Cilantro Lime Rice with Garlic

This cilantro lime rice recipe is one of the easiest dishes to make. It has only a few simple ingredients including lime, cilantro, garlic and salt along with some olive oil.

rice prepared in a dish ready to be served with lime on a plate next to it for decoration

Do you like rice with your fajitas or homemade tacos? We love it on them here but plain rice is rather boring and bland. This is where this easy cilantro lime rice comes in! We put garlic in ours to add the extra flavor, it is the perfect combination. Sometimes I even serve it as a side with stuffed chicken.

To get the best flavor we highly recommend using a mortar and pestle. The link is to the same one I use all the time – just about everyday. It is double sided and I use the shallow side for coarse things like sea salt. The deeper side is what I use for mixing herbs and blending in garlic for dishes like this. The flavor you get is so much better when the herbs are blended together.

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Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t have a mortar and pestle?

You can still make this even without a mortar and pestle, it just makes it a little easier using one. You can place the garlic, cilantro and sea salt on a cutting board – be careful if using glass so you don’t break the board. Use the bottom of a flat cup (like a coffee mug) to mash them together on the cutting board. You can also use a rolling pin to mash them together.

Can I make cilantro lime rice in Instant Pot?

Yes you can! Cook the rice according to directions in the Instant Pot depending on the rice you use. For basmati you would cook high pressure for 6 minutes and do a 10 minute natural release before manually releasing the rest. Stir in the seasoning mix and serve!

Do I have to use chicken broth?

No you can also use vegetable broth, it tastes amazing with homemade vegetable broth even!

If you don’t have broth or would rather not use it, you can use water as well. I always add a little oil or butter to my rice if I am using water when cooking it.

Do I have to add the seasoning after cooking?

It is recommended to make it this way to get the best flavor. Cooking with cilantro in the rice can make it overpowering but also change the flavor a bit. You also won’t taste the lime as much if you add it to the rice before cooking.

The flavors are more intense if you stir the seasoning in at the end, it will definitely taste better.

What is the best rice to use?

Basmati or even Jasmine, but basmati is our favorite here. It has the perfect texture when cooked and doesn’t clump together as easy after cooking.

Cilantro lime rice in a bowl ready to be served

Cilantro Lime Rice with Garlic

The perfect rice to go with tacos, fajitas or even served as a side dish. Cilantro lime rice is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 234 kcal


  • Mortar and pestle recommended see notes


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup cilantro fresh leaves
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt see notes
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth low sodium – see notes
  • cups basmati rice


  • Add garlic cloves, sea salt and cilantro to the mortar and pestle (see notes if not using one.) Mash into a paste.
  • Squeeze the juice from the lime into the seasoning mix and add in the olive oil. Mix together and set aside.
  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Bring the broth to a boil and add in the rice. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the seasoning mix.
    Serve and enjoy!


Serving sizes and nutritional facts are estimated.  Serving sizes are based on being a side dish.
A mortar and pestle is recommended here.  If you do not have one there are instructions in the post above to use a cutting board.
You can substitute table salt for sea salt, sea salt has just a little less sodium but not much.  We recommend Himalayan salt but you can use what you like.  If you use a broth with full sodium you won’t need too much salt.  Adjust to taste.


Calories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 232mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 51IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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