Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is a great go-to side dish or base for a protein. I love whipping up a batch of this at the beginning of the week to serve with everything from asian meatballs to pan seared shrimp. It’s flavorful, easy to make, and healthy!
On a weekly basis I like to make different versions of this cilantro lime brown rice. Sometimes I’ll throw in some toasted coconut chips and a splash of coconut milk, other times I’ll add toasted chopped almonds or hazelnuts. A generous squeeze of lime juice or rice wine vinegar is also a great addition if I’m serving this with something heavy or creamy. I’m telling you, the options are endless with this simple brown rice recipe!
Table of contents
Meal prep tips
Since this is a great meal-prep dish, let’s chat about how to prepare and store this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice for use throughout the week, and even the month.
This healthy brown rice side dish can be made up to 5 days ahead of time, although it’s best enjoyed within the first 3 days of making it.
Store cooked brown rice, or the prepared cilantro lime rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How to Freeze Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Looking to prepare it way ahead of time? You can also freeze this! To freeze this recipe, skip adding the cilantro and scallions, if using, until you are ready to eat it.
Here’s the process: cook the brown rice according to the recipe instructions. Add the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper; transfer to an airtight container or reusable zipper-lock bag and store in the freezer until ready to use.
Remove the rice from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator or quickly defrost in the microwave by placing a damp paper towel over the rice and microwaving on medium power for a few minutes (stirring every minute).
Reheat thawed rice in the microwave, add a few more teaspoons of olive oil and stir in the cilantro and scallions. Season the rice with salt and pepper and serve as desired.
How to reheat cilantro lime rice
Transfer brown rice to a microwave-safe bowl and loosely cover with a damp paper towel. Heat for 1–2 minutes on medium-high power until warmed through; stir in a splash of olive oil and serve.
How to use cilantro lime brown rice
- Serve with pan-seared scallops and creamy coconut green curry.
- Make a quick weeknight dinner by serving this quick rice with a filet of pan-seared salmon.
- Make meatballs a meal by serving this rice side dish with glazed turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs.
- Bulk up a burrito by adding a few scoops of this cilantro lime rice.
- Use as a base for a fresh salmon poké bowl.
- Use leftovers to make my favorite Tofu Fried Rice.
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- 1 cup dry brown basmati rice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced lime zest (1 lime)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup sliced scallions, optional
- Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse rice, then stir into boiling water. Bring water back up to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30–40 minutes until water has been absorbed and rice is plump.
- Fluff rice with a fork then stir in olive oil, zest, salt and pepper; let cool slightly.
- Stir in cilantro and scallions, if using, season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
This recipe is so easy and so flavorful! I love that it uses brown rice too. Better than Chipotle! Thanks!
I made this rice but it had a bitter taste .. I probably did something wrong with the recipe.. or is that the actual taste?
The bitter taste most likely came from zesting the lime too far into the pith. When cooking with citrus zest, you just want to use the thin layer of zest (the colored part) and avoid adding the white (pith) section of the rind.
No bitter taste here—we loved this!!! Used it to make burrito bowls at home. We used your fajita rice bowl recipe and riffed off of that for the filling. We will be using this recipe a lot!!
Can i get a insta pot version? I always (and i mean always burn stove top rice)
I will work on that for you!