Perfect Side Dish!
This Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is one of my favorite fast and easy recipes. It may be simple, but sometimes simple really is best because it really lets the flavor shine!
Serve it With:
- Burrito Bowl Meal Prep
- Black Beans and Rice
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Sheet Pan Vegetarian Fajitas
- Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
- Spinach and Three Cheese Enchiladas
- Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos
- Blackened Shrimp Lettuce Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Southwest Black Bean Burgers
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
- Black Bean Enchilada Stack
More Easy Starch Side Dishes:
- 3 Ingredient Creamy Coconut Rice
- Herb and Garlic Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
- 3 Ingredient Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Parmesan Garlic Potato Wedges
If you make this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook too!
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 2 ½ cups water *
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Check the amount of water required to cook your type of brown rice and adjust if necessary. You generally use two cups of water for one cup of rice.
- Once the rice is cooked and fluffed it.
- Stir in the cilantro, garlic, lime juice and zest and salt to taste.
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I'd love some variety on my rice and this is something good to try! Thanks!
Oh my gosh this looks so good!! gimme all this cilantro rice. I need to make this
Jen @ JENRON DESIGNS says
Oh I love this stuff at Chipotle so to be able to make it home would be great!
My kids love this rice and I love your idea of adding in some avocado oil to make it a bit richer. Definitely going to try this!
joy abou zeid says
this is indeed super easy and it seems delicious 😍
Kristy from Southern In Law says
This is the perfect simple side dish! I'm not much of a cilantro fan, however, my Mum is and I know she'd love this recipe! Passing it onto her now! xo
Mmmm I love cilantro rice! So good! It's a great way to give rice a zing. I especially like to serve it with black beans.
"Back in the day I used to buy all those packaged rice boxes."
Yup, me too. Live and learn though, right?
Totally! I think I finally figured out that one I thought was vegetarian had dehydrated chicken in it... UGH!
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition says
This looks so easy and tasty Julie! I actually *just* photographed my own cilantro brown rice that will be on the blog soon. It's a little different but I just didn't want you to think I stole your idea! Excited to try yours too!
Haha! I totally understand! Only so many recipes to make! Looking forward to seeing yours too.
Mary Ellen | VNutrition says
And thanks so much for linking up with us for Healthy Vegan Fridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!
Thank you!! xoxo
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner says
We love cilantro and lime in our rice too!
It's the best! Thanks Deborah!
Yes they really take rice up a notch with their rice; I love that you recreated it!
I love cilantro and what a great idea to add it to rice. Yumm! Will definitely try.
Thanks Debbie! Hope you enjoy it.
Blane Sherer says
simple is nice ( smile )
It is!! Thanks Blane!