Cilantro Lime Rice in Rice Cooker

This recipe for cilantro lime rice in rice cooker will easily become one of your favorites. It’s aromatic, fluffy, delicious, and the perfect side dish for a great variety of dishes.

Cilantro lime rice cooked in rice cooker.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

Though you can make this recipe on the stovetop, making this in a rice cooker will be easier and faster. You just set it and forget it until you’re ready to eat.

It’s a versatile side dish that you can whip up super easily and it will only take a few ingredients

Mexican cilantro rice is super flavorful and it will be ready in around 20 minutes. It’s great for meal preps because it reheats perfectly.

So you can make a huge batch and enjoy many different dishes throughout the week. Including burritos, tacos, fajitas, bowls, meat or vegetable stews, and many other dishes.

Since this recipe is made in a rice cooker, the result will be aromatic and fluffy rice with a lovely flavor. It will go well with anything, especially spicy dishes, like camarones a la diabla (spicy shrimp).

Cooked cilantro lime rice in rice cooker. Seen from above.

Best Rice to Use

When it comes to cilantro lime rice in rice cooker, the best type of rice you can use is long-grain rice. Short grain rice is stickier, like sushi rice, so it’s not quite right for this recipe.

There are many different kinds of long grain rice available, so here are the top 4 options you can choose from for this recipe: 

  1. Basmati Rice. This is the preferred option because it’s chewy, full of nutrients, and it’s a lot more flavorful. When cooked, it’s aromatic, fluffy, and super tender. It won’t clump together in the rice cooker and it’s super easy to find. 
  2. Jasmine Rice. This is as popular as Basmati rice, but it’s a bit sticky and the grain is a bit longer. It’s also aromatic and it could work well for this.
  3. Carolina Gold Rice. This is a well-known long-grain rice variety in the US and it will work well, but it lacks the aroma of Basmati or Jasmine rice. 
  4. Mogra Rice. This long-grain rice variety can also work well for the recipe. It’s fragrant and it’s an okay alternative to Basmati rice. 

Ingredients Breakdown

Cilantro lime rice in rice cooker involves simple ingredients but when they come together, they create a well-balanced and versatile dish.

Here’s an ingredient breakdown so you know exactly why you’re using them. 

  • Long Grain Rice. As mentioned before, long-grain rice is the best type of rice you can use for this recipe. It’s fluffy, tender, aromatic, and fragrant. It will soak up the flavors really well and it’s also what makes this side dish so versatile.
  • Cilantro. Cilantro is fresh, citrusy, tangy, and complex. It has a more intense flavor than parsley and it’s a common ingredient in many Mexican recipes. 
  • Lime. Lime juice is a must for Mexican cilantro rice and it provides some acidity and tartness. It also provides a little sweetness!
  • Vegetable Bouillon. Vegetable bouillon will enhance the flavor of the rice. It’s a great seasoning because it’s very aromatic and it also adds a bit of color to the dish. 
  • Garlic and Onion Powder. Though garlic powder and onion powder taste different than fresh garlic and onion because it’s not so intense, it’s an easy way to add more flavor to the dish. 
  • Olive Oil. Rice always needs a little oil! Olive oil is very flavorful and aromatic, so it’s a great addition to the recipe. 
  • Salt. Last but not least, you need salt to enhance the flavor of the rice itself and all of these delicious ingredients. You can add it to the rice water and then adjust it to taste when the rice is done. 
Cilantro lime rice ingredients displayed with names on a countertop.

It’s important to note that this is not an authentic Mexican recipe. It was invented by Chipotle, the US popular fast-food chain. But, if you love their rice, this is how you’ll learn to make it at home. 

How To Make Cilantro Lime Rice In Rice Cooker

Place rice in a bowl and wash thoroughly changing the water three or four times or until the water becomes clean and transparent.

Long grain rice washed in a bowl with water.

Drain the rice and place it in the rice cooker with garlic powder, onion powder, vegetable bouillon, and salt.

The amount of salt you add depends on the type of bouillon you use, some brands contain more salt than others.

Rice and seasonings inside the rice cooker.

Pour water (I am using 2 cups of water, but refer to your rice cooker instructions for better results). Add also 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few sprigs of cilantro.

Stir to combine, cover, and set your rice cooker. Mine takes about 15 minutes to cook through long-grain rice, again, check out your rice cooker brand instructions.

All ingredients ready to make cilantro lime rice in rice cooker.

This is how the rice looks after exactly 15 minutes. You can remove the cooked cilantro sprigs or leave them, is up to you.

Cooked cilantro rice in the rice cooker,

Now, take a fork and fluff the rice, be gentle, as is still hot, we don’t want to end with mushy rice. Allow to cool down for about 10 minutes.

Fluffing the cooked rice with a fork.

While rice is cooling down, wash and pat dry your cilantro, then chop it nicely. Also, juice one lime and keep everything aside.

Then add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining olive oil.

Adding chopped cilantro and lime juice to the rice in the rice cooker.

And mix everything to combine nicely. Don’t forget to taste and add salt if needed.

The cilantro and lime in rice cooker ready.

What Goes With Cilantro Lime Rice?

Cilantro lime rice in rice cooker is one of those side dishes that go well with a great variety of recipes. Here are a few things that go deliciously well with Mexican cilantro rice so you can enjoy this delicious rice in many different ways: 

  • Papas a la Mexicana. This is a vegetarian dish that works well for any time of day. It’s super easy to make, flavorful, and cost-effective. Accompany it with cilantro rice and you’ll have a delicious and nutritious meal.
  • Mojarra Frita. The flavors in Mexican cilantro rice go perfectly with fried fish. I recommend you serve this combo with some extra lime on the side to enhance the flavor of the fish. 
  • Tortitas de papa. These potato and cheese cakes are delicious and hearty. Though they’re good on their own, they’re better when served with a fresh side dish like this cilantro rice. 
  • Atún a la Mexicana. This recipe is one of the best ways to turn canned tuna into a delicious meal. It will only take you 20 minutes to whip this up and you’ll enjoy every bite. 
  • Camarones con crema chipotle. Shrimp in creamy Chipotle sauce and cilantro rice is a match made in heaven. This recipe is savory, spicy, and a little smoky, which goes well with the fresh and tangy rice. 
  • Tinga. Chicken tinga is not only easy to make, it’s packed with flavor thanks to the tomato sauce and chipotle peppers. You can make tacos, tostadas, and even burritos with it. But if you want to keep it simple, serve it with cilantro rice.
  • Beef chile rojo. This beef chile rojo stew is one of the best Mexican recipes and rice will complement it beautifully. This stew is definitely a comfort meal with intense flavors, perfect for lunch or dinner.
  • On its own. You’ll be able to use it for many different recipes and it’s even good on its own with a runny fried egg on top! 
Close-up of cilantro lime rice in rice cooker.

How To Store And Reheat

This cilantro lime rice in rice cooker is perfect to make ahead and store for later. Just place the rice in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge where it will last for up to 4-5 days.

You can also freeze it for up to 3-4 months, just transfer the rice to safe containers. I like to use zip bags and press the air out of the bags, but you can also use proper glass containers which keep best the flavors.

To reheat: Thaw the rice in the refrigerator overnight (if frozen), place in a pan, and heat up over medium heat mixing from time to time. Or pop in the microwave and reheat in 1-minute intervals.

Cilantro lime rice in rice cooker recipe.

Cilantro Lime Rice In Rice Cooker

Make this cilantro lime in a rice cooker and enjoy as a side for pretty much anything.
prep 5 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 20 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups long-grain rice (Mexican rice, basmati, jasmine.)
  • bunch cilantro (chopped, + a few sprigs)
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • salt (to taste)


  • Wash rice with cold water in a bowl changing the water 3-4 times or until it becomes clear.
  • Drain the rice and place it in the rice cooker.
  • Add garlic powder, onion powder, vegetable bouillon, and salt.
  • Pour 2 cups of water (read notes).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a few sprigs of cilantro.
  • Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes or as long as it takes to cook the rice through.
  • Once the rice is fully cooked, take a fork and gently fluffy it.
  • Cool down for 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining olive oil.
  • Mix everything to combine, adjust salt or lime juice if needed.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve.


Adjust the liquid according to your rice cooker instructions. 
Nutrition Information
Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I made this cilantro lime rice in my rice cooker last night and it was perfect! I ended up adding more lime juice than the recipe calls for because I wanted a deep lime flavor. the seasonings are just right and adding a bit of olive oil is just the perfect call. I will make it again doubling the recipe and bring it to church next Sunday, I am sure everyone will love it!