As much as I love the traditional Mexican rice and refried beans that are often served alongside Mexican food, sometimes it is nice to change it up a bit.  Recently I made these shrimp enchiladas, an old favorite I just can’t get enough of.  Instead of refried beans, I made these spicy citrus black beans, and instead of Mexican rice, I made this cilantro lime rice.  This was a great variation on a theme and the citrus flavors paired well together.  Another perk of this recipe in my mind is its simplicity.  If a side dish is complicated, I’m not likely to make it, especially when the main dish is fairly involved (as with enchiladas).  This is as simple as cooking the rice, blending up the cilantro-lime mixture, and stirring it all together.  That’s the kind of side I can handle!

  • Yield about 3 cups of rice


1 cup long grain rice
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped


  • 01

    Combine the rice, 2 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low.  Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, 16-18 minutes. (Cooking time can vary depending on the brand of rice.  Check the package directions.)

  • 02

    While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.