Cilantro Lime Rice
Yield: 6 servings
Thanks to a few key additions, basic rice becomes an upgrade that pairs well with a variety of cuisines. Not a fan of cilantro? Not to worry. You may omit it and the resulting lime rice is still a winner!

One of the keys to rice success is using a ratio of 1 cup rice to 1½ cups water. The rice will be fully cooked to the al dente stage. However, if you prefer softer rice, add an additional 3 tablespoons of water.


  • 1½ cups (270g) long grain white rice (basmati is a nice option*)
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon butter (softened or cut into small pieces) or olive oil, divided use
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2¼ cups (18 ounces) water**
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Zest of 1 lime + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro*** 


  1. Heat the 2 teaspoons butter or oil in a large (2- to 3-quart) saucepan or pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add the rice, water, and salt, and increase the heat to medium high.
  3. When the water is bubbling gently but evenly and the surface is a bit foamy, stir once to loosen the rice, and then turn the heat to low and cover with the lid.
  4. Cook on low for 13 minutes without stirring or removing the lid, after which time the water should all be absorbed (tilt the pot to check) and the rice should be tender.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. As soon as the 10 minutes have passed, remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and stir in the lime juice, zest, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter (I like butter here), and cilantro. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding an extra sprinkle of salt or lime juice if desired. Serve warm.


*For white basmati rice, follow the same directions and cook the rice for 12 minutes.
**If not a cilantro fan, you may omit for delicious lime-infused rice.

If desired stir in 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies, drained, along with the lime juice, etc.
Sauté 2 thinly sliced scallions along with the garlic.
Or omit garlic entirely and start by bringing the water and rice to a boil. When skipping the garlic and/or scallions, I stir in all the butter at the end. (Note that softening or cubing the butter makes it easier to quickly and evenly incorporate into the rice.)
To make coconut lime rice, replace half the water with canned coconut milk.

More recipes at