Copycat Recipe: Chipotle’s Cilantro-Lime Rice

The following is a post from Tiffany at Eat at Home.

This is the start of a delicious little series. We're going to copy-cat Chipotle's Burrito Bowls. We'll be building from the base up, starting with this Cilantro-lime Rice. In future posts, I'll be showing you how to make Chipotle's Vegetarian Black Beans, Corn Salsa, Adobo Marinated Chicken and Mild Salsa.

Finally, we'll put it all together and I'll give you tips on fixing everything without spending all day in the kitchen. It is 5 recipes, but it's got to be easy, right? I'll also give you ideas for other ways you can use each recipe. They don't have to end up in a burrito bowl.

Let's get started with the Cilantro-Lime Rice. This is a very easy recipe. The key is to use Basmati rice. It cooks up quickly, with a great flavor and it isn't sticky.

It's also cost efficient.  To buy one serving of Cilantro-Lime Rice at Chipotle would cost 80 cents.  This recipe makes about 10 servings, so $8.00 in the restaurant.  Thankfully, to make it at home will cost $2 or $2.50.  Much better.

Chipotle Copycat Cilantro-Lime Rice Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pan.
  2. Stir in the rice. Cook uncovered at a medium boil for 12 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice in a colander.
  4. Put rice back in cooking pot. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt.

Makes 6 cups. You can cut the recipe in half, but keep the water at 8 cups.

This rice cooks up quicker than most other types, making it perfect for weeknight dinners. Use it as a side dish or as the base for any beans and rice dish.

Restaurant At Home Comparison

Home: $2-$2.50 for 10 Servings
Chipotle: $8 for 10 Servings

This recipe makes about 10 servings, so $8 in the restaurant.  Thankfully, to make it at home will cost around $2.50. It's so cost efficient with a 75% savings. Much better!

Be sure to pin this recipe if it's a family keeper!

If you love the Cilantro-Lime Rice from Chipotle, you will LOVE this copycat recipe!

Find MORE Recipes HERE

by Savings Lifestyle: Tiffany on February 23, 2012


  • Amanda - February 23, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    I’m curious to try this just because I have never “boiled” rice. I always steam it. I didn’t even know that you could boil it like that so it will be interesting to see the difference.

  • Jennifer G - February 23, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    Hmmm that’s an awful lot of water. I’ve always cooked Basmati rice with a 1:2 ratio of rice to water…and I normally don’t have to drain the rice it just absorbs. But I’ve never considered using lime and cilantro….thanks for the tip!

  • Tiffany - February 27, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Basmati rice cooks differently than other types of rice. It does seem strange to boil it in to much water, then drain but it works great! I don’t think you’d want to do this with other rices.

  • Emily - February 27, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    How strange! And awesome! I was just flailing about in the grocery store this morning looking to duplicate their rice AND the chicken!! Weird coincidence!

  • rebecca - March 02, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    used leftover basmati from breakfast (cooked in programmable rice cooker) and added fresh-squeezed lime juice and the rest and it. worked well. i love chipotle, but it occurred to me that i can make a vegan burrito bowl at home for much, much less … but i wanted to duplicate the rice. i could have this home-made every day for lunch for the cost of one burrito bowl from chipotle. awesome!

  • Rita - March 08, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    I made this last night and it was very good. Like many of the other posters, I didn’t like the boiling idea and just prepared it my usual way – 2 cups of rice and maybe about 4 cups of water. I rarely measure the water, i mearly cover my rice by about an inch and a half in my 3qt pan. I rinsed it first w/white vinegar and water (3 washes to make it less starchy and more fluffy) and added about 1 TB of salt and 1 TB of butter to the water. Brought to a boil and then covered w/a lid wrapped in a kitchen towel (terry cloth). Finished as recommended. Nice fluffy rice. Very good!

  • Kayleah - June 13, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    To make the cilantro-lime brown rice, would I just sub the same amount of cooked brown rice for the cooked basmati rice? Also, would I need to use brown basmati?

  • Cynetta - September 02, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    I cooked this as she said with the 8 cups of water because I was tripling the recipe and didn’t want the rice to scorch. It was perfect and held up over the duration of the party(didn’t get too clumpy or mushy) I will cook rice this way always. The only thing I did different was that I tossed the uncooked rice in melted butter prior to boiling it. So, strange as it sounds, the method is perfect!! Oh, and the rice tasted every bit as good as chipotle.

  • Rashid - December 16, 2012 @ 2:43 am

    Wanted to mention that Chipotle does use Canola oil with their rice (nutritional information lists about 4-5g of fat per serving) as well as bay leaves during the cooking process (saw them use it in multiple stores). Also, some believe that the lime juice is really a citrus juice of lemon+lime. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Dede - February 06, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    So I made this the other day to go along with a mexican dish I was making for dinner, let me just say the table was very quiet at everyone was eating. Me I was thinking that no one liked it , so when I asked my family all I got was BIG RICE MOUTH FILLED SMILES WITH THUMBS UP!!
    and a request to make more, please,
    which to me is HUGE in our house.

    So thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Jenny Sullivan - May 26, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

    Chipotle uses a lemon/lime (they call it “citrus”) juice from Odwalla. They also rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to make it fluffier and then add some type of oil after cooking to keep it separated. Incase you want REAL Chipotle rice. FYI.

Leave a Comment