Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat)

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Learn the secrets to making Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice in the comfort of your own kitchen. This copycat recipe starts with getting the right type of rice and cooking it in a non-traditional way. This rice is soft and fluffy with just the right amount of chew and no stickiness.

A bowl of Cilantro-Lime Rice.


I’ve taken a deep dive into cooking perfect, fluffy rice on the stove or using a rice cooker. By using Basmati rice, and cooking it in lots of water (aka “the pasta method”), I was able to closely mimic their recipe.

You don’t have to use Basmati, though; I experimented with other kinds of rice and cooking methods and have outlined those as well.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for cilantro lime rice.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

“Grain” refers to the rice’s length to width ratio, when cooked. More than likely, you’d be able to tell whether a rice is short-grain or long-grain just by looking at it. Medium is a tad more difficult, because sometimes it gets lumped (clumped?) into the short-grain category.

  • Short grain rice is a plump, stubby grain. This rice is most commonly used for making sushi. Short-grain rice has more starch, so it clumps together easily.
  • Long grain rice is slender and long, as its name suggests. Varieties include American white and brown rices, Jasmine rice, and Basmati rice. Long-grain rice has a firm, dry texture, and is best for side dishes, pilafs, and salads.
  • Medium grain rice is somewhere in between. It produces moist, tender, slightly chewy grains that stick to each other when cooked. Common medium-grain rices include Arborio and Valencia, which are used to make risotto, and Bomba rice, which is used in paella.

One thing I’ve definitely learned along the way is to use the type of rice listed in a given recipe. Each one has different characteristics, so if you swap in a kind that hasn’t been tested, you might not get the result you are hoping for.

Step-by-step instructions

Method 1: How to Make Perfect Basmati Rice on the Stove (pasta method)

Even though I had cooked Basmati rice before, I had always cooked it using the typical method we’ve all been taught: measure a specific ratio of rice to water, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until all the water has absorbed. Then I learned about a new (well, new to me) method for cooking Basmati rice, and it changed my rice-cooking life.

If you’ve always thought cooking rice was too tricky, this method is for you. It’s called the pasta method; if you can cook pasta, you can definitely make perfect rice.

  1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, bay leaf, oil if using, and salt to taste (I like 2 teaspoons). Stir and return to a boil.
A pot of water and rice.
  1. Boil uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes (for me it’s always 12, but some readers have reported mushy rice after 12 minutes, so keep an eye on yours).
A pot of cooked rice.
  1. Remove bay leaf. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain rice and rinse with hot water.
Cooked rice in a strainer.
  1. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt (I like an additional ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.
A pot of cooked rice.

Method 2: How to Make Long-Grain Rice on the Stove (absorption method)

If you don’t have Basmati rice, you can still use another type of long-grain rice and still have a great version of Cilantro Lime Rice. I recommend rinsing it before cooking it to remove excess starch.

To rinse the rice, place it in a fine-mesh sieve under cool water and rinse until the water runs clear. Drain well before adding the rice to the pot or rice cooker. Or, soak the rice in a large bowl of water for up to 30 minutes to help remove starch while conserving water.

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, bay leaf, oil if using, and salt to taste (I like 2 teaspoons). Stir and return to a boil.
A pot of water and rice.
  1. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
A pot of cooked rice.
  1. Remove bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt (I like an additional ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.
A pot of cooked rice.

Method 3: How to make rice in a Rice Cooker

I love using a rice cooker! It’s completely hands-free and all I have to do is push a button. I use and recommend the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker, which you can get on Amazon for $30. Rice cookers usually come with a measuring cup that’s a little smaller than a standard cup. You simply count out the number of cups you’re making, then fill the cooker with water up to the level on the side that matches the number of cups you’re making.

  1. Add rinsed rice, water (according to manufacturer’s instructions, bay leaf, salt (I like 1 teaspoon), and oil if using. Close rice cooker, plug in, and turn on.
A rice cooker of uncooked rice and water.
  1. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
A rice cooker full of white rice.
  1. When the rice is finished, remove bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Add more salt to taste (I like ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.
A rice cooker full of white rice.

Method 4: Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

You can cook Cilantro Lime Brown Rice in a rice cooker (easy, because most rice cookers have a ‘brown rice’ button) or on the stove top. I prefer to use brown Basmati rice, but any long-grain brown rice will do.

Because brown rice takes a little longer, just follow the revised cooking times as outlined in Step 7 of the recipe.

A metal saucepan with a spoon and brown rice in it.

Recipe tips and variations

A bowl of Cilantro-Lime Rice.

Why I love my rice cooker

I find that rice cookers help make the fluffiest rice and when we rounded up the best rice cookers, our top pick was my personal favorite: The Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker. It’s compact, super simple, and does exactly what it’s supposed to do without fail. My sisters, Erin and Meredith, each have the same one, and we all love it. Not to mention, it has over 6,100 positive reviews. That’s a whole lot of rice!

You can buy my favorite rice cooker for $42 at Target, or you can get the smaller 4-cup version for about $30 on Amazon.

A photo of a rice cooker.

Rice cookers can cook polenta beautifully, also, without stirring it for a million hours. It’s not just a one-job appliance. And if you’re not sold on my rice cooker, others on our list have slow cooker capabilities, too.

Recipe FAQs

How many cups of rice will 1 cup uncooked rice make?

1 cup uncooked white rice makes 3 cups cooked white rice. 1 cup uncooked brown rice makes 4 cups cooked brown rice.

What is the difference between brown and white rice?

Brown rice is considered a whole grain, with fibrous bran, germ, and all. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals are all stored in the bran and germ. White rice has had the bran and germ removed in processing, and so it’s technically less nutritious than brown rice. (But it’s still delicious!)

Brown rice takes quite a bit longer than white rice in terms of cooking, but instructions on how to make Cilantro Lime Brown Rice are in the recipe card below, in case you are interested.

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A bowl of Cilantro-Lime Rice.

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat)

Learn the secrets to making Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice in the comfort of your own kitchen. This copycat recipe starts with getting the right type of rice and cooking it in a non-traditional way. This rice is soft and fluffy with just the right amount of chew and no stickiness.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Calories 114
5 from 1108 votes




To cook basmati rice on the stove top:

  • Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, bay leaf, oil if using, and salt to taste (I like 2 teaspoons). Stir and return to a boil. Boil uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes (for me it's always 12, but some readers have reported mushy rice after 12 minutes, so keep an eye on yours).
  • Remove bay leaf. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain rice and rinse with hot water. Pour into a large bowl. 
  • Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt (I like an additional ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.

To cook any long-grain rice on the stove top:

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, bay leaf, oil if using, and salt to taste (I like 2 teaspoons). Stir and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt (I like an additional ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.

To cook long-grain rice in a rice-cooker:

  • Add rinsed rice (see notes), water (according to manufacturer's instructions, see notes), bay leaf, salt (I like 1 teaspoon), and oil if using. Close rice cooker, plug in, and turn on. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • When the rice is finished, remove bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Add more salt to taste (I like ¼ teaspoon). Serve hot or at room temperature.

To cook brown rice:

  • Follow the instructions above using the following times: 40 minutes for Basmati on the stove top, 45 minutes for long-grain on the stove top, and 60 – 70 minutes for a rice cooker (or according to manufacturer’s instructions). 2 cups brown rice makes 16 servings, ½ cup each (higher yield than white rice).

Recipe Video


  1. Long-grain rice (not Basmati): If using a long-grain rice other than Basmati, I recommend rinsing it before cooking it to remove excess starch. To rinse the rice, place it in a fine-mesh sieve under cool water and rinse until the water runs clear. Drain well before adding the rice to the pot or rice cooker. Or, soak the rice in a large bowl of water for up to 30 minutes to help remove starch while conserving water.
  2. When using a rice cooker, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for rice and water portions. Many rice cookers come with a specific “measuring cup” that may not be equivalent to a standard 8-ounce cup. They will also specify exactly how much water to use in relation to their measuring cup for best results. Those instructions supersede my quantities of rice and water here, but the other ingredients should remain the same (subject to your own taste preference, of course). If you’re looking to buy a rice cooker, I use and recommend the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker, which you can buy from Amazon.
  3. Yield: 1 cup uncooked white rice makes 3 cups cooked white rice. 1 cup uncooked brown rice makes 4 cups cooked brown rice. This recipe will make about 6 cups Cilantro-Lime Rice, enough for 12 (½ cup) servings. That means it’s great for plenty of burrito bowls and meal prep!
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Freezer: Rice is one of the easiest things to freeze. I love to pack it into 2-cup portions (in plastic bags). Label, date, and lay flat in the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw as needed or add to soups or stir-fries straight from the freezer.


Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 35mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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    1. You don’t have to use the pasta method for basmati rice, it is just my favorite way to make this recipe. – Meggan

    2. Thank you, also can this be made a ahead of time and reheated? And what if I do not have bay leaves, what would you suggest as a substitute?
      Thanks, Holly

    3. Yes, you can make this up to 3 days in advance. I like to pack it in bags and lay it flat. You can also freeze it that way for a month or two. Frozen rice is one of my favorite things to keep on hand! I typically reheat all rice in the microwave. As for the bay leaf, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest anything else in its place. The bay leaf isn’t necessary except that Chipotle uses it so it gives it that “Chipotle restaurant” kind of flavor. But other than that, it’s entirely unnecessary. You could use any other herb that you like, but personally, I’d just leave out the bay leaf. Thank you! – Meggan

  1. I tried different recipes and to me all I tasted was plain white rice which has a distinct flavor or lack there of.
    I really never found one that recommended cooking with the salt added in the cook. Also, I’ve always used Jasmine rice.
    Yesterday I used plain white rice, the cheap stuff.
    And it really made all the difference I think.
    I added the finely chopped cilantro and a few dashes more of salt after the cook and was rather impressed. Was it the same as Chipotle exactly, not really but it was close enough! Then I added the lime and lemon, and while it changed the flavors a bit, it really didnt seem to get any closer to Chipotle’s. And I think the difference was that my rice seemed to be a bit more mushy and starchy. I rinsed my rice for about 5 minutes, THEN I let it sit in a bowl of cool water for about 5 minutes, then I rinsed it again and again, then did the bowl thing ago. Basically I rinsed until the water was clear…which took forever!
    So I dont know, I may experiment with a different rice, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
    THIS IS the closest I’ve gotten to Chipotle rice. Everything this Author posts is legit. I’ve tried everything and it’s at worst an A- if you are looking for restaurant accuracy. Put it all together and it’s an A+!!!
    It’s worth mentioning that if you make the bean, meat recipes and then make this rice, you will need to make a couple / few batches of rice to have enough for the beans/meat. So pickup more cilantro while you are at the store if you plan to do copycat Chipotle burrito bowls for the entire family5 stars

    1. Hi Scott, wow thank you so much for your enthusiasm! I love your granular detail here. I’m glad the recipe (or your version of it!) turned out well, wasn’t disappointing, and that you’re happy. That’s really all I want – happy readers, successful home cooks. I’m so relieved! Thank you so much. -Meggan

  2. So thrilled to have found this recipe. Have made it according to instructions written for the types of rice in the recipe and it comes out perfect every single time. We start watching it around 11-12 minutes as also indicated in the instructions. Will never need another rice recipe 🥰🥰🥰 Thank you so much!! ❤️❤️❤️5 stars

    1. You’re so welcome, Heather! Thank you for trusting my recipe. I’m so glad you all love it! 😊 – Meggan

  3. Hi, I came to your site looking for a cilantro lime rice recipe, but as I was scrolling past the rice-cooking directions, I noticed you didn’t have the long-soak method for brown rice.

    I tried for years to get my family to eat brown rice, but they just never cared for the texture and flavor. (Plus it must be stored in the freezer to stave off becoming rancid if not used up very quickly.)

    I had been experimenting with soaking and sprouting my beans and other seeds, I’d seen the long-soak method for brown rice mentioned, and thought “why not try it?” I tried a 6 or 7 day soak (cooked stove top method, as I usually would with unsoaked brown rice), and I got a much more enthusiastic reception for my it, especially with regards to flavor from the two pickiest critics. You can find specific information from most sites dedicated to sprouting.

    I just thought it was worth mentioning for all the folks who usually forego brown rice for its flavor.

  4. I made 4 of your Chipotle copycat recipes tonight to make for an amazing Burrito bowl meal…it was so spot on and better than Chipotle according to my kids! The reason their rice may be mushy is because you are telling them to boil 8 cups of water for 2 cups of rice. I followed the directions on my rice, which told me to use 2 cups of water per one cup of rice..I would tell them to follow the directions on their rice adding the bay leaf, salt and oil…it was perfect and amazing!!

    1. I wondered the same thing. 8 cups of water for 2 cups of rice seemed off. I’d always been told 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice.

    2. Hi Pesh, thanks for your comment. The method I describe and use in this recipe is the pasta method. I’m not the rice police, you can make your rice as you wish! I hope you try this out and please write back and let me know what you think. Take care! – Meggan

    1. Hi Brandy, thank you for your question. I haven’t tried this rice in an Instant Pot, sorry. I would recommend following directions to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot (with the bay leaves), then stir in cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, and salt to taste when cooked. Sorry about that again! – Meggan

  5. Great recipe …I just cooked my rice completely different fried with 2 tbs olive oil….then,2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water on stove top for 20 minutes and the rice was nice and fluffy… added the lemon juice and cilantro after…. a lil lawrys garlic salt and it was a hit!!

  6. Followed recipe exactly – the flavor was good but the rice (Basmati) was too sticky/mushy. Did not have a bay leaf on hand. Will try again with less water to see if that helps. The more cilantro, the better!

    1. Hi Meem, thank you for your comment and I’m sorry your rice didn’t turn out perfectly. Some readers have reported their rice becoming sticky, that’s why I caution watching the rice in step one. (It’s always 12 minutes cooking time for me, but has varied for other readers.) I hope you try it again and your next batch comes out perfectly. Thank you again and I hope you have a nice afternoon! – Meggan

  7. Just tried this with authentic Royal Basmati Rice from India. The package recommends soaking for 10 to 15 mins to get the longest grain length and rinsing to remove excess starch. I didn’t do either of those because your recipe says it isn’t necessary with basmati rice. Sadly, my rice, like many others, did not cook correctly….it would not soften and after adding multiple additional cups of water and still having firm rice, I ended up just covering it with the lid and used the traditional stovetop method. End result…very bland washed out rice.

    I think it might be helpful for folks to know that not all Basmati rice is the same. Many types that are at the store are “enriched” meaning they are processed differently and additional vitamins are added to the outside to give the rice more nutrition (read your label). The enriched basmati’s do cook differently than the pure rice form India or Pakistan. Also the Lundberg Basmati (from California) and Texmati cooks differently from the imports, so it may be the reason why some are having success with the method, but others are not.

    It would really help if people could state what type/brand of basmati they used, in addition to the cooking method that they chose from the 3 given and whether they rinsed prior to cooking.

    Also, I think folks need to know that they need to TASTE TEST their boiling rice before draining it. If it needs more cooking/water, you can add more water and keep boiling. But once it goes the past of being done and turns mushy, there’s no going back. You have to be vigilant.

    I do believe the no rinse pasta method will work for the right type of basmati rice, but it would be so much nicer to know up front what brand & type worked for this method so more can experience success. 🙂

    1. Hi Theresa, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insight. It’s helpful to hear your experience with authentic Basmati Rice from India. Your tip of tasting the rice for doneness before draining it is very helpful. Thank you again for writing in and sharing with us! Take care! – Meggan

    2. I used Mahatma brand of Basmati rice and I did rinse about 4 times, give or take. I think the 8 cups of water used was too much as my rice was too sticky/mushy. Will try the recipe again with less water.

    1. Hi Jodi, I usually cool the rice, place it freezer bag, label it, and refrigerate or freeze it. Then I thaw it in the refrigerator. I reheat in a skillet or the microwave until it reaches 165 degrees. If reheating the whole batch, I omit the cilantro, lime, and lemon juice in step three, freeze or refrigerate, reheat to 165 degrees, then toss with the cilantro and juices so they stay fresh and the rice doesn’t become soggy. I hope this helps! Take care! – Meggan

  8. Husband forgot the bay leaf 🥲 but this recipe still turned out amazing! Just as good as chipotle if not better!5 stars

    1. Hi Ana, thank you for your question! Cilantro is sensitive to heat, becoming dull and mushy. Adding it at the end helps keep the cilantro vibrant. I hope you love this rice! – Meggan

    1. Hi Andi, thank you so much for the question. I’m sorry for the confusion. The oil is added to the pot of boiling water along with the rice in step one. I’ve clarified it in the recipe. Sorry again. I hope you love this rice! – Meggan

  9. For method 1, when your instructions say, ” Using a fine mesh strainer, drain the rice and rinse with hot water,” do you mean the remaining cooking water?

    1. Hi Ara, thank you for your question! Sorry for the confusion. You will drain off the cooking water, and then rinse with clean hot water. Hope you love this rice! Take care! – Meggan

    2. Hi Meggan, thanks for the quick response and clarification. Can you explain why this step is necessary? I don’t like to use hot tap water in my cooking so I want to be sure I have to do it:) Thank you, again!

    3. Hi Ara, it removes some of the excess starch and helps prevent the rice from sticking. The warm water is so it doesn’t cool down the rice that has just finished cooking. It doesn’t have to be tap water, you can use your preferred water heated up. Take care! – Meggan

  10. I thought this was delicious and so did my teen kids! I did add extra lime & lemon juice (personal preference) for more of a pronounced taste and it turned out wonderful! Question: What is the measurement of one serving size? Ty!5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa, this recipe as written makes about 6 cups total, 12 1/2-cup servings. I’m so glad everyone loved it! Take care! – Meggan

  11. First time making rice pasta style and I’ll never go back!! Best textured rice I’ve ever made! I love being able to sample the rice to make sure it’s perfect. We made this rice along with the chipotle pintos and my kids loved it. They couldn’t believe dad made Chipotle at home lol. This recipe is spot on! Thanks Meggan!

    1. Hi Christian, thank you so much for the comment. I’m so glad you had success and loved it all! I personally think happy kids who eat the food is the main goal every day, and I’m so relieved that happened for you. Thank you so much! -Meggan

  12. Ok, I, like everyone else, was very concerned about making this so I used half the recipe in case it turned out bad, well, it was fantastic. I do understand all the questions about cooking the rice tho, it seemed very odd to me but came out just fine, I’ll check your other recipes…just when you think you know everything there is to know about cooking, here comes Ms Hill!5 stars

    1. Why thank you! I’m so glad you loved it! 🙂 I hope you find more recipes to explore! – Meggan

  13. Hi Megan— have you ever held the rice for a party? Any tips for how I can keep it from getting sticky in a chafer? Thx!

    1. Hi Claudia, yes! I recommend making a water bath in the large bottom pan, and holding the rice in a smaller pan inside. This will help the rice keep warm without overheating it. – Meggan

    1. Hi Charlene, I’m sorry your rice came out sticky! This usually happens if you didn’t rinse it enough times. So sorry again! – Meggan

  14. Hi! I love Chipotle, but it gets spendy so I’m trying to cook at home more. This recipe seems awesome! I am just wondering if I don’t have lemons on hand, can I substitute more lime juice? Or omit it entirely?

    1. Hi H.G. you can omit the lemon juice and add more lime juice to taste! Hope this helps – Meggan

  15. My only concern is the four cups to one cup. I’m Korean and have made rice since I was 5 and I’m 54. It’s always 2 to 1 water to rice and a little less in a rice cooker. We use our finger to measure the water in the cooker.

    1. Its the pasta method, so because its alot of water you drain it. Its a different way to make rice

  16. Thank you! My family LOVES this rice and it’s so easy to prepare! It is delicious and it is fast becoming a family favorite!5 stars

    1. Hi Tameka, it is! I love this recipe for meal prepping for the week. Take care! – Meggan

  17. Super easy and delicious – tastes just like Chipotle! I made the rice using the rice cooker method and it was perfect. I think next time I might try adding in a dab of butter. Thank you for the recipe!

  18. I used this recipe but used basmati brown rice. I had to cook it for a bit longer and kept adding water but it came great!

  19. We are using your recipe for a graduation party. We must cook enough for 80 people.
    We will be preparing all the food the day before. Do you have recommendations on how to heat it the next day, so it doesn’t dry out?

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’ve only ever reheated in the microwave or a non-stick skillet but I’m not sure what I would use for that amount of rice. I would say add the salt and lime juice and cilantro right before serving, rather than before refrigerating. Hope this helps! – Meggan

    2. We’re also making this the day before for my son’s grad party, expecting 100+ people. Did making it the day before then adding the cilantro, lime juice and salt right before serving work? Thanks! Was excited to see my exact question in the comments.

  20. Well, I must say I was pleasantly surprised I finally have Chipotle fixe!.. this recipe is spot on.You will not be disappointed!

  21. This tastes exactly like Chipotle rice but maybe even a tad better! Thank you for this delicious recipe! My family loves it!!!5 stars

  22. I think you may have just become my new cooking hero. I am 62 years old and started cooking when I was 12 Cooking is my passion and I get so much joy from it. Except for RICE! After years of frustration with scorched, undercooked, mushy rice – I tried all kinds. I finally gave up and started using Minute brand instant rice. Of course it did not work for a lot of recipes needing rice but I just faked it and my kids grew up on Minute rice. Knew this was not good so I bought several brands of rice cookers, tried the IPot methods of cooking rice but nothing worked… until this! THANK YOU!
    Now going to check out your other recipes!5 stars

  23. I was skeptical about this recipe. I have cooked rice my entire life (part of my Asian culture). The water ratio is way more than normal. But it worked – rice isn’t sticky like most versions. Enjoyed this recipe.

  24. My family liked this, but cut way back on the lemon/lime juice as recommended by another comment.

    I used instant long grain rice (3 cups rice and water) and added chicken bullion to the water instead of salt. I combined the fresh lemon/lime juice but only added 1 1/2 Tablespoons of it. It was plenty flavorful with the cilantro!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  25. We hate turkey but, LOVE your turkey meatballs
    We had an awesome salsbury steak recipe but, threw it in the trash. LOVE yours.
    We don’t care for roast, carrots and potatoes but, we LOVE your Beef Stew.
    We made this cilantro rice…Yes…we LOVE it.
    Who needs Pintrerest when you have Culinary Hill with Megan and her team. AWESOME AWESOME LOVE EVERYTHING WE HAVE TRIED.
    cooked mine for 10 mins. and was perfect. I did a trick with lemon and tiny lime. Squeezed and rolled on counter until super soft. Got 2 T. easy out of 1 each.5 stars

  26. We’ve done this 5 or 6 times now, using the “pasta” method with Basmati and following the directions to a T, our picky little ones go nuts for it.

    I also used your copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe with 5lbs of boneless skinless thighs tonight, can’t recommend it enough. Made enough for 30 burritos for what it would cost 3 or 4 at the Restaurant.

    Love it!!5 stars

  27. I have been following your Chipotle Copycat series for a long while. Is a total staple at home. My family loves it and honestly I like it better than the franchise. Now, I am TERRIFIED of this particular recipe. Say what??? Draining the rice and rinsing it???? I cannot get myself to do it. I typically just sautee the dry rice in a spoonful of some neutral oil, then add the respective boiling water and the salt (I will be adding the bay leaf), and let it cook covered for 25 minutes, and then rest for other 20 and then add lemon and cilantro. This is how my nanny always made the rice, and so I stick to it for not gooey rice. Now, for the sake of experiment, I will try eventually this…but like I said, I’m terrified.
    Other than that…thank you so very much for all your recipes here. I’ve shared them with everyone I know! I love them!

    1. Hi Catherine, I know it’s a little out there but I promise you it is worth a try! Let me know how it goes when you do try it. – Meggan

  28. Made it tonight for dinner. Love Chipotle’s rice. Although it was delicious, fragrant and healthy, it did not come close to the real thing.
    Also, when do you add the oil? It is listed as an ingredient but is missing from the instructions.4 stars

    1. Hi Jean, the oil is optional. You can find it in the instructions for cooking long-grain rice on the stove top or in a rice-cooker. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  29. Why couldn’t you do the same method in the rice cooker, meaning increase the water and leave the lid off while it boils?

    When I tried using the typical method I do for regular jasmine rice (rinsed well beforehand), it ended up mushy.

    1. Hi Mizmo, I haven’t tried that way, as I follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for my rice cooker to cook the rice. I would imagine based on how rice cooks on the stovetop if the rice is cooked uncovered, the outside of the grain will overcook, and the center would be chalky. If you do happen to try cooking the rice that way, please stop by and let me know how it turned out! I just don’t want you to have rice that is over or underdone and ruined. Thanks – Meggan

  30. I don’t what I did wrong. I use the same amount of lemon and limes (for the 2 cup rice receipt) on my 3 cup rice, but my rice turn out too sour.
    My kids don’t like it because the rice are too sour and we have been eating from choplet restaurant for years.

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m sorry your rice came out sour. Did you happen to measure out 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lime juice? Fruit sizes vary, so I’m thinking you may have had large lemons and limes and may have had more than 4 tablespoons of juice. Sorry again – Meggan

  31. Could you possibly tell me what type of rice you use for Basmati? The name brand? I am just confused when it comes to rinsing prior to boiling. I read everything, but not sure I’d I’m supposed to rinse before. I understand I am to rinse after. Will be boiling at first, but ordering thru link the cooker later today. I am addicted to cilantro and need something like this for work. I am quite addicted to chipotles rice, I can’t explain to you the excitement I have to try this and make on a weekly basis. Now if I can master shrimp and fish tacos, that’s all I need!

    1. Hi Angeli, basmati is a type of long grain rice, not a specific brand. If you are using basmati for this recipe, you do not need to rinse it first, only rinse with hot water after it is done cooking. If you happen to use a different type of long grain rice for this recipe, you would rinse it before and after cooking. I hope you love it! Fish and shrimp tacos would go perfectly with this rice! – Meggan

  32. This was a hit! My 5 year old asked for more which is so rare which solidified that it was amazing. Thank you for the thorough post❤️ You have a new fan!!5 stars

  33. This looks fantastic. Do you have any tips for making this ahead of time and reheating it? I want to make it a dinner party using brown rice, and like to have everything ready ahead of time as much as possible.

    1. Hi Kathryn, I would recommend making it in a rice cooker, and keeping it warm, if possible, then right before serving remove the bay leaf and toss with the fresh cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juices and season with salt. You can also reheat in the microwave, adding a tablespoon of broth for every cup of rice, and microwaving until it reaches 165 degrees on a thermometer. I think cooking right before, but holding it in the rice cooker would be the best way. I hope you have a great dinner party! – Meggan

  34. I’ve tried other recipes for ‘Cilantro lime rice’ and not one of them come close to this one. Hubby was blown away with the taste of what is normally an average side. He didnt immediately think Chipotle when he had it but did say “what did you do to this rice? it’s incredible!” so, there you go. FYI I also added a little black pepper. I think the bay leaf and the salt add to the balance and depth of this dish, taking it from average to stellar5 stars

    1. Hi Bethy, I’m so happy to hear this! I’m glad you all enjoyed it! – Meggan

  35. Wait a minute, what the heck! That’s not how you cook rice. I’ve never seen this method before. Rinsing cooked rice????!!!!! I’m mistaken right???

    1. Hi Anastasie, it is a different way that you may know how to cook rice, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Try it out and let me know how it works for you! Hope to hear from you soon! – Meggan

  36. Good recipe, cooked Basmati as per your instructions. Started checking rice after 10 minutes and stopped cooking at 14. Used olive oil as an optional ingredient. Very pleased with the result and will serve with Turkish beef skewers with peppers and tzatziki with pita bread.5 stars

  37. Hi, so when using jasmine rice on the stove top am I supposed to drain the rice after it cooks covered for 15 minutes?

    1. Hi Rae, no, you don’t have to drain it when you cook it covered. The covered method steams the rice and will absorb all the water. You only have to drain it when you cook it with the pasta method (lots of water, cooked uncovered). Covered method, no draining. Thank you! -Meggan

  38. Hey Meggan. I would love to try your recipe but I’m a little confused. When using a different type of Long grain rice (not basmati) is it 1 cup of uncooked rice and 4 parts water? And also do you drain and rinse?

    1. Hi Danna, I’m so sorry for the confusion. It’s 2 cups of uncooked long-grain rice and 4 cups water (or 1 cup of rice and 2 cups water). You can still rinse the rice before you cook it, but you don’t need to drain it after. With the stove-top method, you cook it covered and it steams the rice and all the water is absorbed. I will work on re-writing this post so it makes more sense. I’m really sorry again. Thank you! -Meggan

  39. This is the only recipe I’ve found that even tastes like Chipotle without being mushy and it could pass for the real thing! One hack for parents – a Baby Bullet quickly chops up the cilantro into the perfect size.5 stars

  40. Followed the recipe exactly as written and it was so easy and so good! Made my chicken burrito bowls taste great, thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  41. I’m not usually one to leave review but this recipe was worth posting one. I’m a huge fan of Chipotle and this rice is just like theirs (especially the Basmati one).

    Thank you for sharing this!5 stars

  42. My family loves Chipotle. So, tonight I thought I would try this recipe. They said it tasted like Chipotle maybe even better!! It was adorable, the kids kept thanking me for making it!! It’s already a family favorite!! Thank you for sharing this great recipe. It was so wonderful of you to share the different ways to cook it as well. I did the rinse recipe with the stove top for a long grain rice.
    Fantastic 🙂5 stars

    1. Hi Alicia! You can substitute fresh parsley, or leave it out completely. 😊 – Meggan

  43. I’ve never made rice before and I want to make this for an adult birthday party for a large group. I’m going to use a rice cooker. Can I make this the day before and had the juices and cilantro the next day? If so, how would I store this and reheat? Or what would you suggest?

    1. Hi Eva, Yes! I would recommend reheating in a dry nonstick skillet, and definitely add the citrus juices and cilantro so the rice doesn’t become soggy. – Meggan

  44. I would like to make this tonight for a baby shower lunch at work tomorrow. How is it for reheating in a crock pot? Thank you

    1. Hi Rita, it will work just fine. You rinse the rice after it’s cooked, so there isn’t excess starch that could make it sticky. It will work really well. Thanks! -Meggan

  45. This recipe was amazing and delicious. The entire family enjoyed it. I even added black beans and pulled pork and made it a meal in a bowl. I would recommend this to anyone that loves Chipotle.5 stars

    1. Hi Meggan,
      Great recipe. Just curious to know after draining cooked rice why do you rinse the rice again with hot water. Thanks Reeta4 stars

  46. Has anyone tried to put this in a crockpot or have another proven method to keep it warm for a taco bar party without it getting sticky?

    1. Hi Nicole! If you follow the “pasta method” and cook the rice uncovered in a lot of water, and if you rinse it at the end as the recipe says, I don’t think your rice will get sticky. There won’t be anything to make it stick. I haven’t stuck the rice in a crock pot myself, but I just don’t see how that could happen. I hope this helps! Thanks. -Meggan

  47. Do you still drain off water if using Jasmine and the stove top method? 4 cups of water with 2 cups of rice seems like a lot otherwise. It doesn’t say drain it in the steps.

    1. Hi Shawn, step #2: “Remove bay leaf. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain rice and rinse with hot water. Pour into a large bowl.” Unless you’re referring to a different one where it’s not listed. I’ll go take a look at all of them and see if anything seems wrong. Thanks for pointing that out! You definitely want to drain it off. -Meggan

    2. She said 4 cups of water per 1 cup of rice…which seems an even more imbalanced ratio. Rice bags always say to put twice as much water as rice. Four times more water, though? I don’t understand.

    3. Hi Matias, yes! It’s the “pasta method” and it’s the way to cook basmati rice so it mimics Chipotle’s. I’ve outlined it in Method #1 in the post if you would like to read more. 🙂 It seemed imbalanced to me too the first time I tried it. Sorry for any confusion! – Meggan

  48. Thank you so Very Much! My son has been craving the rice since quarantine. It came out so good!

  49. I made the rice, black beans, and chicken. They all tasted great – beans were a bit too spicy for me though. While my family loved the meal, we all agree it doesn’t taste anything like Chipotle!
    Thanks for the recipes. I will be making them again for sure.5 stars

  50. This was delicious! I was always taught to pan fry rice before putting it into the boiling water so I did it with this recipe too and it came it delicious just like Chipotle! Thank you.5 stars

  51. I did the basmati “pasta method” just like the recipe and it worked beautifully. I loved the result because the rice was incredibly separate. I have been looking for a method to cook rice like I find in Indian restaurants. I have found it!!!!5 stars

  52. Yummy! I made this using basmati rice and I did use cilantro. It was perfect with my spicy seared scalllops!5 stars

  53. Hi- I have been making basmati rice all my life and there is an easier method. For every cup of rice you make, you add two cups of water and you let it cook at low heat occasionally stirring. When the rice has very little water left, turn the heat to high and turn off the gas and then serve! No draining required and it makes delicious moist rice. Try this method out some time and tell me how it goes. You won’t regret it!4 stars

  54. First time using this technique with 1C. Basmati rice and worked excellent. My pot did start to boil over but just lowered the temp and kept stirring and it all worked out. Girlfriend approved, salud!5 stars

    1. Hi Gail, I have never tried making it with dried cilantro, but I think it would be fine! I would recommend rehydrating it in a little water for about 10 minutes before putting it in, just to try to make it as close to the fresh stuff as possible. 🙂 -Meggan

  55. Do you cover or uncover the rice as it cooks?
    In the blog you said to uncover, yet in the recipe portion below you say to cover the rice.

    1. Hi there, you’re right, I have a typo. If you do basmati rice, I would say leave it uncovered and do the “pasta method.” If you are using regular long-grain rice, you should cover it. The part in the recipe card is correct, the part in the post was wrong. I’m going to fix it now. Just stick to the recipe card! Sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know. -Meggan

  56. I made this recipe and your Chipotle copycat recipe for fresh corn salsa. What a huge hit. It was for my Mom’s 85th birthday and I bought a Carnitas seasoned pulled pork fro Aldi’s market. I am one of 9 siblings and this was my choice to bring. Everyone loved it! Both recipes give you the Chipotle flavors without the expense and without waiting in line. Your flavors were amazing.5 stars

    1. Hi Ky, I haven’t frozen this rice specifically, but I freeze other rice all the time. It works great! You shouldn’t have any problems. I guess the only potential issue I see is, the cilantro is going to freeze and “might” look sad when it comes out. I can’t imagine it would still be bright green. But the flavor would probably be sound. And maybe it would still look green, I’m not sure. But as far as everything else goes, you’ll be fine! Rice is a dream to freeze. I usually just put it in ziplock bag, label it, and freeze it. Then I thaw it in the refrigerator. Thanks! -Meggan

  57. I LOVE your pasta method for cooking the basmati. It’s the perfect texture every single time I do it your way. This recipe is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!5 stars

  58. This recipe is phenomenal!! So similar to Chipotle’s rice (that bay leaf makes a HUGE difference) but so much cheaper! My picky-eating son gobbles this up.5 stars

  59. i used two cups basmati rice and 8 cups of water, but the end result was a little bit mushy. how can i fix this? other than that, the flavour was good!

    1. Hi Elyse, I’m assuming you followed the recipe precisely. It sounds like your rice was a little over-cooked, so I will retest and probably adjust the boiling time from 12 minutes to a range of 10-12 minutes (maybe some stoves cook hotter or boil more rapidly than mine?). That’s the only thing that makes sense to me; your rice was done a little early. I’m so sorry about that. I would check it at 10 minutes if you make it again, or even 9 minutes. I’ll test it again too! Thanks for your feedback! -Meggan

  60. As a former chipotle employee I can tell you this is pretty close to accurate. 2 things missing- a little Rice bran oil in the cooking water and kosher salt when mixing in the citrus juices and cilantro. 😊

    1. Hi Syndell, THANK YOU! For some reason I thought the oil had to go into a spray bottle with the citrus juices… but I’ll update the recipe with your secrets. 🙂 Thanks a lot! -Meggan

  61. I cannot give 5 stars because I DO NOT like the pasta method of cooking rice. I got into it before I realized I needed a fine mesh drainer and then had no way to drain it and ended up with the atickiest rice ever.4 stars

    1. Hi Brenda, I’m sorry about that. I will update the recipe to explain that a fine-mesh strainer is required for that method (that way maybe you would have known to look at the second option listed which is more traditional where you just cover the rice and let it cook until the water is absorbed). -Meggan

    2. When cooking rice on the stove, i always only use double the water than rice. Then I cook basmati rice for about 1 minutes with the lid on over Medium heat. That makes it so there is no water to drain afterwards. And it comes out perfect when it is just about done and you leave the lid on, take it off the heat, and let it sit for a few minutes more. The rice will absorb all the remaining liquid and will come out to the perfect consistency.

  62. Hi there, in the notes you said to still do 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice even if it’s long grain, and also you said to still rinse with hot water. But in the actual recipe below, it says 4 cups of water for 2 cups of rice, and to just remove the bay leaf and add the juice and cilantro…I’m just wondering which is best? I’ve made this a zillion times and it always comes out extremely sticky. I use jasmine rice, and have tried oil, rinsing before, and both combined. I haven’t tried the pasta method yet or rinsing after it is cooked, though, so wondering if that will help with stickiness?

    1. Hi Jess and Mikiel, yes, if you are having issues with stickiness, I would definitely try the pasta method, and rinse after. It should solve the problem!

  63. Made this last night and it was fantastic! My 3yr old always asks for extra rice with her chipotle kids meal and this let’s me give her more if she wants it!
    Also, I’m Pakistani and my mom, grandma, and great grandmother were taught to make rice this exact way. It makes the most perfect, fluffy, separated rice grains ever. Goes way back 🙂 thanks for bring up this method!5 stars

  64. I made this rice in my rice cooker and your copycat Chipotle chicken recipe and it was a huge hit at my house. I can’t wait to try your other recipes! Thank you!5 stars

  65. Forgive me if I am overlooking something but I know you mention in the recipe and also in a post that the oil is optional. I am wondering if you can share some more on this as to advantages of using or skipping, etc or if there is a cooking method that makes a difference whether you use it or not. I am going to use the slow cooking method but we are making a large amount for a large gathering…and just was curious to have some more insight from you. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Angie! I only tested the recipe without oil because someone who cannot eat (or does not eat) fat asked me about that. While you can make the rice without oil, I don’t recommend it. It will taste better and cook better with oil. No question, hand’s down. The recipe worked without it, but I was almost surprised by it and felt a little uncertain reporting those results. If you have no reason to avoid the oil, please use it. I will feel a lot better about your prospects if you do! I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions. -Meggan

  66. My daughter recently decided that she will ONLY eat Chipotle rice, and I thought this recipe would save me from her craziness, but she still won’t eat it. The rice is perfect. It is the combination of flavors after it is cooked.  The first time, I said I’d just omit the lemon next time because it is WAY to citrusy.  Just made it again, adding only the lime and cilantro.  It still is sadly “not right”.  Is there a “right” kind of lime, or some other secret I could be missing? Have used the basmati rice method and the rice has been beautiful. It just doesn’t taste right 🙁5 stars

    1. The only thing I can think of is that, I think, Chipotle uses a spray bottle to add the citrus juice. I can’t remember if someone commented on that in this post, or if I heard it from a friend who worked there. But maybe somehow using a spray bottle prevents the flavor from being too concentrated? Because I think you’re right. Their rice has the same flavor but it is somehow muted. Or maybe I’m just crazy. I mean, I love this recipe, but it’s clearly not exactly right. I don’t think it’s a different kind of lime. Let me ask around. I’ll report back if I learn anything else!

  67. Good recipe. Thank you. However you had said “Although Chipotle uses long-grain rice, I found that I was able to most closely mimic their rice by using Basmati”. Just want to inform you that Basmati Rice is long grain rice.
    It is considered the King of Rice.5 stars

  68. I just have to say I just made this and the carnitas, and they are DELICIOUS. EXACTLY like Chipotle and better. I am a terrible cook, especially with meat, but this turned out perfectly and it’s going to become a staple. THANK YOU!5 stars

  69. Hi Meggan,
    Would I be able to substitute wild rice for this recipe? I read that it is gluten free and I realize that it’s not something Chipotle uses.5 stars

    1. Hi Steven, you can definitely try it! Wild rice takes a lot longer to cook, as I’m sure you know, so you can basically just follow the instructions on the package for it (but add a bay leaf and stir in the juice and cilantro at the end). I’m sure you know this but all rice is gluten free, not just wild rice! At least to the extent that the manufacturer takes care to monitor the condition of the packaging plant. Thanks for your question, I hope this helps.

  70. Wow! Just wow! I made the brown rice (in rice cooker), Pico de Gallo, guacamole, grilled onions and green peppers. I made the tofu that Chipotle makes from another website cause I didn’t see it on here. But everything tasted EXACTLY like Chipotle! My family loved it too and went back for more! Great job!5 stars

    1. This makes me so happy Trey! I am working on the tofu recipe so yes, it isn’t on the site yet. Glad you loved everything though. Makes my day!

  71. Hi, I work at Chipotle and can confirm that we definitely wash our rice (a few times because of how much we cook at once). I figured I’d let you know that your recipe is pretty much the same as we use. Good job!5 stars

  72. Making this for a graduation party for 150!  I am planning half brown and half basmati. I normally bake my rice  Using Alton Browns oven baked recipe. I think baking it wil make it easier to make such big batches?  Do you think this will work well for this recipe? 5 stars

  73. I made this tonight and my family said it was even better than Chipotle! Absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try the black beans, guacamole, and corn salsa recipe you have posted!5 stars

    1. Wow, thank you so much Brandi! That makes my day, really. 🙂 I appreciate you! I hope you enjoy the other recipes as well.

  74. I am going to give your rice cooking method a try even though I have a method that makes very good rice. I am trying out your method because I just made your Pork and it is amazing. Thank you for sharing can’t wait to eat everything together.5 stars

    1. Hi Abby, thank you for giving the rice a try! There are so many good ways to make rice. Also happy to hear you enjoyed the pork! I think it’s soooo good. Take care!

  75. Hi! I have a long grain Basmati rice that I like to use, so that would seem to fall under two different categories for cooking. Should I just following the cooking instructions on my box of rice or can I use just the long-grain method from your recipe? Mine says to use 1 cup of rice, 1 1/4 cups of water, combining all ingredients in the pan until brought to a boil. Then I cover and simmer for 15 minutes…5 stars

    1. Hi Stephanie, is it regular rice that just happens to come in a box? I think you could do either method and it would work. What you have described is pretty close to my standard plain-rice recipe. Feel free to follow the box instructions! Thanks for your question.

  76. Man- bloggers sometimes get some unkind feedback!  I am making this recipe tomorrow- but even if it doesn’t come out great- thanks for taking the time to help some of us out there who want to cook delicious food but don’t have the natural inclination to do so.  😉5 stars

    1. Well thanks, Katie! Yes, we do. Sometimes it is deserved, though. 🙂 Generally we aren’t professionals (although I’m working on my culinary credentials) so I just take it in stride. I hope you love the recipe! I really appreciate your comment. XO

  77. I just deleted my previous comment. I’m going to retest the rice cooker method and see how it comes out for me. Sorry about the salt. In the basmati/stove top method obviously most of the salt ends up the liquid which is drained off, but that wouldn’t be the case in a rice cooker. So I need to fix the recipe. Thanks for letting me know and sorry about that.

  78. Do we use oil in the basmati rice as well? We are making it for our marriage bible study tomorrow! YUMMY!5 stars

    1. The oil is optional! You can use it in the Basmati rice. You don’t have to! I realize I didn’t get back to you in time and that you already made this (or didn’t make it, since I didn’t get back to you). So sorry about that. Thanks for your comment!

    1. Hi Jade! Yes, should be fine (if you’re using basmati). if you’re using Long-grain rice it may need an extra couple of minutes, but I’m not sure. Shouldn’t be a huge difference in time though!

  79. Hi, I don’t know if this will help, but…I was recently told by an employee (while standing in line to get some of that delicious rice) that Chipotle uses 6 bay leaves per batch, however, I don’t know the size of their pot or cooker. I figure if we keep adding pieces to the puzzle, we will eventually have the exact recipe. Hope this helps.5 stars

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for that tip! I feel like I just need to get a job there. I wonder if they make you sign an NDA. 😉 I have heard they use a rice cooker (someone else commented on this post at one point). But like you said, what size is that pot? Could be some kind of crazy industrial rice cooker. Who knows! Thanks for the info though, much appreciated!

  80. Awe, ty. I’m am not a chef ~ it’s a family nickname. 🙂 Just wanted you to know I enjoyed the recipe, as did my family. There was none left!! That’s rare with rice around here! 5 stars

  81. I made this recipe tonight with long grain rice. I saute my rice first, then add boiling liquid, water in this case, so I used that method. Used the bay leaf. After the 5 minuterest, I fluffed and added the lime and cilantro. LOVE!! 5 stars

    1. Yes, that’s a GREAT way to do it! That’s how I make my Mexican Rice and my Puerto Rican Rice (well I bake them after the saute of rice and boiling water addition). So good. I should test this recipe that way too! Thank you Chef Danna. 🙂

  82. Of course it matters how much water you use when cooking rice!!!! That is why you are not successful!!! The ratio is always 2 parts water to 1 part rice! Bring to a boil , cover tightly! Turn down heat to med and let the rice cook until tender. About 10 to 15 minutes depending on how much rice you are cooking.5 stars

    1. Hi Jan, the way I cook the basmati rice in this recipe, it works out perfectly as long as you use plenty of water. Normally I’d agree with you (for long-grain rice), but this is the method suggested on the back of the basmati rice package.

  83. The reason you rinse the rice until the water runs clear is to clean it and get chemicals off. It also helps to keep the rice from sticking together or becoming to starchy. I made this recipe though, and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Thank you Maddie! Yes, you lost the nutrition but also lose the chemicals! Great point! Thanks. 🙂

  84. I don’t know what I did wrong but the 12 minute boil and hot water rinse turned my rice into a mush-fest. So disappointed because this seemed to work for so many people. Anyway, future cooks beware–if your rice looks done, take it off! I noticed mine looking a little too soft but went with it. R.I.P. 2 cups of basmati rice.

    1. Hey there, I’m so sorry to hear that! Not sure what happened. I would be curious to know how long they have written on the package you bought to cook the rice. Sorry again about the wasted food (and time and sanity). 🙁

  85. I made this tonight in my rice cooker and it was delicioussss. I realized too late that I didn’t have any lemons so I just left it out. The lime flavor was kind of strong but in a really good way. We still have a ton left so I’ll be having more for lunch and probably dinner tomorrow!

    In my experience, reheating rice in the microwave works just fine if you give it a heavy sprinkling of water beforehand and then cover it. So that’s how I’ll probably try it tomorrow 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this recipe (and continuing to update it with additions/corrections, I feel like that’s super rare)!!5 stars

    1. Hey Krys! I’m glad you liked it! Yeah, it’s really good without lemon too (at least in my opinion). My favorite sentence: “Kind of strong but in a really good way.” I’ve reheated it in the microwave too with water just as you described, works really well! Yes, I’m always trying to improve my recipes, the Mexican Rice and Chipotle Chicken are other ones that are constantly being updated. 🙂 Thank you so much! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  86. So the rice to water ratio On the back of my basmati rice bag is a little different then your instructions sink don’t know what to follow … The back of my bag says 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water . And your instruction say 2 cups of rice with 8 cups of water5 stars

    1. Hi Desiree, I think there is more than one way to make the rice. I make it with 8 cups of water (or 6 or 10 or some large amount) and then drain off the excess after 12 minutes (and also boil it uncovered). I’m not sure how the bag you are reading says, but if you were going to COVER the rice and try to have it absorb all the water, then 8 cups of water would be way too much. 3 cups might be more appropriate. But since I drain the excess water off and rinse the rice until the water runs clear, 8 cups works fine. But of course it’s up to you! Feel free to follow the instructions you see there. 🙂

    1. Hi Anna, do they really rinse their rice? That’s awesome. I mean, it totally works for me in terms of getting it to be so separated and not sticky at all. And yes, the bay leaves are everything. They change the flavor of the rice so much, for the good! Thanks for your comment.

  87. I have always made basmati rice using the ration 1 cup rice:1 ¾ cup water and it comes out perfect. I fear you are using too much water. 

    1. The way I’m making it, you end up pouring off the excess water. In your version, do you do the same? Or is all the water absorbed? I imagine if you used exactly the right amount of water (as you are probably doing) the rice wouldn’t need to be drained. I am planning to experiment with this recipe again soon so I’ll try your way! Thanks for sharing.

  88. This recipe works well with these directions.

    NOTE: It DOES NOT work with a 1/2 batch.. Tried it ‘halving’ the ingredients and there was way too much lemon/lime. Also, after ~ 11 1/2 minutes of boiling, my pot ran out of water.5 stars

    1. Good to know, thank you!! I never tried making a half batch, and now I never will. Thanks for your help.

  89. I just made the rice (basmati) for the first time tonight using the Stev top method following the directions exactly. Understanding I may have done something wrong, here are my comments. After rinsing the rice with hot water and straining it the best I could it still seemed very wet. After adding 2 tbsp lime and 1 tbsp of lemon it was just way to wet. I’m guessing I didn’t get enough water out during straining. What else should I have done?

    Last, the lemon and lime was way to strong especially compared to Chipotle’s. I’m just going to cut the amount in half the next time I try to make this recipie.

    Any comments/suggestions welcome.

    1. Hi Mike, I am so sorry you had some problems with the recipe. It sounds like you probably did everything right. I have never done anything to deliberately “dry” the rice and it has always been fine for me, but now I want to go and make it again and assess more closely how “wet” the rice is. Because clearly you had issues, and I’m really sorry about that. I will also test the amount of lemon and lime juice, maybe I had weak citrus?? What a disaster, I’m so sorry about that! I will retest this within a week and reply to you with my findings. So sorry again.

  90. I’m not sure what happened, but this turned out WAY overpowered with lime or salt (or maybe both) when I made it for dinner. It was just a bit too much. I cut the recipe in half with the amount of rice I used, but I don’t know what happened. I am gonna try it again though! 

    1. I am so sorry about that, Jenn!!! Over salted food is the worst. It’s just not fixable! Here’s hoping your next attempt works out better. When you halved the rice, I assume you halved the salt/lime too?? 🙁

  91. Hi! I just want to say that I use Minute Rice Premium Rice in a rice cooker and it works great! I just at lemon juice, lime juice and salt to taste. Add chopped cilantro, top with some mozzarella cheese and a little sour cream ( this is how my 5 year old devours it at Chipotle and at home!) Its great!! Pretty darn close to the real thing.  5 stars

    1. Bonnie, this is awesome! I really need to update the recipe to reflect more methods of preparation, and this is going on the list. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Adding cheese and sour cream makes everything better… ha ha! My 3-year old loves the rice with their salad dressing on top. 🙂

  92. I currently live outside the U.S. and I barely remember Chipotle… Now I can save myself the waiting in line cause this rice is amazing!! Perfect recipe, I followed it to a t (along with your black beans and chicken recipes- did the best I could with that one) and it was all really delicious. I don’t think I will ever cook rice with a lid again! 5 stars

    1. You are so sweet, thank you! The chicken gets easier with practice. I used to feel like – how will I ever make this! Now I can make it in my sleep. I also love that you get at least two batches out of it, that takes away some of the pain of the process. I love the rice too. I am working on a rice cooker method and also using regular long-grain rice. I think they are both good but I still like this original way the best (with no lid). Thank you so much for letting me know what you tried and how it went. It makes my day!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I assume this is a rhetorical question? 😉 Because no, probably not. It’s my understanding (based on reading the package the rice comes in), anytime you rinse rice at all, you are rinsing away whatever nutrients the rice was enriched with.

  93. Hi Meggan,

    Rice and masoor dal – called dal – chawal, are a staple in our culture. We eat them every single day, made from scratch every singly day!! We make varieties of flavored rice – atleast 12 and more in some regions of our country, and equal number of varieties of dal. Most if not all of these varieties call for fluffy, soft yet non-sticky rice. For generations people in our culture have been cooking rice uncovered on stove, a perfect make, every single time. As a matter of fact, the first thing young girls are taught to make in the kitchen is making perfect rice.  I have never heard of rinsing the rice after it is cooked, though. That is interesting, however. I shall try that for today’s lunch. Your method of cooking rice and the choice of masoor dal to go with it, suggests, you have quite some expertise with Indian cuisine – both cooking and tasting! Keep up the good work of spreading joy!5 stars

    1. Hi Esther, thank you so much for your comment! I am definitely no expert (at anything, never mind Indian cuisine!) but I struggled with making rice to my satisfaction for a long time until I found this method. If you do not normally rinse the rice, I will have to try leaving that step out myself again (I can’t remember if I tried it when I was working on this recipe). I love how you said that you have been cooking rice uncovered on a stove for generations… it seems so crazy to me and many others and yet it’s perfect every time. You have warmed my heart with your stories. Thank you so much.

  94. What temperature are you cooking the rice at for 12 minutes.  When i place it on low heat the boil slowly goes down.  Would u recommend I keep it at medium heat ?5 stars

    1. Hi David, sorry that wasn’t clear from the recipe! You’ll want to keep it at medium heat or even medium-high, whatever temperature is required to keep it boiling. I use a gas stove so medium heat works for me to keep it at a boil. On an electric stove it might be different, but probably not much. If you have any other questions please let me know!

    1. Hi Jennifer, the technique I have outlined above (cooking with a ton of water, leaving the pot uncovered) won’t work with regular long-grain rice. If I were going to use regular rice, I would rinse it first to remove as much starch as possible (to prevent sticking) and then cook the rice according to the package directions. Chipotle uses regular long-grain rice so you should be able to, too! I just had better luck with the basmati. Good luck!

  95. Tried this over the weekend and it came out perfect. Exactly like Chipotle. My new mission is to figure out how they make their pinto beans. Any ideas?5 stars

    1. Hi Kristyn, I haven’t made their pinto beans myself, but here’s what I dug up from the site. I imagine it would take some trial & error to get it right. I’ve added that recipe to my to-do list! “Simmered with onions, garlic, oregano, and chipotle-chili adobo.”

  96. Well well! I was googling for a cilantro rice recipe….and look what came up! Going on my dinner table tonight 🙂5 stars

  97. The secret to fluffy rice, isn’t a lot of water. It’s cooking the raw rice first in oil, until the rice is clear, then adding in twice as much water by volume as rice, salt and any seasoning you want IN the rice, such as a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then stick the lid on, reduce your heat to low for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it steam for 15 minutes. Open, use a fork to fluff the rice, none of it sticks, and there’s no draining, or rinsing.5 stars

    1. I could see this method being very effective because you cook the rice first in oil which would prevent sticking. I have a few baked rice dishes that start that way and it always yields fluffy, individual grains. Great method!

  98. Hi! I just wanted to add that yes, excess water is key to non-sticky rice. BUT I read a blog not long ago that perfected my basmati rice making. Wash rice, soak the rice in excess water for half an hour before cooking, then use a ratio of 1 cup rice : 2 cups water and cook like normal rice (on high until boiling, then cover and simmer for 15 mins). With this method you don’t have to strain, which can get messy.5 stars

    1. I have seen recipes that suggest soaking rice in water to remove excess starch. I know it definitely works; I just find it easier to strain the rice after cooking it and giving it a rinse. I guess it depends on the size of your strainer! Still, I’d like to try your method and see if it works better. Thank you for the suggestion!

  99. i worked at chipotle, this is close. All we did was cook the rice with water and bay leaves in a rice cooker, then we added salt and citrus (mostly lime) juice.5 stars

    1. Bay leaves? Amazing! No rice bran oil? They have it listed in the ingredient list. I wondered if that was how they got the grains to separate so nicely. I really need to get a job there so I can learn the secrets!

    2. oops, i totally did forget, we do add oil to the rice after we cook it, but the bay leaves are important to the flavor as well. 😛5 stars

    3. That is such an insider tip, I never would have guessed that in a million years. I can’t wait to make another batch and add those to see how it improves things! Thank you so much!

  100. hi.. just a lil confused, why do you have to rinse the rice with water after its cooked? wouldnt it get soggy?5 stars

    1. It definitely doesn’t get soggy. So with normal rice, when you cover it, it absorbs all the water and when it is done, you are left with just rice in the pan and no water. With basmati rice, you cook it uncovered in tons of water, more than would ever be absorbed. You rinse it at the end to get rid of the excess starch so the grains stay separated and don’t clump together. I know, it sounds like a weird way to do it, but it definitely works. It’s actually the way the say to cook the rice on the package (well, they offer like 3 methods) so it is no ground-breaking revelation on my part! I would not SOAK the rice when it’s cooked, just put it in a fine mesh strainer and give it a rinse.

  101. This is such a great simple twist on plain rice! I am having a taco bar today and you know, I’m going to make this to have on the side! Thanks Meggan!5 stars

    1. Rhonda, I love using chicken broth when I cook rice, especially brown rice! It tastes so great. I haven’t tried it with this method or with Basmati rice, but I’m glad it worked for you and that you liked it. Thank you for letting me know!

    2. Rhonda, I love using chicken broth when I cook rice, especially brown rice! It tastes so great. I haven’t tried it with this method or with Basmati rice, but I’m glad it worked for you and that you liked it. Thank you for letting me know!

  102. I did not want to try this, because boiling rice uncovered seemed so contrary to the way I have been taught to cook rice. Holy moly, I am soooo glad I did. That was the fluffiest, most perfect rice I have EVER made! It was just like Chipotle’s! Now every rice recipe I make will be made this way! I loved it!! Thanks!5 stars

    1. Thank you Olivia! I know, it’s a weird way to cook rice and I didn’t believe it either at first. Thanks for giving the crazy idea a shot, so glad it worked for you and that you liked it!

  103. Hi Meggan-
    Do you have portions for making this recipie for a crowd (about 40 servings)? Thanks, Julie5 stars

    1. Hi Julie, I wish I did but I truly don’t. I’ve never made this recipe other than the version listed above. I guess I would just triple the recipe twice… at least. Good luck, I wish I could offer more advice!

    1. I have never actually made it ahead of time so I cannot say for sure. I do make batches of rice frequently which I store in the fridge, and I reheat small portions for fried rice or adding to soup or whatever, and it works great. In this case, I guess I would say add the salt and lime juice and cilantro right before serving, rather than before refrigerating. You’ll have to decide on a way to reheat the rice though. I don’t know how well this would, but if it were me, I’d probably reheat it in a dry non-stick skillet. Good luck!

  104. I just love chipotle’s rice. not sure which came first – wahoo’s tacos or chipotle, but I first had this rice at wahoo’s in socal when they only had a few chain of restaurants.5 stars

  105. Made this tonight, and it was outstanding. Better than the famous chains! Halved the recipe so shortened the cook time by a few minutes. Just awesome!! Great great tips!5 stars

    1. Awww shucks, Jess, that’s so great to hear! I’m glad it worked for you and that you enjoyed it. 🙂 Thank you for coming back tonight to leave a comment and let me know. That’s so nice of you!

  106. When I have had Chipotle’s rice, it seems like it is spicy. This recipe does not have any spice in it so is there a difference?5 stars

    1. Tim, that’s an interesting observation. I guess I have never thought it was spicy, but cilantro can be quite overpowering at times. Although if you’ve had cilantro and you’re sure that’s not it, then I’m not sure. I’d never be so bold as to say it was a freak incident or that jalapenos somehow got randomly mixed in, but I just know that when I try my recipe, to me it tastes the same as theirs. I’m not sure! Here is how they describe their rice on the official Chipotle website: “Steamed white rice tossed with freshly chopped cilantro, a dash of citrus juice and a little salt.”

    2. Chipotle cooks their rice in a rice pot and while it is cooking, several whole bay leaves are added to the pot. Once the rice is taken from the pot, sunflower oil is added to the pot and the bay leaves are removed. If you’ve ever had bay leaves you know that it has a certain spiciness to it. After the bay leaves are removed, the rice is portioned out into four separate pans and left in heated shelves until they need more rice on the line, the kosher salt, cilantro and lemon/lime mixture are stirred in just before the rice is sent to the front line to be served to the customers.5 stars

    3. Woah Autumn! Thank you!! Hey Meggan, I am making this right now! Thank you for the dinner idea!!!5 stars

  107. I made this with brown basmati rice and it was still hard and crunchy at 12 minutes. It ended up taking more then 40 minutes to cook5 stars

    1. I actually made this today with brown basmati rice too. I followed the cooking time on the bag (40 minutes) but not the method. I used my method listed above – 8 cups of water per 2 cups of rice, cooked uncovered, rinsed afterward. The rice was soft and chewy and separated grains. It definitely takes longer with brown rice (unless you use a pressure cooker), but the method works.

  108. I watch the ladies season the rice at the local shop. They add the cilantro, salt, and then start stirring it. They actually spray the lime water from a spritzer, stir, spritz, stir, etc. until they get it flavored the way they want it.
    Just another method…5 stars

    1. Dave, that’s a fabulous insight. That is why having a food blog is so fun, because that is probably yet one more way to ensure absolutely spot-on matching rice, and I never would have known it myself. That way no bite is overly flavored with lime and it’s distributed perfectly. Thank you for this idea, I’m definitely going to try it out on my next batch! I appreciate you stopping by!

  109. Hey Meggan,

    Quick question: will the rice come out mushy or over cooked at all? Is there anything special I need to do to prevent that?5 stars

    1. Hey there! If you follow the instructions you should have no problems at all. I did have some experiences with overcooking the rice and it happened 1). when I rinsed the rice before cooking it (you should rinse it AFTER), and 2). when I put the lid on the pot while cooking it (you should cook the rice UNCOVERED). And of course cook the rice for 12 minutes, not 20 or anything like that. It worked really well! I hope you find success and I hope you love the recipe. Thank you for stopping by!

    2. Wow! Thanks for your response! I’m excited and will stop by to tell you how it goes. 🙂 I’m pairing this rice with a Butter Curry. 🙂

    3. Wha-what? Butter curry?! That sounds amazing. I love butter and I love curry so… yeah. Going to have to try that. 🙂 Enjoy! And thanks for the idea!

    1. Hi Rebecca, it is called Chipotle Cilantro-Lime Rice because it is a copycat recipe of the rice served at Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant. “Chipotle” is describing the copycat element of the title, not the recipe ingredients. I am so sorry for the confusion. Same goes for my Chipotle Guacamole and Grilled Peppers & Onions, they are copycats from the restaurant. The Chipotle chicken, however, does actually contain chipotle peppers while also being a copycat recipe.

    1. The rice is fully cooked! It is soft and tender and not even a whisper of crunchiness. It’s amazing. You are going to love it!

    1. I haven’t made it with brown rice YET, but I purchased brown basmati rice just this week and plan to try it out this weekend. I’ll comment again and let you know if anything changes with the recipe. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Faye! I hope you enjoy it. This represents the end of a long journey for me, the quest for perfect rice. 🙂

  110. Hi Raymond, thanks for your kind words! Sorry about the lost comment, I don’t see it anywhere on the back end. Anyway, regarding blogging, I suggest you check out this free website, Food Bloggers Central: It has a lot of great ideas. You can also read this page about joining our Facebook group full of 2,500+ food bloggers. I would just say that growing a food blog generally takes some time and a lot of patience; there’s always so much to learn. Best of luck and hope to see you in the FB group soon!

  111. Luckily there is a handy “Jump to Recipe” button right at the top of the post so you can skip ALLLLLLL of it.

  112. Hi K, I’m so sorry it came out mushy! It sounds like your rice was over-cooked, (maybe some stoves cook hotter or boil more rapidly than mine?). I’m so sorry about that. I would check it at 10 minutes if you did try again, or even 9 minutes. So sorry about that! – Meggan

  113. Hi Dave, I’m sorry you didn’t like the rice. Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. Sorry about that. – Meggan

  114. Hi Joan, I’m sorry your rice was crunchy after 15 minutes, I hope you covered and cooked it longer. My recipe doesn’t call for using a heavy-bottomed pan but a large pot, this is likely why your rice didn’t turn out as expected, as it probably needed more time. Sorry again, take care! – Meggan

  115. Hi Heather, thank you for your feedback. I’m not sure why it’s not coming out to your liking. Sorry about that. – Meggan

  116. Hi Dana, I’m sorry your rice turned out mushy. I would recommend keeping an eye on the rice next time during step one, as you likely need less than the 10 to 12 minutes for the rice to be tender, and make sure to drain and rinse the rice in step 2. I hope this helps and the rice comes out perfectly for you next time. Sorry again! – Meggan