Make this super easy and flavorful 20 minutes and 5 ingredients lemon cilantro rice, that tastes just like the one you had at Chipotle. Serve it with your Asian & Mexican meals for a refreshing taste.
Here are some more easy peasy continental rice recipes, that you can try for your everyday meals – Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, Persian Saffron Rice, One Pot Mexican Rice, Garlic Butter Shrimp Rice and Easy Mushroom Fried Rice.
About This Recipe
This homemade lemon cilantro rice is better than the one at Chipotle Mexican Grill outlets! It is packed with fresh herbs and zesty flavor; needs just 5 ingredients, and comes together in under 20 minutes. A one-pot recipe, this can be served for your weekday meals or as a side dish with your Asian or Mexican weekend brunch.
This Chipotle copycat recipe is a simple combination of rice, lemon juice, cilantro, vegetable stock, garlic, olive oil, and salt. I like to keep my recipe simple, but traditionally people also add black beans or corn kernels to their recipe.
This lemon cilantro rice is,
- Soft & Fluffy
- A 20-minute affair
- Just like Chipotle Rice
- Perfect Bachelor recipe
- Perfect for effortless weekday meals
Rice – To make cilantro lime rice, I always opt for long grain basmati rice as they turn out separate and aromatic. You can also opt for any white rice, that you use to make everyday meals at home. Brown rice, couscous, and quinoa also work great in this recipe. You will have to change the rice to liquid ratio though.
Vegetable Stock – You can add water instead of vegetable stock, but vegetable stock gives this rice dish an extra flavor and taste.
Try using my homemade vegetable stock for the best flavor. You can also use chicken or beef stock.
Cilantro – Add in finely chopped cilantro. This adds a lot of freshness to this rice recipe. Make sure they are fresh and green, and not wilted.
Other Ingredients – Other than the above ingredients, you will need light olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. You can also use a mix of lemon and lime juice or only lime juice.
I feel garlic adds a delicious flavor, that can’t be substituted with any other ingredient. So do not miss this one.
You can even add a bit of lemon zest, which adds a freshness to this simple yet delicious recipe. Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice, do not opt for the bottled juice.
How to make Lemon Cilantro Rice?
Rinse 1 cup basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 3-4 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon light olive in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon chopped garlic and fry until it turns lightly brown (1-2 minutes).
Drain the rice and add it to the pot.
Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and 2 teaspoon lemon juice and stir gently.
Close the lid of the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (20-25 minutes).
Add 3 tablespoon chopped cilantro and fluff the rice gently with 2 forks to mix it through out the rice. Serve.
Instant Pot Recipe
You can also make cilantro lemon rice in an instant pot. The thing to note here is the rice: water ratio. When you make white rice in the instant pot, the ratio is 1:1. So keep that in mind to get perfectly fluffy rice.
Rinse 1 cup white rice and soak for 15-20 minutes. Drain the rice and add it to the instant pot along with oil, garlic,1 cup vegetable stock and lemon juice.
Close the lid of the pot and set the valve to the sealing position. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 5 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then release the remaining pressure and open the lid of the pot. Add chopped cilantro and fluff the rice using a fork until the cilantro is mixed through. Serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a non-vegetarian version, just add cooked or grilled chicken or shrimps to the recipe. You can also use chicken stock to cook the rice.
I would suggest you use basmati long grain rice to make this recipe.
It is more aromatic as compared to plain white rice and the flavor also complements the cilantro and lemon.
Some people also use Jasmine rice to make this recipe, as it is more flavorful than the long grain basmati rice. So if you are thinking to serve it with an Asian Curry, you can use Jasmine rice instead of Basmati for that slightly sticky texture.
Having said that, this recipe tastes great with any variety of rice. So go ahead and make it with whatever you have at hand.
Yes, along with cilantro leaves, you can also add some chopped stem to rice, as it adds a lot of flavors.
If you are using white rice, 1 cup of uncooked rice makes 3 cups of cooked rice, but if you are making brown rice, 1 cup of uncooked rice makes 4 cups of cooked rice.
Cilantro lemon rice is so flavorful that you can have it on its own. Believe me, the aroma of this rice is so tempting to gobble it up, but this rice can be used to make other recipes too.
One great way to use this is in burritos. This lightly flavored rice adds a twist to your burrito and can even be used in burrito bowls and tacos.
Other than this you can just serve it along with any Mexican curry. Not only Mexican, but it also pairs well with the Asian curries.
You can also serve it with fresh tomato salsa, avocado, lettuce, sour cream, or guacamole. It also tastes great along with steak, grilled chicken, and salmon.
You can actually serve with any chicken, beef, sea food or pork curry and it will taste great.
Leftover lemon cilantro rice stays good in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 days, when stored properly in an airtight container.
You can also freeze this rice for about 3 months in a ziplock freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
I would recommend you to make it fresh because it tastes the best this way. It is easy to make, thus you need very little time from your busy schedule to make this one.
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Lemon Cilantro Rice Recipe
- 1 cup long grain Basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (you can use a mix of lemon and lime juice or only lime juice)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (Finely chopped)
- Rinse 1 cup basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 3-4 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon light olive in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon chopped garlic and fry until it turns lightly brown (1-2 minutes).
- Drain the rice and add it to the pot.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and 2 teaspoon lemon juice and stir gently.
- Close the lid of the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (20-25 minutes).
- Add 3 tablespoon chopped cilantro and fluff the rice gently with 2 forks to mix it through out the rice. Serve.