Skip to Content

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat)

This dish is a copycat version of the popular rice made at Chipotle Mexican restaurant. This recipe uses long grain white or brown rice that turns out soft, fluffy, and isn’t sticky every time! You can make this recipe on the stovetop or using a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot.

Chipotle cilantro lime rice in a bowl with fresh limes

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.

If you love the rice at Chipotle as much as I do, you are going to love making this dish at home even more! Chipotle says they make their cilantro-lime white rice from scratch every morning. They steam it with bay leaves to impart their herbal fragrance, then season it with lime and lemon juices and toss it with cilantro for its fresh, slightly tart flavor. That cilantro lime mixture is everything!

I didn’t see them mention oil, but I can tell the rice has some oil in it. If you have ever watched the workers prepping it behind the counter, it looks really slick in the large steel bowls. I can also just taste in the texture!

Recipe Key Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Butter or any preferred oil
  • Fresh Lime
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt
white rice, water, butter, spices, lemon, lime, and fresh cilantro

What Type of White Rice to Use

I love long-grain rice. My favorite is the organic jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s. Here’s an excerpt from Chipotle’s website about the type of rice they use: With more than 120,000 different strains of grain in the world, it can be hard to keep them all straight. In general, the longer the grain, the firmer and fluffier the rice. Short and medium grains tend to be soft, moist, and sticky. Around here, all you need to know is that we use long-grain white rice.

So I recommend you grab long-grain white rice (jasmine and basmati work well). It’s delicious. Long-grain rice is much different than something like Minute Rice which is already cooked and processed. You can use it if you wish but the flavor is vastly different, in my opinion.

uncooked Chipotle cilantro lime rice in a pressure cooker

The Difference Between Long Grain, Medium Grain, and Short Grain Rice

Long-grain rice is slim and lengthy and nearly four to five times longer than it is wide. This type of rice includes white and brown rice like Basmati rice and Jasmine rice. It produces distinct firm grains that stay fluffy and separate after cooking. The grains have a firm, dry texture, and are best for side dishes, pilafs, and salads.

Medium-grain rice is shorter and wider, about two to three times longer than it is wide. This type of rice produces moist, tender, slightly chewy grains that stick to each other when cooked. Common medium-grain rice includes Arborio and Valencia, which are typically used to make risotto and paella.

Short-grain rice is only a little longer than it is wide. This rice cooks up soft and tender. It is known for sticking together and clumping. It comes in white and brown and is commonly used in sushi and pudding.

You can read more about The Difference Between Short, Medium, and Long Grain Rice here.

a wooden spoonful of Chipotle cilantro lime rice

Rinse the Rice Before Use

You should always rinse the rice first before using it. This will rinse away dirt and excess starch. I like to use a mesh strainer and ensure the water runs clear while rinsing the rice.

How to Make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add rice, bay leaf, butter, and salt Stir and return to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook.
  3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice along with any additional salt to taste if necessary. Serve.

How to Use a Rice Cooker or Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

The use of a device made to cook rice perfectly is my favorite method to use for this recipe. I never make rice on the stove anymore because using a pressure cooker makes the process foolproof! A pressure cooker requires 3 minutes of cook time with 10 minutes of natural steam release.

How to Use Brown Rice

You can use long-grain brown rice and follow the instructions from my Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe. You can also simply follow the stovetop cooking instructions on the package of rice you purchase.

Using brown rice also makes the dish a little more healthy. Brown rice is a whole grain. It contains all parts of the grain, including the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ, and the carb-rich endosperm. It’s chewy and takes a while to cook due to its tough bran exterior.

White rice has part of the bran and germ removed. These are the most nutritious parts of the grain, which leaves white rice with very few essential nutrients. White rice is softer and tends to cook faster. You can read more about The Difference Between Brown Rice and White Rice here.

a wooden spoonful of Chipotle cilantro lime rice

What Type of Oil to Use

My favorite is butter. I suspect Chipotle uses vegetable oil, maybe canola so either of those will work as well. Any oil will work, but keep in mind the oil you use will impact the taste of the rice. You can also simply omit the oil. Oil or butter isn’t needed to make rice. It will only enhance the flavor, and I love the flavor of butter the most when used in this recipe.

How to Store Leftover Rice

Leftover rice can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days tightly covered and sealed.

Chipotle cilantro lime rice in a bowl with fresh limes

How to Reheat

I find the microwave works just fine.

Freezer Tips

The earlier you can freeze cooked rice, the better. If you know you plan on freezing leftovers, once cooled freeze them immediately. You can freeze the rice after it has been in the fridge for a couple of days,

Pair With These Recipes

Pollo Asado Recipe
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Pan Seared Salmon
Instant Pot Black Beans

Smoked Salsa
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Homemade Queso Cheese

Oven Baked Roasted Corn on the Cob

a spoonful of cilantro lime rice

More CopyCat Recipes

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Red Lobster CopyCat Shrimp Scampi
Instant Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
Keto Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup
Panera Autumn Squash Soup
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Big Mac Casserole

Chipotle pollo asado bowl with cilantro lime rice in a bowl
Chipotle cilantro lime rice in a bowl with fresh limes
Print Pin
5 from 9 votes

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat)

This dish is a copycat version of the popular rice made at Chipotle Mexican restaurant. This recipe uses long grain white or brown rice that turns out soft, fluffy, and isn't sticky every time! You can make this recipe on the stovetop or using a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Chipotle cilantro lime brown rice, Chipotle cilantro lime rice, cilantro lime brown rice, cilantro lime rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 71kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt Feel free to wait until the rice has cooked and season to taste.
  • 1 bay leaf

Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups extra long-grain white rice Rinsed.
  • 1 3/4 cups water

Stovetop Rice

  • 1 cup extra long-grain white rice Rinsed.
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

  • Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. (I add the cilantro here because I like the taste of the rice when it's cooked with the cilantro flavor). I toss the rice with additional cilantro once cooked.
  • Seal and cook for 3 minutes on Manual Pressure Cooking.
  • When the pot indicates it has finished, allow steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. Press the steam release and remove the lid.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Add additional salt to taste if necessary. Serve. I add additional cilantro to garnish.

Stovetop

  • Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add rice, bay leaf, butter, and salt. Stir and return to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the water has evaporated and the rice is soft and fluffy.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice along with any additional salt to taste if necessary. Serve.

Video

Notes

  • The type of rice you use matters. If you don’t use long-grain rice, the texture won’t be the same. 
  • Always read the instructions on the rice that you use and purchased. Cooking rice on the stove isn’t always foolproof. Take note of how the rice you use should be prepared.
  • You can use long-grain brown rice and follow the instructions from my Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe
  • The use of oil in the recipe is optional. My favorite is butter. I suspect Chipotle uses vegetable oil, maybe canola so either of those will work as well. Any oil will work, but keep in mind the oil you use will impact the taste of the rice. 
  • Rinsing the rice before use will rinse away dirt and excess starch. I like to use a mesh strainer and ensure the water runs clear while rinsing the rice.
  • You can use fully cooked frozen rice if you wish.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g
Do you struggle with staying consistent at meal prepping?If you get tired of your Meal Prep Meals by Day 2 our Big Boss Meal Prep Guide is for you!
Need help planning keto friendly meals?Grab your 21 Day Keto Meal Plan here.!
Need Keto Recipes for the Summer?Access our 21 Day Summer Meal Plan here!
Looking for new ways to use your air fryer?Snag your 14 Day Air Fryer Meal Plan here!
Tried this recipe? Mention @Stay_Snatched or tag #StaySnatched! The recipe instructions noted here are the property of Stay Snatched and subject to copyright. Please do not screenshot and share this recipe on social.
Subscribe to our YouTube ChannelCheck out our YouTube Channel!
Join our Air Fryer and Instant Pot Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Join our Keto Recipes Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Felicia

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Hands down the easiest cilantro rice I’ve ever made. I used the instant pot method. Added a little extra lime juice once it was cooked. Don’t skip the lemon juice. I used the leftover slow cooker chicken fajitas, queso dip and black beans with the rice to make myself a burrito bowl. Also this rice cooked up so fast!!

staysnatched

Friday 18th of November 2022

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Brittany

Tuesday 26th of July 2022

Brandi does it again with an incredible recipe! This recipe was super easy, incredibly flavorful, and is now in my regular rotation. If I could give more than 5 stars I would!

staysnatched

Thursday 28th of July 2022

Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Jill

Monday 20th of June 2022

Perfect addition to taco bowls. It gives it a little more flavor than plain rice.

staysnatched

Monday 20th of June 2022

I think so too!

Ashley

Thursday 28th of April 2022

Perfectly delicious meal prep rice and it doesn’t get better than using the instant pot!

staysnatched

Monday 2nd of May 2022

My favorite way to make it!

Sabrina B.

Sunday 17th of April 2022

This is AMAZING! So much flavor and extremely easy.

staysnatched

Monday 25th of April 2022

Wonderful! I'm glad you enjoyed it.