Cilantro Lime Rice

Each bite of cilantro lime rice is a flavor explosion in your mouth! It gets its zap of freshness from Lime Essential Oil, plus it’s a super simple and healthy side dish the entire family will love!


I just have to tell you, from the very first time I tasted Lime Essential Oil, I simply could not get enough of it’s amazing flavor! I know that I already did a post featuring the oil this week, but I love it so much, I just had to share another recipe using Lime with you! (and most likely, it won’t be my last Lime EO recipe, either! :) ) One drop of this pretty-much-magical oil is probably equivalent to the juice and zest of one whole lime fruit. It’s pretty incredible!

It’s going to be love at first taste of this Cilantro Lime Rice recipe! It’s the THE BEST and most flavorful cilantro lime rice recipe that I have ever tasted; each bite is like a flavor explosion-party in your mouth! It’s fantastic as a side dish to some grilled chicken or fish tacos, amazing as the base to a rice bowl (topped with all your favorite fixings + this guacamole!), or you could even just toss into the pot of cooked rice some additional protein + veggies for a healthy and family-friendly one-dish meal! (I’m thinking some cooked and shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes and bell peppers?? Yumsers!)


This rice dish is honestly very simple to make, but there are just a couple of things I want to focus on to assure your experience with this recipe is a successful one.

First of all, every bag of rice has slightly different preparation directions, so KEEP THE PACKAGE + DIRECTIONS! For this recipe, my favorite type of rice to use is Trader Joe’s Quick Brown Basmati Rice, but you may use another variety of rice if you prefer. I would NOT recommend using some type of minute-cook rice. For this recipe, you’ll want that simmer time on the stovetop to really fuse and develop the flavors, so just be sure to pick a rice variety that uses the stovetop-boil and simmer cook method, as opposed to the quick and easy microwave variety. Trader Joe’s Quick Brown Basmati Rice is really easy to use; you don’t have to soak or rinse your rice beforehand, and it only takes about 20 minutes of simmering on the stove for it to completely cook, which isn’t bad!

Secondly, on your rice package directions, it will recommend a certain rice-to-water ratio, which is specific to your variety of rice (this is why you want to keep the directions handy as you cook this dish). You will need 1 cup of dry, uncooked rice to make the recipe below. On the rice I used, it directed me to use 2 ½ cups water for every 1-cup of rice. Regardless of the specific amount of water your package calls for, for this recipe you’ll want to substitute half of the water requirement for chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.). Again, my rice package called for 2 ½ cups of water for every 1-cup of dry rice; so I would need to use 1 ¼ cups water and 1 ¼ cups chicken broth to make this cilantro lime rice recipe. Use the amount of liquid your specific rice variety calls for on the package directions; your total amount of cooking liquid will stay the same, but you’ll just use half water, half broth instead of solely using water to cook the rice in. Cooking the rice in the broth will give your dish an unparalleled flavor boost that won’t show up when using just plain water; it really is incredible!

Lastly, if you just don’t have the Lime Essential Oil available to you, you may use fresh limes instead. You’ll need about 3 whole limes. 2 limes + their zest will be used to cook the rice in, and then the third lime can be squeezed over top as a garnish right before serving.



Cilantro Lime Rice
Cuisine: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Each bite of cilantro lime rice is a flavor explosion in your mouth! It gets its zap of freshness from Lime Essential Oil, plus it’s a super simple and healthy side dish the entire family will love!
  • ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil (1 and ½ teaspoons)
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ½ cup Diced White or Yellow Onion
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (I always use Trader Joes Quick Brown Basmati Rice) (KEEP the package and directions! *)
  • Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth) (*see note below!)
  • Water (*see note below!)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 drops Lime Essential Oil, divided use (or 3 fresh limes, divided use)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh Cilantro Leaves
  1. On the stovetop, in a medium-sized pot or large skillet (with a lid!), heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add minced Garlic and diced Onions, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add Rice, Chicken (or vegetable) Broth, Water, Salt, and 2 drops Lime Essential Oil (or juice + zest of 2 limes), and stir to combine.
  4. Heat to a boil, and then turn down heat to Low to simmer according to rice package directions. (Mine took about 20 minutes for all the liquid to absorb.) Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.
  5. Stir in remaining drop of Lime Essential Oil (or squeeze in juice from the remaining lime) and chopped Cilantro.
  6. Serve piping hot!
  7. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: On the rice package directions, it will instruct you to add a certain amount of water as you cook your rice. Substitute HALF of the recommended water amount for Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth). For Example, the rice I used called for 2 ½ cups of water for each 1-cup of rice; so I used 1 ¼ cups of water and 1 ¼ cups Chicken Broth. See post above for more detailed instructions, if desired.

**If reheating leftovers, adding an extra splash of water or broth can help keep the rice from getting too dry or sticky.



Love Lime? Try these next:

Rockin Lime Guacamole


Cranberry Lime Smoothie

Cranberry Lime Smoothie


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    • Anna BradleyAnna Bradley says

      Thanks Laura! You can absolutely use real lime in place of the essential oil, if you wish; instructions included above for both! Either way, I hope you love this dish as much as I do! :)

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