Wonderfully ‘zesty’ Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice is an incredibly tasty rice side dish that is suitable for so many meals! From pairing with your Mexican food entrees to serving with seafood, or a Thai-inspired dish, this fragrant rice is sure to become a household staple!
Incredibly Easy Cilantro Lime Rice in Your Instant Pot
This flavorful rice tastes exactly like Chipotle’s version, but you can make it at home for a fraction of the price using your Instant Pot! Rice is the most versatile grain in the world, and it’s easy to prepare it as a side to almost any main dish! *To really nail that Chipotle flavor, use a bay leaf while cooking the rice in your instant pot!
I love it with pork and any Asian dish with seafood – the lime really compliments fish. It is also seriously perfect when stuffed in any burrito ( like my prime rib burritos ), taco, or rice bowl!
The cilantro and lime combo in this recipe gives the rice a zesty, fragrant quality. The Instant Pot rice will have a wonderful chewy texture, without being sticky – or overcooked!
What You’ll Need
Other than your instant pot, you won’t need much! There are only a few simple ingredients to make your rice so wonderfully flavorful!
- Long Grain White Rice – My favorite is Jasmine because of its great fragrance and nutty, sweet flavor. The cooking ratio for any long-grain white is 1:1 (rice to water). Instant pot basmati rice can also work great with this recipe, or brown rice, but note that cooking ratios will differ. Be sure to check cooking instructions for alternate rice varieties. Plus, note that you should not use the ‘rice’ setting on your instant pot and NEVER use Minute Rice! You will have a sticky pot of mush!
- Coconut Oil – This oil gives the rice a very light, coconutty undertone and goes really well with the lime and cilantro. Butter is also a fine substitute since everything tastes better with a bit of butter!
- Cilantro – This herb is the strongest flavor in the rice, so if you’re one of about 15% of the population who tastes soap when eating cilantro, keep scrolling. Just kidding!!! You can easily replace it with parsley, basil, or any fresh herb mixture. If you do use cilantro, be sure to chop up some of the stems also, as they carry great flavor.
- Water – Just for cooking the rice. Please do check the cooking times on the package, based on what type of rice you choose.
- Lime – Fresh lime juice has a brighter and more intense taste than bottled – but bottled is better than no lime juice at all! You can also experiment with a mixture of lime and lemon juice! PS, don’t skip the lime zest! Fresh lime zest is AMAZING in this rice!!
How to Make Rice in an Instant Pot
Cooking rice in your instant pot or pressure cooker frees up the stovetop for your main or other sides. It’s pretty much fuss-free and turns out beautifully cooked rice every time!
Cook the White Rice
- First, it is always important to rinse your rice to remove the starch on the surface of the grain – otherwise, it will get gummy. Run the rice under cool water in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Shake the rice or turn it with a large spoon or spatula to make sure every piece is rinsed.
- Place the rinsed rice into your instant pot and add the water. Double-check to see that there aren’t any rice grains sticking to the inside pot ( above the water line ). Make sure that your instant pot lid is correctly set and securely sealed.
- Now it’s time to set the Instant Pot! For rice, you should use the manual function to cook for 3 minutes on HIGH. ( The IP or pressure cooker will need to heat for a few minutes before the cooking time starts. )
- Then allow 10 minutes for the cooked rice to NPR ( natural pressure release ) before opening the vent to finish releasing the steam. Be very careful, as steam burns are serious!
Add the Cilantro Lime Awesomeness!
Fluff the rice up a bit, stir in your freshly chopped cilantro, lime zest and juice, and the optional coconut oil ( or butter ). Add extra of any ingredient to taste!
This fluffy and delicious instant pot cilantro lime rice will complement almost ANY dish of Mexican or Asian origin. It can also make a delicious meal on its own – just toss in some protein like chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, or tofu! Enjoy!
Storing Your Cilantro Lime Rice
You can easily make a big batch of this rice and serve it with different meals throughout the week. Just be sure that your rice is stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last for up to 4-5 days.
Make sure the rice is completely cool before transferring to a container or it will get lumpy and sticky. To reheat, just add a bit of water to a pot, cover, and heat on medium-low while stirring until completely warm.
Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave. Add a splash of water and heat in 30-second increments with a quick stir between heating cycles.
Freezing Cilantro Lime Rice
Did you know that you can freeze your leftover rice? It’s a thing!
Use freezer storage bags that are large enough to hold your rice. Fill the bag with rice, seal securely, and label with a date. When you’re ready to use the rice, simply place it into the refrigerator to thaw.
Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- 2 cups long grain white rice (rinsed - I love using Jasmine rice for this )
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime (zested then juiced)
- 1/3 cup cilantro (fresh, chopped)
- 1 tsp coconut oil (optional - a small amount of butter can also be used)
- Rinse your rice in a fine-mesh sieve until the water is no longer cloudy. Use your fingers or a spatula to turn the rice until it is well rinsed and the water runs clear.
- Transfer the rinsed rice into your instant pot and add the water. Make sure that there isn't any rice stuck to the inner pot of your instant pot (above the water line). Seal the lid securely.
- Set your instant pot using the manual function for 3 minutes cooking time on the high setting. *Your instant pot or pressure cooker will have a few minutes of heating time before it starts the cooking time.
- Allow the cooked rice to NPR (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes, then carefully vent the remaining steam.
- Fluff your steamed rice and stir in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and optional coconut oil. Taste and add more lime juice or cilantro if desired, then serve immediately.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma’s kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!