Chipotle-inspired cilantro lime brown rice! It’s easy to put together using all whole food plant-based ingredients. Adding fresh cilantro and lime juice adds a burst of flavor to plain brown rice. It's the perfect side dish that uses wholesome ingredients and works great for meal prep.
It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free! The cilantro brown rice works great as a flavorful side dish, add it to burrito bowls, or in grain bowls. Try it with lentil walnut tacos, chickpea vegetable rice bowl, or add it to burritos.
- Just a few ingredients are needed to add flavor to plain brown rice.
- The recipe is easy to scale up or down. Double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd or cut it in half for a smaller serving.
- It’s easy to customize, don’t like cilantro, leave it out. Prefer to skip the garlic powder, then skip it.
- Use white or brown rice for this cilantro rice recipe.
Just a few simple ingredients are needed to make this great side dish inspired by Chipotle's cilantro lime rice. Please see the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and the exact measurements.
Brown rice - Long-grain rice is best, try it with long-grain brown rice, long-grain white rice, or brown basmati rice. Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. Adjust the water and cooking time according to the rice you use.
Bay leaf - This infuses the plain rice with a subtle flavor.
Fresh lime juice - Fresh lime juice adds the best flavor to lime brown rice. Add a little lime zest to give the healthy whole grain an even more zesty flavor. Lemon juice can be substituted for lime juice.
Garlic powder - This is not found in Chipotle’s brown rice, but I love the added flavor. It can be left out if you want to. If you want a more intense garlic flavor, substitute the powder with a minced clove of fresh garlic.
Fresh cilantro - The herb gives the rice tons of fresh flavor! If you’re not a fan of cilantro it can be left out, or try parsley or a little bit of oregano. Use the leaves and only the tender parts of the stem. Finely chop the stems and discard the woody ends.
Tips for Cooking Rice
- Use a tight-fitting lid to prevent liquid from leaking out, that liquid is needed for your rice.
- Brown rice is generally a 2:1 ratio of liquid to rice for cooking on the stovetop, but check your package and cook according to the package instructions.
- Once the rice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. The rice doesn’t need to be stirred while simmering, so resist the temptation and keep it covered. Otherwise, you're letting out heat that’s needed for cooking.
- When the rice is done, keep the lid on, turn off the burner, and let the rice rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. This lets the moisture redistribute and helps with a fluffier texture.
- After letting the rice rest, fluff it with a fork or rice paddle.
Tips for the cilantro lime brown rice recipe
- The garlic powder tends to stick together when it hits the warm brown rice. To fix this, the brown rice can be stirred well to mix it in or you can put the lime juice, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl, whisk together, then add it to the rice. Add the cilantro separately because it clumps when added to the lime juice mixture.
- For this easy side dish, add the ingredients after cooking, otherwise, the delicate cilantro herb will wilt from the heat and the fresh lime juice flavor will diminish with cooking.
- Use 3 tablespoons of lime juice for a more pronounced lime flavor.
Start the cilantro lime brown rice recipe by making the brown rice according to its package instructions with a bay leaf in a medium saucepan. When the rice is done: keep it covered, turn off the heat, and let it rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. Keeping the lid on will keep the rice warm. Then fluff with a fork and remove the bay leaf.
After resting, add the lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and chopped fresh cilantro to the cooked rice. Stir well to combine. That’s it! Your outcome is flavorful cilantro brown rice, perfect for tacos or burrito bowls. Now you have a filling dinner and the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.
Chipotle-inspired brown rice can be used in a variety of ways, but here are a few suggestions.
- Use it in a chickpea vegetable rice bowl recipe or in a tofu Buddha bowl with peanut sauce.
- Use it in a burrito bowl instead of Mexican-inspired rice.
- Use it as a side to walnut lentil tacos, oil-free refried beans, refried bean taquitos, quesadillas, or enchiladas.
- Use in a vegan taco salad bowl recipe.
- Serve cilantro lime rice with black beans and corn for a super simple meal.
- Add it to burritos.
- Make a vegetable rice bowl with beans, greens, fresh vegetables, salsa, pico de Gallo, vegan sour cream, cashew lime crema, diced avocado, or guacamole (vegan).
Store completely cooled leftover rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
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I hope you enjoy this copycat of Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe! If you like the recipe, feel free to rate it and leave a comment.Print
Chipotle inspired cilantro lime brown rice! Adding fresh cilantro and lime juice adds a burst of flavor to plain brown rice.
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons packed of chopped fresh cilantro
- Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions with a bay leaf.
- When the rice is done, turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
- When the rice is done and still warm, fluff the rice using a fork, and remove the bay leaf.
- Then add the lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and chopped fresh cilantro. Stir to combine.
- The garlic powder likes to stick together when it hits the warm brown rice. To fix this, the brown rice can be stirred well to mix it in or you can put the lime juice, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl, whisk together, then add it to the rice. Add the cilantro separately because it clumps when added to the lime juice mixture.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Main Course, Side Dish
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Mexican inspired
Keywords: cilantro lime brown rice, chipotle brown rice