We’ve been to Chipoltle many times, and more than the burritos the Cilantro Lime Rice always seems to be the dish we talk about most – sounds like a perfect D.I.Y. Project.

Today I’ve decided to try to make the Chipotle lime rice myself and wanted to share the recipie. This is not the actual recipe, just a close approximation.


Actually, it isn’t my recipe – I found it in the comments from this post at ChipotleFan.com. The link has a post with 2 recipes, either of which sound about right.

But in skimming the comments, it seems that the most common ingredients are:

  • Rice 🙂
  • A Bay Leaf
  • A mix of lime and lemon juice (possibly orange too)
  • Lime zest
  • Kosher Salt
  • Soy Oil

I didn’t use the recipes, but instead put mine together based on the comments – I thought there were easier ways to get the same result.

Rice Mix

6 cups of brown rice (the cheap kind, white is fine too)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (feel free to add more, 3/4 cup would be good)
1/4 cup olive oil (there are better kinds, like Soy oil, but this is what we had on-hand)
1 bay leaf (we didn’t have this so I did without)

Lime Mix (prepare before cooking rice)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or 5-6 turns-worth of sea salt from grinder
1 lime, juiced
Stir together until salt is dissolved

Steam the rice, putting 1 bay leaf in with the water.

Adding the Olive Oil

Put steamed rice in a warm wok (or deep skillet) add olive oil and stir to coat rice.

Rice receiving olive oil coating

Rice receiving Olive Oil coating

continue to stir and warm rice – keep on low to medium heat (we don’t want to fry the rice).

Freshly Squeezed Lime

Freshly Squeezed Lime

Prepare lime mix.

Salt and Lime

Adding the Salt to the Lime

I modified this and added a tablespoon of orange juice as well, not sure if it made a difference.

Lower heat of wok/skillet.

Add the chopped cilantro right before being ready to serve.

Chopped Cilantro

3/4 cup of Chopped Cilantro

My family isn’t as nuts about Cilantro as I am, so I put less in the rice and saved the remainder to add to my bowl!

Stir and serve. Best to save adding the cilantro for until right before serving, so it stays a bright green.

Homemade Cilantro Lime Rice

Homemade Cilantro Lime Rice

Give one of your squeezed out lime halves one last good squeeze over the rice, just because!

If you want a slightly different, but closer to Chipotle’s version, check this comment from nlkbot.

Random tips from the comments:

  • Try Sun Orchard lemon-lime juice.
  • Steam the rice with a bay leaf
  • Add a bit more salt than what it calls
  • Cook the rice first, let it cool, add oil, then add juice/salt mix
  • One suggestion was to add the salt, then mix in the lime
  • Always add Cilantro last so it stays bright green
  • Rinse rice in a strainer to make it less sticky