Here’s a very easy healthy vegan recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice that is made on the stovetop. Make this with brown basmati rice or white basmati rice (or use jasmine rice!).  Beautiful and flavorful, coriander and lime zest gives this a little boost of flavor. 

An easy healthy recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice that is made on the stovetop. Make this with brown or white basmati rice ( or jasmine!). #rice #cilantrolimerice #mexicanrice

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. ~Marie Curie

I was hoping to get this Cilantro Lime Rice posted before Cinco De Mayo but the beach was calling! I’ve been a little of a procrastinator lately, it has been hard to be disciplined and inside working while the sun is shining and birds and singing. But anyway, here you go. We made both this rice and the pot of Mexican Pinto Beans over the weekend and have been making healthy Mexican Bowls all week.

I like to top off the Mexican Bowls with this fresh and crunchy Mexican Slaw, add a little Homemade Fermented Hot Sauce and some Chimichurri Sauce, and call it a meal. Healthy light and filling and totally plant-based.

types of rice for cilantro lime rice

 Cilantro Lime Rice Ingredeint Notes

  • Rice: Use either white or brown basmati rice- basically you want to use long-grain rice, even jasmine rice will work here! Please note that cooking time and amount of liquid will change depending on the rice, so read the package directions.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice

sautéing onion

Saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender and fragrant.

Then add the rice, and saute, coating each grain.

sauteening rice, zest and coriander

Add salt, coriander and half of the lime zest.

Then measure out the correct amount of water, and simmer covered until rice is tender and all the liquid is gone. This will take longer with brown rice, so see notes.

adding cilantro and lime to the rice

When the rice is cooked, fluff with a for and add the lime juice, cilantro, scallions and remaining lime zest. If you like a little spice, you could add some chili flakes if you want.

An easy healthy recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice that is made on the stovetop. Make this with brown or white basmati rice ( or jasmine!). #rice #cilantrolimerice #mexicanrice

For garnish, adding something fresh and crunchy is a nice touch- like these watermelon radishes or even sliced cucumber.

An easy healthy recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice that is made on the stovetop. Make this with brown or white basmati rice ( or jasmine!). #rice #cilantrolimerice #mexicanrice

I hope you like this simple recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice. Let us know in the comments below. Such a delicious addition to your weekly meal prep or Mexican Feast!

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An easy healthy recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice that is made on the stovetop. Make this with brown or white basmati rice ( or jasmine!). #rice #cilantrolimerice #mexicanrice

Cilantro Lime Rice

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 17 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: side dish, vegan, gluten free
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


Cilantro Lime Rice with Coriander and Lime Zest, made on the stovetop with brown (or white) basmati rice. Vegan, healthy & Delicious!


Units Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • one small white onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 cups white basmati rice (see notes for brown basmati rice)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 12 limes- zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, leaves and tender stems
  • 3 scallions, sliced


Over medium heat, using a lidded saute pan or wide pot, saute onion and garlic in oil until fragrant and tender, 4-5 minutes. Add rice, saute 1-2 more minute, coating each grain, then add coriander, 1 tablespoon of the lime zest (save rest for garnish)  and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Give a stir and add the water. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover, lower heat to low (gently simmering).

Cook 20-22 minutes or until all the water evaporates.

Fluff with fork, squeeze with lime juice (3-5 tablespoons) and right before serving, toss in the chopped cilantro and scallions.

Fluff again, taste and adjust salt and lime to taste.



If making ahead, add cilantro and scallions right before serving!

If using Brown Basmati Rice, plan on almost double the cooking time… 35-40 minutes (unless you soak the rice beforhand). Make sure to read package directions adjusting the liquid if need be.


  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 187
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 446.3 mg
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. Sylvia, I’m a big follower of your recipes. Not sure what happened with this one, as the basmati rice it turned out a big oily blob. 3 T. oil seems like too much. Any suggestions appreciated.

    1. Shoot Karen! Sorry about that. Was the rice overly mushy? Did you saute the onion and garlic in the oil first, then saute the rice in it before adding the liquid? Not sure what could have happened. You of course can cut it back next time.

  2. My daughter and I loved this recipe! We served it with Grilled Tamarind & Orange Glazed Chicken (on the BBQ). Both dishes are outstanding but are also complementary. We follow a low-FODMAP diet, so had to make a few adjustments. I kept the integrity of the recipe intact, however. This will go to my “Gold” recipes and will be served again and again. I will be looking at more of your recipes, Sylvia. Thank you.

  3. Delicious and easy – but you could cut the recipe in half and it would still be plenty. I served with chicken mole, pickled onions, mexican slaw.

  4. This is a great recipe that goes with just about anything. The recipe makes a lot so next time I will cut it in half. I made it to serve with the Roasted Chilies Rellenos with Black Beans recipe, but would also be very good with tacos.

  5. So delicious! I used cauliflower rice and the red onion I had on hand. Added this to my list of “go to” recipe’s. Thanks Sylvia!

  6. My family loved this. It was so easy to make. When I tasted it the first time it reminded me of a biryani/pilau base. My husband is very particular about what he says is good and even he said to not change a thing …he loved it. This will go into our regular rotation.

  7. Loved this. My only complaint has nothing to do with the recipe. I just do not like zesting. Going to try it with brown basmati next.

  8. Hi Sylvia, We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with your recipes, specifically the cinco de Mayo ones. I’ve delegated the menu to others in the family and my portion is the cilantro lime rice, chili relenos and your papaya salad with cilantro lime dressing! I can’t wait for tonight’s family dinner. Thank you for sharing these!

  9. I put this wonderful rice into a vegetarian burrito (Black beans, cheese, rice, corn and tomatoes) devoured by the whole family and a particular favorite of my picky 6 year old.

  10. I modified your recipe and made it in the instant pot. It turned out perfect. I served it with your Peruvian chicken recipe, which was wonderful as well.

  11. This has become a staple item/recipe in our household. And it reheats very easily and well on the stove top retaining its great flavor. So I make it in bulk and it lasts through the week for lunches and dinners. A favorite!

  12. Incredible rice recipe! I paired this with your stuffed pablano pepper and strawberry margarita recipes and the dinner was a total hit! No leftovers! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes with beautiful photos, they help keep cooking fun.

  13. Wondering if there is a way to modify this recipe for the rice cooker? Add some ingredients to the rice cooker and then some ingredients after?

    1. Loved this fancy rice! I made this last night using a rice cooker. No modifications necessary. I sauteed the garlic and onions on the cooktop, added the 2c rice and coriander, then put that in the rice cooker with 4c of water and it turned out beautifully.

  14. This is the first time I cooked long grain rice and also the first time I cooked rice without a rice-cooker. It turned out perfectly cooked and very flavourful (I can’t believe no broth was needed to impart the tastiness). I added some almond flakes and raisins for a complete meal. Thanks for this recipe.

  15. This looks so yummy! Like all your stuff does. Love your blog. I’m going to make this with cauliflower and I know it’s going to be awesome. Have a wonderful day! Thank you for what you do!


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