Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio {Copycat} [+ Video]

This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio’s and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.


This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio's and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.


*This is a sponsored post due to my partnership with the Utah Dairy Council


I’ve found that when I make Mexican food lately I really want rice and beans with it, just like the restaurants do. I didn’t used to care, but I’ve really grown to like the rice and beans. We have three favorites, Spanish Rice , Perfect Rice the Costa Rican way (which is awesome because you freeze the “flavor kit”  for use all winter long, and this Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio Copycat.

This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio's and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.


We especially love how easy this rice is. Just throw the cilantro, lime juice, etc in the rice cooker and we don’t even worry about it until it’s done. Which also gives us much more time to get done with whatever we have going on at the house. That could mean chores, homework or lately a couple pages of a good book. Oh and there’s a touch of butter in the rice. Let’s not forget that. A little dairy can totally change a dish for the better. True story.


This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio's and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.


Which we had these yummy Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas that same night so friends, make sure you try those too. Seriously the best enchiladas you will ever scarf down. Whenever I have a crazy busy week I automatically want comfort food. Obviously I’m an emotional eater. In fact, it was an emotional weekend, but in the very best way.


This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio's and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.


Cade and I attended our very first Time Out For Women. I know, it’s for women, but it’s actually just as good for men and since we are a team we were invited to attend together. It was wonderful. Basically it’s a “timeout” the women from anywhere can take to get refreshed and rejuvenated. There were amazing speakers like Tim Ballard, who we talked about in this post about White Chocolate Dipped Mint Milanos and the underground railroad that is rescuing so many children in sex slavery, Brad Wilcox about grace and how to use it and understand how it works for each of us, a darling girl named, Emily who when running past an assisted living facility felt prompted to stop in and ask if she could play the piano for the residents and the rest is history, she’s become best friends at 25 with a 100 year old man. She is helping him feel joy at an age when they often feel forgotten.


time out for women


Needless to say, we had an incredible weekend. We are absolutely convinced that the best thing anyone can do for their business, family, or self is to take a “timeout”. Get inspired again. Remember who you are and why you are here. Like Brad said, “we can’t change the world, but we can work to change our own world.”


That’s the one thing Cade and I needed to hear. This blog is more than food for us. It’s a chance to share good things. We are preparing to speak at a fireside in Rexburg, Idaho about being a light in an ever increasingly dark world and we feel certain that we can at least help our own circle see the good that still exists and hopefully inspire hearts to be the good in any way they can.



Do Limes Have Vitamin C?

Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is one of the most important antioxidants in nature.

2 Tablespoons of lime juice contains 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.


What Can You Substitute For Cilantro?

You can substitute cilantro with an equal amount of fresh parsley, tarragon, dill or a combination of the three.


Is Rice Good For You?

Rice is not fattening if you eat it in a small portion.

Rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

White rice is high in minerals such as calcium and iron.

It is also rich in vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin D, thiamine and riboflavin.


All Our Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes:

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {Copycat} Recipe

Continue Reading

Crock Pot Cafe Rio Chicken Copycat [+ Video]

Continue Reading

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Cilantro Ranch Dressing [+ Video]

Continue Reading

Cafe Rio Copycat Sweet Pork Quesadilla

Continue Reading

Smothered Cafe Rio Chicken Burrito

Continue Reading
All our favorite Mexican Recipes here!

Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio Copycat

Yield: 8 cups

Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio Copycat

Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio Copycat
This copycat cilantro lime rice is just like Cafe Rio's and it makes the perfect addition to any Mexican dish or entree for dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 Cups Rice
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 Handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 Can (4oz) Diced Green Chiles


  1. Pour everything in a rice cooker and follow product instructions, or in a pot, heat to a boil and then add the lid and turn down to low for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the lid, stir to combine everything and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 201 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 7.6mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 38.7g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 3.3g

Recipes to Accompany Rice

Authentic Carne Asada Tacos

One of our all time favorites for tacos! Just wait until you try that marinated meat!

carne asada tacos with marinated flank steak

California Grilled Steak and Zucchini Burrito with Smoky Crema

It is all about the sauce in this one. Like, seriously. I’m a sauce fan anyway but this stuff changes the whole burrito.

Steak Burritos with Spiced Crema

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

53 comments on “Cilantro Lime Rice Cafe Rio {Copycat} [+ Video]”

  1. Hi! I love this recipe, but I’m looking at doubling it for a family gathering, do I need to cook the rice longer because of that? Thanks!

    • The rice shouldn’t need to cook longer as long as you cook it in a large enough pan. Maybe just keep your eye on it, but it should be fine! Enjoy and treasure that family time!!

  2. Hello! I was scrolling through for the rice recipe and I saw the picture of you and your husband and thought “wait…they look like Mormons.” 😂 So I decided to read a little more and so glad I did! Thank you for reminding me to take time for myself and for my soul and for sharing your light in this world. 

  3. We are serious Cafe Rio addicts here. Like, every Saturday for many years and often in-between for lunch. I have tried several copycat recipes in the past and all were just…meh. But your rice is PERFECT!! We all loved it, and I wanted to thank you for that. Now, to figure out their black beans…

  4. Just had to come back and comment because we had this last night and it was soo good! Have had cilantro rice that has been bland in the past- this one was sooo good! I added a little extra lime juice and zest at the end to my tastes. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. What kind of rice do you use? There are plenty of options….

  6. I’ve been a fan of Cafe Rio for many years and this recipe is as good as the original. I find that since I use a low sodium chicken base, I need to add a little salt to the recipe. Also, for those that want a little more acidity, some additional lime juice can be added once the rice is cooked. A delicious recipe that I will make over and over again. Thank you!

  7. I love it when I google a recipe and a Utah bloggers is up at the top! I am making this right now and can’t wait to try it!

  8. Wow! Really fantastic meal! Thanks for recepie – my Redmond 4502 remember it in its memory. It can do it for me every day and in that time I need! Similar recepie is in Redmonds cook book, but it is not the same totally.

  9. Oh I’m so glad I found this! I’m just starting to realize how much I like the rice and beans on the side of Mexican as well. We picked up some tamales from a local the other day, and I decided I needed cilantro lime rice with it. For sure will be trying this out tonight…kind of wish I still had my rice cooker though..oh well.
    And I’m curious, did you ever read The Giver? It’s been my favorite since 5th grade!

  10. This cilantro rice looks perfect! I have had such bad luck with cilantro lime rice recipes – the first one called for waaay too much lime and was so sour I had to throw it out, and the second had a totally skewed rice-to-water ratio and I ended up with soggy green mush. Yours looks like a winner, though, so I can’t wait to try this and put my cilantro rice bad luck behind me!

  11. Thanks for the recipe! Any ideas on how to prepare their black beans?

  12. Wondering if lemon pepper could also be used in this recipe???

  13. Love this rice!!! Have you ever tried freezing the rice?

  14. Thanks for the answer re the butter. I am making this right now, and bought boullion crystals. Can I add 2tsb of the crystals, or do I have to make the boullion? A speedy response would be appreciated. Hungry family alert!

  15. You mention that butter is part of the rice recipe. How much? I am going to make this weekend with a slow-cooked Pulled Pork with mexican flavors, to be eaten on tortillas. Will let you know how it turns out.

    If that’s true, how much butter is it.? I cannot find the answer anywhere.

  16. You mention that butter is part of the rice recipe. How much? I am going to make this weekend with a slow-cooked Pulled Pork with mexican flavors, to be eaten on tortillas. Will let you know how it turns out.

  17. This looks great, thanks! I can’t wait to try it in my rice cooker. I love the book The Giver, we read it in sixth grade as a class and its been a favorite book since. Happy Reading!

  18. Cafe Rios rice is always so good. I’m going to have to make this to go with my husband’s favorite enchiladas.

  19. This rice looks so fluffy! And sounds so flavorful!

  20. So funny you posted about this. When I went to Utah for the first time a few months ago this was the first place we ate. I always read about it in the blogsphere. Glad to have copycat recipe to make my own here in Florida!

  21. Love the rice recipe! I am currently rereading Will Cather and enjoying every single word….



  22. I could dive into this! MISS YOU

  23. I LOVED Shadow of The Wind, I read it years ago and still think about it. For food books Yes Chef by Marcus Samuelson is really good. Also, my favorite book I’ve read in the past year is Tattoos on the Heart, it’s a true story of a priest that works in south central LA and helps gang members to turn their lives around. It’s really beautiful, and heartbreaking in a good way.

  24. Mmmm this looks and sounds really good Carrian!
    Love the look of your blog…very refreshing!
    Your photos are stunning and delicious looking 😉
    Have a great week!

    All my heart,
    Deborah xo

  25. Oh, this looks so tasty! I love cilantro 🙂 can’t wait to make this!

  26. We love cilantro lime rice!! Yours looks delish girl 🙂

  27. I love Café Rio! This recipe looks so good and super easy. I can’t wait to try this rice at home.

  28. After seeing pics of food from Cafe Rio over the years I FINALLY got my fix at the airport last year – I had no time either so had to shovel it down. It was so good and I would be in serious trouble if I lived near one. This rice looks perfect and I wish I had it alongside our enchiladas tonight!

  29. Yum! This looks like the perfect side dish! I read the Giver ages ago but remember liking it. I just finished the Kitchen House not too long ago and loved it. Other favorites of mine include: the Help, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Shadow of the Wind, A Painted House and Of Bees and Mist. I’ve got more suggestions if you want, I like to read 🙂

  30. I’ve actually never made the cafe rio copycat rice, but LOVE it! A keep for sure!

  31. Such a bright, citrusy side for my favorite Tex-Mex meals! I love it, Carrian! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  32. ok, that does it! Going to Cafe Rio for lunch….

  33. This looks rellay good. Perfect side dish

  34. This is my favorite way to do rice with mexican dishes! So good!