5 from 2 reviews

Cilantro lime rice is easy to make and a great side side for Mexican, Tex-Mex, Asian and Indian cuisine. It’s vegan, gluten free, low fat and oil free recipe. Cook your rice with the stovetop, rice cooker or instant pot!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup long grain rice (my fav is basmati or canilla)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (leaves and a few stems)
  • 23 limes, juice of (about 23 tablespoons)


First step: To rinse the rice or not? It is recommended to rinse rice before cooking to remove any loose starches that may make your cooked rice to become gummy. I almost never do this, but if you find your rice does become gummy, you may need to make a habit of it. If using canilla rice, which calls for skipping this step to keep all the nutrients, I’ve never had a problem with gumminess using this rice.

Stovetop: Add the rice, water, garlic powder, bay leaf and salt to a medium sauce pan, add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook over a gentle boil for 18 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove cover and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add the cilantro and lime, and fluff with a fork. Taste for salt and add more lime or cilantro to taste.

Rice Cooker: Add the rice, water (see manufacturer’s instructions for amount), garlic powder, bay leaf and salt to the bowl of your rice cooker. Pour the water overtop and cook according to manufacturer’s manual. Once the rice is finished, remove bay leaf. Let cool a few minutes, add the cilantro and lime juice, fluff with a fork. Taste for salt and add more lime or cilantro to taste.

Instant Pot: Add the rice, water and salt to the bowl of your instant pot. Attach the lid and turn to lock the lid. Set the steam valve to SEAL. Cook white rice for 4-8 minutes. If using other rice, see this instant pot cooking chart. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then carefully release any remaining pressure.

Serves 4

Store: Leftover rice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days, kept in an airtight container. If planning on storing leftovers, be sure to cool it quickly and store it within 2 hours to avoid bacteria growth. To keep longer, store in the freezer using freezer safe containers or baggies for up to 2 months.

To Reheat: Add a splash of water over the top to loosen the clumps of dried grains. Reheat the rice in a pot over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally until heated through. Or heat in the microwave, covered, using 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until rice is warmed through.


Add a little lime zest to the water before cooking to add a nice pop of lime flavor.

Don’t add the cilantro right away, let the rice cool a bit, or the heat of the rice will cook the fragile cilantro turning it a dull, washed out green color.

Add a small can of rinsed and drained black beans to the cooked rice when mixing in the cilantro and lime juice for added protein and texture.

Keywords: cilantro lime rice