Here’s How to Make Chipotle Rice at Home

Learn how to make Chipotle rice, the chain's signature cilantro-lime rice. You'll never wait in line for takeout again!

We can’t get enough of Chipotle’s burritos. Whether we’re ordering our fixin’s wrapped in a tortilla, piled high in a bowl or served as a salad, there’s one thing we always order: the cilantro-lime rice. It tastes so good because it’s rich and flavorful, but unfortunately, it’s not as healthy as you’d think. (That’s not the only secret Chipotle employees won’t tell you.)

To make our copycat version better for you, we played around with the ingredients. In the end, we landed on a 5-ingredient recipe that’s definitely worthy of the original. Instead of adding butter, we’re using jasmine rice because of its naturally buttery flavor and aroma. It only took a couple more tweaks to make this dish exceptional!

How to Make Chipotle Rice at Home

A 4-ounce portion of Chipotle’s cilantro-lime rice clocks in at 210 calories, 4 grams of fat and 40 grams of carbs. Our recipe contains nearly half as many calories, no fat and 28 carbs without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Ingredients to make 3 cups of cooked rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Step 1: Prepare the rice

There are two secrets to making our copycat cilantro-lime rice. The first is all about the type of liquid you use to cook the rice. Using homemade stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth adds a ton of flavor to the rice without amping up the salt content.

Prep the rice by placing both the rice and broth in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Step 2: Allow it to rest

Jasmine rice is notorious for sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, so we let the rice sit for 5 to 10 minutes before stirring. It takes a bit of patience and self-control, but it’ll be worth it when you have soft, fluffy grains!

Step 3: Fluff it up

It’s time to add your seasonings. Add the remaining ingredients to the rice and fluff the mixture with a fork. The lime juice and fresh cilantro are obvious, but the pinch of ground nutmeg is our second secret ingredient. This warming spice will seep into the grains, adding a slightly spicy aroma while also bringing out the rich flavor of the rice and enhancing the bright lime and herbaceous cilantro flavors. Yum!

Now it’s time to use that rice to build your own burrito or rice bowl with our favorite Chipotle copycat recipes. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of that barbacoa!

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Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay is a professional chef, recipe developer, writer and developmental editor. After years of working in restaurant kitchens, she turned to writing to share her skills and experience with home cooks and food enthusiasts. She's passionate about using local, organic ingredients and teaching others how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, writes for several publications and is the co-author of two books about Ayurveda.