Friends! Cilantro Lime Rice in the Instant Pot is absolutely the easiest side dish that you can serve alongside so many main dishes like vegetarian tacos, burrito bowls, and even this easy curry recipe.
The cilantro and lime flavors pair well with so many other flavors, and can easily be adjusted to your preferences, too. It’s like having your own Chipotle at home…but dare I say…better?! Yes, it’s true! Not to mention that you can make a big batch and freeze the leftover rice so you can have homemade Chipotle at any point. That’s a dream come true.
Even better? It’s naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan (if you skip or use vegan butter) to fit a variety of needs!
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Rice
The name says it all… with just a few simple and straightforward ingredients, you’ll have perfectly cooked rice in no time. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- White Long Grain Rice like Jasmine rice or Basmati rice. I use both interchangably with great results either way!
- Vegetable Stock (or broth) or water: using vegetable stock will add even more flavor to the rice, but if you don’t have any you can absolutely use water.
- Butter: it’s optional, but I totally recommend adding it in. It adds a luxuriousness to the rice without being too much. You can use salted or unsalted, just take note of which you use for when you are adding additional salt.
- Fresh Lime: for both the zest and juice. The zest holds so much flavor which will give us even more fresh lime flavor!
- Cilantro: oh how I love cilantro, and if you’re here, I’m going to assume you do too! The key to delicate fresh herbs is to not chop them too finely, or they will bruise.
- Kosher Salt: I juse Morton’s kosher salt, and when you are adding your own salt, take note of the difference in size because it can impact how much salt is added. You can adjust as needed!
Do I need to Rinse the Rice?
I know the whole “rinse the rice” step feels unnecessary and like a waste of time when you have 824 things going on and 1 minute to do them. Do I always rinse rice? No, I don’t, but lately, that answer has been yes.
I’ve been focusing on rinsing rice because doing so gets all the excess dust and dirt off of the rice and removing the excess starches means when the rice cooks, you have individual grains instead of ones that stick together.
TLDR; I won’t be mad if you skip the rinse, but I do recommend it!
How to Make Rice in a Pressure Cooker
I honestly don’t make rice any other way now. Every time I make it on the stove, I end up with some stuck. Once I get that down, I’ll report back, but for now, cooking rice in my Instant Pot has resulted in perfectly fluffy al dente rice.
- Add rinsed rice to the bowl of your Instant Pot (photo 1).
- Add in vegetable stock (photo 2).
- Add butter, if using, as well as salt (photo 3).
- Make sure all the rice is in the liquid, go ahead and give it a stir.
- Cover and make sure the lid is set to sealed.
- Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure for perfectly al dente rice. My Instant Pot suggests 4 minutes for white long grain rice like Jasmine, which I do sometimes do. If you prefer a little more well done rice, go ahead and do 4 minutes.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure ((photo 4).
- Fluff the rice with a fork, then stir in the lime zest, juice, and cilantro (photos 5-7).
- Serve and enjoy (photo 8)!
Serving Size: 1 cup of rice generally yields 3 cups of cooked rice. This recipe makes approximately 6 cups of rice (see below for tips on freezing!
Serving Ideas for Lime Rice
Cilantro Lime Rice pairs so well with SO many things outside of your typical Chipotle order. While yes, things like tacos and burritos are a given, think about all the other dishes that have and pair with fresh cilantro and bright lime.
- Vegetarian Tacos – we have two here, roasted poblano pepper tacos and jackfruit black bean tacos!
- Burrito Bowls – whether it’s a simple vegetarian burrito bowl or a breakfast taco bowl, this rice is a great base for either (or any) kind of bowl!
- Serve it with vegetarian chili or with red beans and rice.
- Pair it with spicy firecracker shrimp or chipotle shrimp.
- Serve with cauliflower kale curry, or any stir fry from veggie stir fry, shrimp stir fry, or creamy coconut stir fry!
- Of course, bean and cheese enchiladas are a great main dish to pair with it, too!
- Make a batch of black beans, and toss it with some veggies, and chipotle cilantro dressing!
How to Freeze Rice
As I mentioned, I love making this larger batch recipe and freezing the rest of the rice for future use. While this recipe is SO easy and quick, I don’t necessarily love getting out my Instant Pot every time I need rice, so making a large batch and freezing it makes my life SO much easier.
When you’re ready to use the frozen rice, simply remove the amount you need (it’s easiest to get a little from frozen rice in a bag, whereas Souper Cubes will have pre-portioned amounts). Then, thaw it in the microwave until warm, stirring occasionally.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Optional but recommended.
- In the bowl of your Instant Pot, add the rinsed rice and combine with water, butter, and salt. Cover and set to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes for perfectly al dente rice (or 4 minutes for more well-done rice). Allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dishes!
- Freezing: cool the rice, then store in a freezer-safe container like a Stasher bag or Souper Cube for easy storage. Thaw in the fridge or microwave.