Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes with no effort from you. The fresh cilantro and lime flavors make for a great side dish, ingredient for Mexican or bowl recipes. Conventional recipe included.
Much like Quick Pickled Red Onion recipe, today’s Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is an easy staple to have in your recipe repertoire.
I make a batch of this Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe almost weekly. It’s perfect for use as:
- a side dish for Mexican-themed dinners
- ingredient for tacos or burritos
- a base for bowls
- to serve with Asian-inspired grilled foods
The possibilities are limitless and it’s fast and easy!
Don’t have an Instant Pot? Check ‘More Rice Recipes You’ll Love‘ at the end of the blog post for a conventional (non Instant Pot) Cilantro Lime Rice recipe!
The base recipe is a perfect way to cook white rice in the Instant Pot Instant Pot. You can stop there and be good!
The Best Way to make Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
After loads of experimenting this recipe is my favorite for the end flavor.
I’ve tried adding the lime zest or juice to the liquid in cooking. Combining chicken stock with water.
I’ve played with the times and always come back to this method: cooking the white rice and stirring in the lime and cilantro after it’s cooked makes the best tasting Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe.
It leaves the rice perfectly cooked and the flavors of the cilantro and lime fresh and true.
This Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is so easy it’s almost embarrassing to call it a ‘recipe’!
STEP 1. Rinse the rice
The long grain white rice is rinsed until the water runs clear (do not soak it).
STEP 2. Cook
Combine the rinsed rice and water in the Instant Pot.
Cook for 3 minutes on high pressure; slow release for 10 minutes and perform a manual release to release any remaining pressure.
STEP 3. Fluff
Fluff the rice with the tool that came with the instant pot. Add the zest of one lime and the cilantro (can do it right in the Instant Pot).
If desired add lime juice for a tangier lime flavor and drizzle a bit of vegetable oil into the rice for a ricer flavor. That’s it!
Lime Zest vs. Lime Juice: Which Has the Best Lime Flavor
As much as I love the tangy flavor of lime juice in a fresh-style margarita or Instant Pot Lime Cheesecake, it’s the lime flavor from the zest I feel gives this rice a wonderful flavor.
The oils in the lime skin impart a fragrant flavor of lime that is more about the essence than the tang. Does that make sense?
It doesn’t fight with other flavors by being too tart but definitely brings forward the lime ingredient.
Having said all of that, adding the flavors at the end of the recipe leaves you in the flavor driver’s seat.
If you love that tangy lime flavor, stir in some freshly squeezed lime juice to make the taste what you love best (included in recipe).
The rice is light and fluffy but if you want a richer flavor, stirring in a few teaspoons of your favorite neutral flavored vegetable oil will provide that (also in the recipe as an option).
A Note About Cooking Rice in the Instant Pot
I love cooking rice in the Instant Pot for the end result, the time and not having to pay attention to it. However there are some things to know.
- Different types of rice require different time to cook AND the ratio of rice to water is different!
- Brown rice could not just be swapped into this recipe or even a Basmati white rice, without changing the time and/or ratio of water to rice.
- What I love about long grain white rice or Jasmine rice is the ratio of water to rice is always 1 to 1. So, no matter how much you are making it’s easy to know how much water to use.
Supplies Needed to make Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Strainer or fine mesh Colander for rinsing the rice
- 6 quart Instant Pot
- Zester NOTE: this is my all time favorite zester. It has a cover to shield the zesting surface when stored, a measuring cover on the back to measure the amount of zest if needed (or can be removed to zest directing into the rice as I did for this recipe), non-stick surface for easy zesting and it does not zest into the pith. It’s one of my all time favorite kitchen tools! I’ve given several as gifts too!
- Large Knife
- Cutting Board
- Rice Paddle (one comes with the Instant Pot but it’s perfect for fluffing rice; see photos)
Mind-Blowing Instant Pot Tips You Need to Know!
After developing Instant Pot recipes for the past few years, I’ve uncovered some unexpected, useful tips I think you’ll want to know!
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More Rice Recipes You’ll Love:
Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- 2 cups Long Grain White Rice rinsed until water runs clear
- 2 cups Water
- Zest of 1 Lime
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped Cilantro
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeeze Lime Juice optional
- 1-2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil optional
- Place the rinsed rice in the Instant Pot insert. Pour in the water.
- Seal the lid, move the pressure vent to SEALING, set the Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE and using the ‘+/-‘ buttons set 3 minutes cooking time.
- When the cooking time is complete, allow a SLOW REALEASE for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes release the remaining pressure. Fluff the rice with the plastic rice paddle that came with the Instant Pot (or a spatula).
- Stir in the lime zest and chopped cilantro. Taste; add lime juice and/or oil as desired. Serve immediately.
Originally published: April 26, 2018
Dorothy Reinhold says
I love how much flavor this rice has! The Instant Pot makes it so easy.
Such a great flavor for rice and it was super easy to make. Great recipe!
Cilantro lime rice is the BEST, and tastes even better in the Instant Pot! Thank you for the recipe!
This was so good!! Easy to make and went great with our steak. We loved it and can’t wait to make it again!
Rachael Yerkes says
The best rice ever! Perfect to go with sweet pork burritos
I love cilantro lime rice but haven’t tried it in the Instant Pot. I need this recipe!
So easy and flavorful! Added about. 1/2 tsp of salt to the cooking liquid and did a squeeze of lime juice as well. Thank you for such a great, quick, staple.
Toni Dash says
So glad you liked it Marianne! I LOVE these types of recipes I can count on.
Our family loves Mexican food so this is the perfect side. We make it all the time!!
Adding the extra lime juice is perfection with this rice!
This is my favorite rice dish to serve with tacos!