Cilantro Rice

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I'm obviously a big fan of a bowl. Any way you cut it, it's my perfect meal. And the key to a great bowl is the base. Cilantro rice has long been a staple in my house and here's how I make it every single time.

Cilantro Rice in a serving bowl with some extra cilantro on top and some lime wedges.


 

Why I Love This Recipe

By now you all know that I live for a sauce. I prefer a multi purpose sauce that can be used as a dip, or something that can be folded into some rice or a pasta or another grain. The basil vinaigrette and cilantro vinaigrette on WGC are staples in our lives. And that cilantro vinaigrette is the key to perfect Cilantro Rice.

Here's the deal: first we cook rice to perfection. My ideal way to make rice that ISN'T gummy in in a skillet. I love a rice cooker but I find that the rice can sometimes be a bit wet. Once we have perfectly fluffy rice, all that's needed is a quick toss with the cilantro sauce and we're in business. Without even thinking, you've built the ideal base for any Mexican or Tex Mex style of bowl!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Mise en place of all ingredients to make cilantro rice.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • White Basmati Rice
  • Lime 
  • Kosher Salt
  • Shallot
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • Olive Oil or another neutral flavored oil such as avocado oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below.

How to Make Cilantro Rice

A blender jar with all the ingredients to make cilantro vinaigrette.

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients for the cilantro vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

A saucepan with white basmati rice being toasted with lime juice and olive oil.

Step 2: In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and sauté for 60 seconds to toast the rice.

A saucepan with rice and water being boiled together.

Step 3: Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, roughly 15 minutes.

A saucepan with cooked rice, and cilantro vinaigrette just added.

Step 4: Add ¼ cup of the cilantro vinaigrette and stir to combine and fluff rice with a fork.

A saucepan with cilantro rice.

Step 5: Taste, add more cilantro vinaigrette if desired and adjust salt and pepper. Reserve any additional cilantro vinaigrette for another use. 

How to Store Cilantro Rice

You can store these for 2-3 days. Make sure you refrigerate it promptly and

How to Freeze Cilantro Vinaigrette

Extra cilantro vinaigrette can be stored in an air tight container in the freezer for months on end! I like to freeze it in an ice cube tray and once frozen, transfer to an air tight container. Then remove an individual serving the day you plan to use it and let it thaw. 

Tips & Tricks

The key to perfect rice is a quick toast. What do I mean by that: I mean the act of heating some oil in a skillet and toasting the rice for about 1 minute before adding in your water (or stock) to continue to cook the rice. This ensures that the rice has a little bit of extra flavor and it's coated in just the slightest amount of oil so it doesn't get gummy or sticky!

My favorite recipes that can use cilantro rice as a base are:
- Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Southwestern Brown Rice Bowls
- Homemade Chipotle Burrito Bowl
- Crispy Salmon Burrito Bowl
- Flank Steak Rice Bowl
- Carnitas Burrito Bowl

FAQs

What is cilantro rice made of?

Cilantro rice is made of rice, cilantro, and various seasonings.

Does Chipotle put cilantro in rice?

Yes, Chipotle puts cilantro in their rice. And that's the exact origin of my obsession. But truth be told, the recipe below is far more delicious and honestly cheaper to make at home and keep on hand!

What kind of recipes are great with cilantro rice?

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today

Cilantro Rice

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 2 votes
Cilantro Rice is the key to any bowl. You need a flavorful base to build on and this recipe provides perfectly cooked and seasoned rice every time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Tex Mex
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

For the Rice

  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • kosher salt to taste

For the Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups tightly packed cilantro steams removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

For the Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • Combine all the ingredients for the cilantro vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

For the Rice

  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and sauté for 60 seconds to toast the rice
  • Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, roughly 15 minutes
  • Add ¼ cup of the cilantro vinaigrette and stir to combine and fluff rice with a fork. Add the lime juice and zest and stir to combine. Taste, add more cilantro vinaigrette if desired and adjust salt and pepper.
  • Reserve any additional cilantro vinaigrette for another use.

Notes

Extra cilantro vinaigrette can be stored in an air tight container in the freezer for months on end! I like to freeze it in an ice cube tray and once frozen, transfer to an air tight container. Then remove an individual serving the day you plan to use it and let it thaw. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have tried to explain to friends the exact nature of the craveability of this rice. It is one of my favorite Gaby recipes! It goes with anything even vaguely Mexican/Latin and makes rice just mouthwateringly good! I can't sop using exclamation points!

    1. you could do a quick saute of cauliflower rice and toss in a few tablespoons of cilantro vinaigrette!

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