Copycat Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Learn how to make chipotle’s cilantro lime rice at home with only five ingredients! This recipe is simple to follow and is the perfect for meal prep or homemade burrito bowls.

As a child, Chipotle was my worst nightmare. They literally have so many ingredients that it is possible to order up to 65,000 unique combinations. Having to make all those decisions just to eat a quick lunch was ten-year-old Ramya’s worst nightmare. Of course, at this point in my life, I have bigger problems, but the anxiety I feel walking into Chipotle has never faded. The only part of the menu I never feel stuck on, though, is the rice. For me, it’s Cilantro Lime Rice all the way! So naturally, I started making it home, with the comfort of knowing the only choices I have to make are limited to the ingredients I have lying around waiting to be whipped up into a delicious combo.

This rice is a warm, comfort food with a citrus zing. You can use it to make your own burrito bowl, make a burrito, or eat it with anything and everything! It is simple to make and you can make a large batch for later use. This flavorful blend is made of simple ingredients that are probably in your kitchen already. Use your fresh ingredients to re-create this comfort food with some homemade goodness that will leave you craving more.


  • Long Grain Basmati Rice
  • Water
  • Lime Juice
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Salt

Why Basmati rice?

The key to getting that signature Chipotle Cilantro Lemon Rice is using a long grain. Basmati is long-grain rice that has a firm, dry texture that is ideal for this recipe. While you can use short-grain rice, most varieties tend to be more starchy and therefore clumps together easily which is not what you want in this case. The Cilantro Lemon Rice we know and love is separated and fluffy and the best way to achieve this delicious harmony is by using long-grain rice such as Basmati. A substitute for this could be Jasmine rice which is also long-grain rice that is ideal for this recipe in case you cannot find Basmati rice.

Should you wash your rice?

Yes, yes, yes. One of the more obvious reasons you should wash your rice is the same reason you wash fruit and vegetables before eating or cooking with them: cleanliness. White rice is processed and goes through a lot of machinery before it gets to you. You want to wash away any dirt, debris, chemicals, or other unwanted items from your food. 

Another very important reason you will want to wash your rice, especially for this recipe, is to remove the excess starch. If you don’t wash away the excess starch, the rice will stick together and have a gummy texture that is not ideal for this situation. Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice has just the right amount of chew and absolutely no stickiness and this can be achieved by washing your rice before cooking it to fluffy perfection.

How to wash rice

If you’re using whole-grain or brown rice, pour it into a mesh sieve and run it under cold water for 30 seconds while shaking it gently. Then, drain and transfer the rice into whatever you’re cooking the rice in. For white rice, follow the same steps except rinse for one to two minutes. The water will start out cloudy and will end up clear in a matter of a few minutes. Detailed Video

Make a Burrito Bowl at home

  1. First, start my making your cilantro-lime rice using the recipe below. If you prefer brown rice, you can substitute the basmati rice for a long grain brown rice.
  2. Then, we make the protein. You have a few options here: Spicy ChickenCopycat Chipotle Sofritas (Vegan),Paneer Crumbles (Vegetarian) or Garlic Shrimp.
  3. Finally, we add the toppings. Some of my favourites are homemade guacamole, black beans, salsa, sour cream and sautéed veggies.
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How To Make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Learn how to make chipotle’s cilantro lime rice at home with only five ingredients! This recipe is simple to follow and is the perfect for meal prep or homemade burrito bowls.


  • 1 cup long grain Basmati Rice
  • 1.25 cup water, for cooking
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice or juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Wash the rice: Place the rice in a bowl and fill with water until submerged. Use your hands in a swishing motion until the water gets cloudy. Drain the water and repeat until water runs clear, approximately 2-3 times.
  2. Cook the Rice : If you are using a rice cooker, add the washed rice and 1.25 cups water and cook.If you are doing this stovetop, add the water and rice to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Cool the Rice: Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a bowl using a fork and let it cool for five minutes.
  4. Add in the Garnish : Add the finely chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt. Stir gently to combine. Enjoy this as the base for homemade burrito bowls!
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Rice

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