Making Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
As someone who is always on the go, finding time to plan dinner can be stressful-and that’s coming from someone who loves to cook! All the planning and shopping and then also the cooking can be super time consuming.
Although going out to eat can get expensive and may not be the healthiest choice, I can’t help but love the convenience of being able to just grab a dinner that is already made for me. No hassle, no planning and no cooking! The family is fed quickly and everyone is happy.
Running in to a Chipotle to grab dinner has become a bad habit of mine…but it’s so good! However at around $10 a meal, feeding a family is pricey. This is a habit I have to break! But that rice- it’s just so delicious…I decided a few weeks ago to step away from my Chipotle routine and make Chipotle style food at home. As a professional chef, I’m sure I can make something similar, if not better, than I can buy and besides, my wallet will thank me!
Creating Chipotle Rice at Home
If you have ever been to a Chipotle, you know all about their cilantro lime rice. It is the basis of almost all of their creations and the main part of my favorite menu item, the burrito bowl. If you haven’t gone to a Chipotle (stay away -it’s addicting!), the rice is so flavorful that you can eat it alone and be completely satisfied. On my mission to recreate Chipotle, I decided to begin with the rice.
There are a few tricks to making perfect rice and the first one is to rinse the rice before cooking it. I know this may seem silly or maybe a little weird (aren’t you just going to cook it in water anyway?) but it’s not! Rice is very starchy and rinsing it off before submerging it in the water to cook helps get rid of some of that starch.
If you are making sushi or anything involving sticky rice, don’t rinse! The starch is good in that case but I want light fluffy rice for this recipe so I need to rinse, rinse, rinse the rice and dump all that extra starch down the drain.
Stirring the rice while it is cooking is also a fantastic idea especially if you are also the one who will be doing the dishes. Rice loves to cake to the bottom of the pot which is a waste of rice and super annoying to clean. While you do not need to sit there and stir the rice constantly, give it a good stir every few minutes to help prevent it from sticking to the pan- you’ll be glad you did!
Adding Cilantro and Lime to Rice
Now that you have cooked up your white rice, time to make it Chipotle style! That means fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice. And yes, fresh! As the main flavor components in this recipe, you want to make sure you are using the best ingredients and bottles lime or lemon juice just won’t do.
Chop up the cilantro, juice the fruit, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dash of olive oil and your rice is ready to go! So simple yet so mouthwatering and delicious! While the cilantro and lime combination gives this recipe a Mexican flair, you can really serve it with almost anything!
Pairing Cilantro Lime Rice
Try is as a simple side dish to a chicken recipe or paired with some mandarin beef. You can even just eat this rice on its own as a snack- I know I have! This time, I will be stuffing my rice into a burrito or putting it on the bottom of a burrito bowl along with my other Chipotle inspired ingredients.
When I close my eyes and take a bite, this rice recipe make me feel like I am right there at a Chipotle. I really can’t tell the difference! So give this recipe a try and you will be so happy you did. Enjoy!
Chipotle Lime Rice Ingredients
- Basmati rice
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Lime juice
- Lemon juice
More Simple Copycat Recipes
Make your favorite cilantro lime rice right in your own kitchen.
- 2 ¼ cups white basmati rice
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro (or 2 frozen cubes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt + black pepper (or more)
- Juice of ½ a lime
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Rinse rice with cold water for about 30 seconds. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil then add rice and stir. Turn heat to a medium-high boil, uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir rice, cover with lid then cook for another 15 minutes.
- Transfer rice into a large mixing bowl. Stir in olive oil, salt, black pepper, lime, lemon and cilantro.
- Check for taste, and add a little more lemon juice or salt/pepper if needed.