This 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! Once you see how easy it is, you'll want to make rice in your Instant Pot from here on out!
Easy Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
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!
Incredibly Easy Cilantro Lime Rice in Your Instant Pot!
The cilantro and lime combo in this recipe gives the rice a zesty, fragrant quality. The Instant Pot rice will have a wonderfully chewy texture, without being sticky - or overcooked!
🥘 Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice Ingredients
Other than your instant pot, you won't need much! There are only a few simple ingredients to make your rice so wonderfully flavorful! *To really nail that Chipotle flavor, use a bay leaf while cooking the rice in your instant pot!
- Long Grain White Rice - 2 cups of white rice, my favorite is Jasmine because of its great fragrance and nutty, sweet flavor.
- Water – 2 cups of water for cooking the rice. Please check the cooking times on the package, based on what type of rice you choose.
- Cilantro – ⅓ cup of cilantro. Be sure to chop up some of the stems also, as they carry great flavor.
- Lime – The juice and zest of 1 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!
- Coconut Oil (optional) – 1 teaspoon of this oil gives the rice a very light, coconut 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!
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Make Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
Cooking rice in your instant pot or pressure cooker frees up the stovetop for your main course or other sides! You'll need your Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, a fine mesh sieve, and a silicone spatula.
One batch of this rice makes 4 hearty servings.
Cook the White Rice
- Rinse. 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 2 cups of 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.
- Add water. Place the rinsed rice into your instant pot and add 2 cups of 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.
- Cook. 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.)
- Release. 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 Flavor
- Add cilantro and lime. Fluff the rice up a bit using a fork and stir in ⅓ cup of freshly chopped cilantro, and the zest and juice of 1 lime (plus 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 baked chicken, easy air fryer shrimp, roasted pork belly, or tofu! Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Notes
- Please 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!
- 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. The cooking ratio for any long-grain white is 1:1 (rice to water).
- Cilantro 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.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
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 it to a container or it will get lumpy and sticky.
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 it securely, and label it with a date. When you're ready to use the rice, simply place it into the refrigerator to thaw.
Check out my post on how to freeze and reheat rice!
Reheating Cilantro Lime Rice
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 it in the microwave. Add a splash of water and heat in 30-second increments with a quick stir between heating cycles.
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I never recommend using the 'rice' setting because different kinds of rice require different preparation. It is best to follow the water-to-rice ratio listed on your specific package and cook it on the high setting.
You may have added too much water. Remember, all white rice needs a 1:1 ratio of rice to water. There's not much you can do to save mushy rice, but luckily this recipe is quick so it's best to start from scratch.
Yes, you can! If you want to make a big batch of cilantro lime rice and freeze it for later, just let it cool before transferring it to a heavy-duty freezer bag. It is best if used within 6 months (let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating).
🍚 More Amazing Side Dishes
- Buttered Noodles - Buttered noodles can be served on the side or as a bed beneath protein for a heartier meal!
- Zucchini Squash Casserole - This cheesy zucchini and yellow squash casserole will have everyone coming back for seconds!
- Teriyaki Noodles - These quick and easy teriyaki noodles are the perfect complement to any Asian meal!
- Oven Roasted Potatoes - Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these potatoes are the perfect side dish for any dinner!
- Air Fryer Carrots - Your air fryer can make perfectly fork-tender carrots in no time!
- Hush Puppies - These hush puppies are an easy Southern side dish that pairs particularly great with fried food!
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📖 Recipe Card
Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- 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!