Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat) with Video

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice is a flavorful level-up side dish that is healthy, fluffy and is easily a crowd favorite. Learn this recipe and you will never cook it any other way! 

If you want to try making other Mexican dishes, check out our recipes for Chicken Tostadas, Fish Tacos, and Pico De Gallo.

Image of chipotle cilantro lime rice copycat.

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

This Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice is perfectly flavored. It actually makes any dinner complete. You can never go wrong with serving Mexican food in a party, and making it at home just brings the flavors to a whole new level. 

I often find myself craving it. Since I can’t always go to Chipotle, I decided to replicate this dish at home. It tastes exactly like the original version and is also much cheaper to make it on your own.

All you need is a few simple steps described below, and you will learn how to cook a perfectly fluffy, and flavorful rice. With fresh ingredients like cilantro herb, fresh lime juice and a small amount of oil, this side dish will become your family’s favorite!

What is Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice?

To be exact, this is rice flavored by cilantro herb and lime. It comes as part of the dish whenever you order a burrito or burrito bowl at Chipotle. And this is the copycat version of it.

Photo of cilantro lime rice in a bowl.

What do you need to make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice?

You need the following ingredients:

  • Basmati rice – this is the desired type, as is more flavorful and perfectly balanced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Cilantro
  • Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Lime zest (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

How do you make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice?

This easy recipe requires just a few simple steps listed below. Also, watch the recipe video tutorial attached.

  • First, rinse the Basmati rice well. Next, cook it by simply adding water in the pot. Do not forget to add a small amount of oil and salt. Let it boil.
  • Once the water skims, make sure to lower the heat level. Let it cook for about 15 minutes. Next, turn off the heat but let the cover sit for another 10 minutes.
  • Lastly, combine together chopped cilantro and lime juice. In a separate bowl, put the combined ingredients and add them to the rice. Add a bit of olive oil and mix them well.


  • You can easily make this recipe with brown rice. It is a healthier alternative, and equality delicious. The only difference will be the cooking time. 
  • Bring 2 cups of brown rice and 4 cups of water to boil. Then, reduce heat to low and cover for about 35-40 minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated.
  • 2 cups of it make for about 16 servings.

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice photo.

How to cook Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice in a rice cooker?

All you need to do is to rinse the rice, and then and water to it and place it in the cooker. We suggest adding salt, 1 bay leaf, and olive oil as well. Then, turn it on, and let it cook. 

Please note, that pretty much all the rice cookers are different, and the cooking time will vary based on that. Therefore, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and set the time according to that. The cooking time should be about 30 minutes.  

Once done, use a fork to fluff it up. Then, follow the same procedure to mix it with the fresh ingredients in a separate bowl.

How do you cook rice in an instant pot?

Making it in the Instant Pot is a great alternative. It will only take 3 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot as it uses high pressure. To find out how to make it in the Instant Pot click on this link

What is the difference between Basmati and Jasmine rice?

They are both aromatic varieties of white rice. When cooked, Basmati one is longer, slimmer and does not clump. Jasmine is softer but also denser. Between the two varieties, we recommend using Basmati to perfectly copy this dish from Chipotle.


  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice makes 3 cups of cooked.
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown rice makes 4 cups of cooked.

Image of chipotle cilantro lime rice in a white bowl.

How to make the rice fluffy?

It is very important to rinse it 2-3 times before cooking. Make sure you put the right amount of water in the pan. The ratio should be 2 cups of water to 1 cup of Basmati white rice. Use a fork to fluff it up a bit once cooked.

What to serve with chipotle lime rice?

This is the perfect side dish to share with:

Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can! Put it in a plastic ziplock bag or an airtight container before putting it in the freezer. It will last for up to 2-3 months.

Also, to defrost it, simply remove it from the freezer. Put it right away in the microwave and add a small amount of water.

Recipe Tips

  • For enhanced flavor, you can saute it with butter for 2-3 minutes before cooking. Also, this will level up the aromas and make it extra rich.
  • Serve it with ground beef or chicken and black peas to make the dish a perfect copy.
  • For a twist, you may cook it in a light chicken broth instead of plain water. This will definitely give a different flavor and kick to the meal.
  • Also, you can use brown rice for healthier options. Rinse it thoroughly. Then make sure to soak it in water for 30 minutes before cooking for a softer finish.

Save Recipe
5 from 5 reviews
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice Copycat Recipe
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings as a side dish
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 mins


  • 2 cups  basmati rice  (unrinsed)
  • 3 cups  water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt 
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil  (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons  finely chopped cilantro 
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon  lime zest 


  •  Chopped cilantro 


  1. In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tablespoon oil and salt.
  2. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid for about 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and let the rice sit COVERED with the lid on for an additional 5-10 minutes. Do NOT uncover immediately, as the rice is still cooking.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, lime zest, rice and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss until completely mixed.
  5. Serve as is or topped with cilantro and Chipotle Black Beans.

Calories: 267 Carbohydrates: 49 Protein: 4 Fat: 5 Saturated Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 197 Potassium: 70 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 0 Vitamin C: 1.8 Calcium: 17 Iron: 0.5
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Amber Myers

Ooo I'll try this for sure. I love my cilantro lime rice. I'll have to see if it tastes the same when I make it at home. I hope so!


Alli Smith

This is the perfect rice for me. I'm crazy about cilantro and lime so I know I'll enjoy making this copycat recipe.


Terri Steffes

I am loving your tips! I love this rice as a base for everything. Thanks for sharing this version, I see some tweaks that I want to do.



My family loves this rice. It would be perfect to make for our next taco Tuesday. 


Monica Y

I love the tips, I love rice, but sometimes don't like the consistency of the rice cooker. I will try this soon


Liz Mays

Oh this is going to be awesome as a side dish for some of my meals. I really need to try it out with the instant pot and see how it turns out.



I love cilantro lime rice. I make the zaterans kind because I can't seem to figure out how to cook plain rice. I try according to the instructions and it ends up crunch or mushy every time. It's like an art or something.


Pam Wattenbarger

I have an abundance of cilantro growing in my garden that I needed to use. This looks like the perfect recipe.


Lisa Favre

I love anything that involves cilantro! I'm like, obsessed with cilantro so this rice is definitely something that I'd really appreciate.



I have to pin this one. We love that rice but I hate going to chipotle 



This is my rice of choice from Chipotle. I can't wait to try your recipe!



That Chipotle rice is my favorite!! YUMMY! We are huge fans of Mexican food and this recipe will come in handy when I cook our favorite dishes at home!



Now this rice sounds delicious and I can think of so many things I would pair it with. Thanks for the yummy recipe!



This looks scrumptious! The closest Chipotle is on the other side of town and this is a more affordable option to make in the comfort of my own home. Winning!



This is my kind of recipe. I love it. I can't wait to have my family try this when I make it!



Sounds like an easy enough recipe. We love cilantro rice when we buy it at a restaurant. It would be nice to be able to make it at home.



YUMMness!!! In the list you ,mentioned a bay leaf--it is not in the recipe. Please clarify :) Thnx!!!


You just add it as the last ingredients and discard it after cooking.



How much water? Is it 2 -1 ratio?


3 cups water in this recipe



I know someone already asked this question, but I don't understand the response. When do I add the bay leaf? The response said to add it as a last ingredient and discard after cooking. I'm guessing I don't add it just to take it back out immediately. Do I add it to the rice and water before boiling and then remove after the rice is cooked but before adding the last ingredients? I'm making this for my niece's graduation party and can't wait to try it!


You are correct, you add it to the water rice before boiling, and once everything is ready, you discard it before serving the rice.


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