This Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is made with heart healthy ingredients, but doesn’t skimp on flavor. This quick and easy side dish is versatile and delicious!
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Cilantro Lime Brown Rice in the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is the way to go to quickly cook a batch of brown rice…something we eat quite a lot around here. I grew up on white rice and love it, but for everyday meals, I turn to heart-healthy brown rice.
I love its nutty quality and chewy bite, and the texture of brown basmati is perfect for turning into that crowd favorite cilantro lime rice. The result is a fluffy and flavorful side dish with an undercurrent of lime that lingers.
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Brown basmati rice — a long grain rice originally cultivated in India and Pakistan. It’s not sticky and holds its individual shape, so it retains lots of surface area (places for flavor to cling to!). It’s a great source of soluble fiber and rich in B vitamins (according to WebMD).
- Lime — use both the zest and juice of the lime for that lingering lime flavor.
- Cilantro — because you can’t have cilantro lime rice without it!
- Avocado oil — a heart-healthy oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point. I like it for this dish because it doesn’t compete with the other fresh flavors. It’s used here to lightly toast the rice kernels before cooking.
- Broth — I use a combination of vegetable broth and water to cook the rice. The broth adds flavor, and the water limits the amount of salt.
- Seasonings — fresh garlic, cumin, kosher salt and just a pinch of sugar work to enhance all of the fresh ingredients.
Easy Instant Pot Instructions
(No Instant Pot? No worries! Check the recipe card for stove top instructions.)
- Use the ‘Saute’ function on the Instant Pot to toast the rice. Wait until the screen reads ‘hot’ then add two teaspoons of avocado oil and the rice. Stir it as it cooks to toast the kernels evenly — it takes only a minute or two. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute to release its fragrance.
- Stir in the cooking liquids, cumin, salt and lime zest. Turn off the ‘Saute’ function and seal the pot with the lid. Make sure the valve is set to ‘Sealing’ and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release.
- Combine the lime juice with a pinch of sugar and the remaining avocado oil.
- Remove the Instant Pot lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the lime juice mixture and chopped cilantro and stir together.
Ways to Use Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
In addition to being a great side dish for proteins like Easy Weeknight Grilled Adobo Chicken Thighs or Oven Roasted Turkey + Chorizo Roulade, serve it with or in:
- Burritos and tacos
- Salads and bowls
- Saucy curry dishes
- Latin stews
- Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator for four days or your freezer for up to 6 months.
- It’s typical to rinse rice before cooking to remove any debris and surface starch so you don’t end up with gummy rice. However, brown rice hasn’t been milled and doesn’t have as much surface starch. You can rinse your rice and still toast it even if there’s some residual water clinging to the kernels.
Enjoy More Side Dishes…
- Creamy Mushroom + Wild Rice Enchilada Skillet
- Charred Corn Salad with Poblano + Black Beans
- Grilled Carrots with Carrot Top Persillade
- Roasted Garlic + Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer German Style Potato Salad
- Grilled Asparagus with Anchovy Breadcrumbs
- Skillet Polenta with Burrata, Burst Tomatoes + Basil Oil
Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- 1 tbsp avocado oil divided
- 2 cups brown basmati rice or other brown long grain rice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 lime zest + juice
- 1 pinch sugar
- ¾ cup cilantro leaves chopped (about 1 handful)
Instant Pot Instructions
- Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot. Once the display reads "hot", add 2 teaspoons of the oil and let it heat until it shimmers.
- Add the rice and stir to coat. Brown the rice slightly, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in the water, broth, cumin, salt + lime zest. Turn off the sauté function, seal with the lid and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release (mine took about 17 minutes).
- Combine the lime juice with a pinch of sugar and remaining 1 tsp of avocado oil. Fluff the rice with a fork, then mix in the lime juice mixture and cilantro.
Stove Top Instructions
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the rice to toast, stirring occasionally. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Stir in the water, broth, cumin, salt + lime zest. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the burner and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Combine the lime juice with a pinch of sugar and remaining 1 tsp of avocado oil. Add the lime juice mixture and chopped cilantro to the rice and toss to combine.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.
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