Soft and fluffy rice, flavored with bright citrus and herbs, made easily in the Instant Pot. Complete with stovetop directions as well, this cilantro lime rice is perfect with any Tex-Mex style recipe!
This is one of my Instant Pot recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Ever since Chipotle came on the scene, I’ve had an obsession with cilantro lime rice!
It’s got so many amazing flavors going on, and it goes so well with just about any Tex-Mex style meal.
And, it’s incredibly easy to make at home! Especially in the Instant Pot.
If you’ve never made rice in your pressure cooker, you’re in for a treat. Cooking rice on the stovetop certainly isn’t complicated, but it requires a little bit of babysitting.
You have to make sure the heat is just the right temperature, and sometimes, despite your best intentions, the rice can get stuck to the bottom of the pot. Major bummer!
With the Instant Pot, you set it and forget it, and it’s perfectly fluffy every single time. I’m obsessed!
My version of cilantro lime rice uses other citrus juices as well, to really round out the flavors, and it’s definitely a family favorite recipe!
How to make cilantro lime rice in the Instant Pot?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Pressure cook. No need to saute anything, just add the rice, water and bay leaves.
- Natural pressure release. Let the pressure release on it’s own for 10 minutes (by doing nothing), then release any pressure after that point.
- Fluff and stir in add-ins. Give it a good stir and fluff with a fork.
Make sure you’re using the type of rice called for in the recipe (long grain white rice), as this is what the recipe was tested with, and works with. Other varieties of rice will have different textures and cook times.
Variations of this recipe
- Broth – for an extra flavor boost, try replacing the water with reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth. You can use all broth, or half broth and half water.
- Only lime – we love using the additional types of citrus in this recipe for added depth of flavor, but if you’d like to stick to just lime, you can. Use 3 1/2 Tbsp of lime juice, and the zest of 1 or 2 limes.
- Butter – to add extra richness, feel free to substitute the oil for unsalted butter.
- Rinsed – I’ve never had a problem with mushy rice, but if you normally rinse your rice before cooking, you certainly can do that in this recipe if you’d like.
- Toasted – to add a bit of a nutty flavor, as well as ensure the rice doesn’t end up too sticky, add a drizzle of oil to the Instant Pot on “saute” mode. Cook the rice for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until about half of the grains of rice are lightly golden. Then hit “cancel” and proceed with the recipe.
- Spicy – while not traditional, sometimes we like to add a minced jalapeño pepper to the rice after it’s been cooked.
Absolutely! I don’t like to share recipes that my readers HAVE to have a kitchen appliance or gadget to make, so I’ve also included stovetop directions in the “Chef Tips” section right below the full written recipe.
While I’m sure you can make cilantro lime rice with other types of rice (such as extra long grain, short grain, brown rice, etc), I’ve only tested this recipe as written. So I can’t speak with any certainty to how the cooking time would be affected. If you do some experimenting, I’d love to know how it turns out!
Making cilantro lime rice ahead of time
I think that rice tastes best when made fresh, since it can dry out.
However, you can make it ahead of time if you’d like. Just when reheating, add a splash of water/chicken broth to liven it back up.
Rice can also be frozen for long-term storage. Let it cool completely, then add to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw, then reheat as desired.
Leftover rice should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 3-5 days.
I love this model’s features like a completely flat bottom insert, as well as a locking insert, making stirring super easy. Plus, it automatically switches to sealing when you lock the lid!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 cups water see note 1
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 – 3 tsp fresh orange juice not bottled OJ
- zest of 1 – 2 limes
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Add rice to Instant Pot insert, then pour in water and top with bay leaves.
- Secure lid, and select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and hit the +/- buttons until you select 3 minutes (high pressure).
Natural pressure release
- Once pressure cooking time has elapsed, don’t do anything and let the pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes, then turn the knob to release any remaining pressure.
Fluff and season
- Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in oil, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, lime zest and cilantro.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings and add more juice/zest/cilantro if desired.
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- In place of water, an equal amount of reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth.
- Recipe can be doubled, the times remain the same.
- Recipe has only been tested with long grain white rice. If you want to use a different kind, you’ll have to experiment with the cooking time.
- Increase water to 4 cups, keep all other ingredients the same.
- Add rice, water and bay leaves to a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes (check the time listed on your rice package – it may be slightly different).
- Uncover, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork.
- Stir in other ingredients as directed in the recipe above.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.