Quick Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice

August 30, 2020

Copycat CIlantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is a flavorful, and inexpensive copycat recipe to Qdoba’s cilantro lime rice. You can easily make this restaurant dupe at home at nearly a third of the cost!

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I love Qdoba. I specifically love Qdoba’s Chicken Burrito Bowls. What I do not love, however, is paying nearly $10 for something I can make for less than $3 a serving at home. 

One of the most crucial parts to a burrito bowl is the rice, and for the longest time, I was just having plain white rice in my homemade Qdoba bowls. This is great and all, but it didn’t carry the same flavor as the burrito bowls at the restaurant, so I felt like I was missing something. So I set out to figure out how to make my own flavored rice. 

When I first started experimenting, I just added salt, and cilantro and lime after all the rice had cooked. Sure, it was close, but it didn’t taste the same as Qdoba cilantro lime rice. 

Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice

One day, I decided to try adding chicken broth to my rice as it boiled to see if that would help. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

I don’t know what it is about the chicken broth, but it added a nice level of savory flavor that made this a good copycat cilantro lime rice recipe. 

You don’t have to serve this rice recipe with just burrito bowls. I actually like to make this rice whenever I’m having any Mexican flavored dish. It offsets the spiciness often found in mexican food and salsa. 

Note about the ingredients: You can use any rice with this recipe, but the most budget friendly rice is just white rice. It’s cheap, and cooks quickly. I actually buy it in bulk and it stores easily. Also I don’t buy instant rice—white rice cooks pretty quickly, so I don’t need instant. I buy this brand, and it costs me 65 cents a cup, dry, which makes two cups of cooked rice. That amount of rice can feed four people. So this bag actually gives me about forty servings. Buying rice in bulk is a great way to extend your budget.

Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice

When it comes to the other ingredients–cilantro and lime–I use fresh ingredients. I usually meal plan and prep on Sundays and buy my vegetables that day as well. I will cook this rice early in the week and eat it as  the week goes on. It’s great in a lot of dishes and the cilantro and lime taste amazing. But back to the fresh ingredients: I like to buy fresh and cook soon after purchase to try and have my rice taste as fresh as possible when I first eat it. 

As well as using chicken stock when I cook my rice, I also add butter. Because butter makes everything better. After the rice has absorbed the water, I add two tablespoons butter and fluff with a fork. 

While this copycat of Qdoba’s cilantro lime rice is great with chicken, it is also AMAZING with my Dutch Oven Pulled Pork!

Related: Strawberry-Jalepeno Margarita

Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice

This recipe is a great copycat recipe for cilantro lime rice from Qdoba or Chipotle
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword chipotle rice, cilantro lime rice, copycat cilantro lime rice, qdoba rice, taco bowl rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Cost $4


  • sauce pot
  • lid


  • 1 Cup white rice
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 2 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • salt to taste


  • Add rice, water and stock to pot, bring to boil. Allow to boil five minutes, then turn to simmer and cover with lid. After five minutes, remove from heat, add butter, lime juice, cilantro and salt, and fluff.
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