Cilantro Lime Rice

Arroz Blanco con Cilantro y Limón


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

I’ve always loved cilantro lime rice but we never made it growing up. I love the tartness of the lime and the bold flavor of the cilantro. I thought to myself I must learn to make this at home. So I went on a quest. I tried several recipes and still didn’t quite get the flavor I was looking for. I eventually realized that basmati rice was the single ingredient that made all the difference. So after several trial-and-error sessions in my kitchen I finally got it right. My husband says this is his favorite rice now. The sugar softens the tartness of the lime juice and gives the overall recipe the balance I was looking for.

So here you have it, a simple cilantro lime rice that pairs exceptionally well with a hot and spicy dish. I especially like it with freshly grilled fish or a spicy mole dish. As much as I love my arroz, this recipe is a pleasant alternative to the tomato base used in Mexican rice.


  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white basmati rice
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 to 2 small limes, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


In a saucepan over low-medium heat melt the butter. Add the rice and sugar. Mix briefly to coat the rice with the butter and sugar. Add half the lime juice and stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt.

Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and sprinkle the rice with the cilantro, the rest of the lime juice, and more salt if needed. Fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.