Best Chipotle Rice Recipes

Best Chipotle Rice Recipes

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Chipotle Rice Shopping Tips

How hot is that chile pepper? Fresh peppers get hotter as they age; they will achieve a more reddish hue and sometimes develop streaks in the skin.

Chipotle Rice Cooking Tips

There are 60 varieties of chile peppers, many of which are used in Mexican cooking. Handle them with care. When handling the spicier kinds, gloves are recommended. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes.

This Mexican Rice Bowl Recipe Is Better Than Chipotle

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Ah, Chipotle. Their delicious burrito bowl is both a blessing on the tastebuds and a curse on the wallet. $9 for a bowl of rice and beans—who knew highway robbery could taste so good? But there's a better way. You can make your own homemade Mexican rice bowl with as much flavor as Chipotle. The best part? It's ALSO easy on your bank account.

For about the same price as one bowl of Chipotle, you get three bowls of this Mexican rice bowl. And honestly, it tastes even better that Chipotle. The key is the rice, because duh! Of course the most important part of a Mexican rice bowl is the rice.

For this recipe, I pack in lots of extra flavor by using boxed Spanish rice, although you can use any rice you have (but use Spanish if you can). This Mexican rice bowl recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, and can be made vegan if you leave out the cheese. As a bonus, it stores well in the fridge, so it's also great for meal prepping.

Recipe: Chipotle Copycat Rice

Confession: I am not one of those people who is obsessed with Chipotle. I sort of missed that moment when everyone learned the glories of a burrito bowl, but with the fast-casual chain scheduled for a four-hour nationwide shutdown today, I thought it might be time to catch up.

My fiancé, on the other hand, is quite different. He’s sung Chipotle’s praises countless times, and with that, the wonders of the chain’s simple and citrusy rice.

And in developing and testing this recipe, I now get it. The best part about this rice is its versatility. It’s kicked up with citrus juice and cilantro, but not so much that it overwhelms whatever you might pile onto it — it’s meant to be a bed for a whole lot of other wonderful, flavorful things.

The extra-long, thin grains of basmati rice help keep things extra light and fluffy. After the rice is cooked, it’s tossed in the smallest amount of olive oil to keep the grains separated (according to their website, Chipotle uses rice bran oil, although it’s much more likely you have olive oil in your pantry). There’s also the balance that’s found in tossing the rice in both lime and lemon juice. Lime juice lends sweetness and just a touch of bitterness, while lemon juice adds a little sourness.

But the real secret to this famed rice isn’t what you may think it is. It’s not some special spice blend or magical cooking method — it’s a bay leaf. Tuck one into the rice as it cooks and it imparts an herbal, slightly spicy aroma to the end result that will keep those lucky enough to dig into this rice wondering just what it is.

How to Make Chipotle Rice and Eat Burrito Bowls Nonstop

If you want to make a Chipotle burrito at home (you do), you first need to learn how to make Chipotle rice. Yep, I'm talking about that cilantro-speckled limey rice that they keep in a big pot and dole out for burritos and bowls at the Mexican chain restaurant. It's the easiest part of the Chipotle experience to overlook—it's just rice, after all, right?

Wrong. Chipotle's rice has this insane butteriness, cut with tangy lime juice and herbaceous cilantro, that makes it so addictive. Because it's so darn good, Epi's test kitchen reverse-engineered the recipe. Now that I know how to make Chipotle rice at home, I'm never going back to take-out. Here's how to do it:

Chipotle-Style Cilantro-Lime Rice

Chipotle Rice Recipe + Video

Does Chipotle put oil in their rice?
Yes, Chipotle uses rice bran oil in their recipe. If you cannot find this, you can use any flavorless oil in our Chipotle Rice recipe.

I usually use canola oil when I make it. Or, for a heart-healthy choice, you can also use olive oil when you make this.

How to prevent rice from clumping
If your rice is clumping together rather than being light and fluffy, you may be stirring it wrong. Never stir cooked rice with a spoon.

Always fluff it with a fork instead. This is one of the most important steps in this Chipotle rice recipe. Stirring it activates the starch and will make your rice gummy.

Watch us make Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice. Check out the video at the top of the page.

Chipotle Rice Recipe


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain jasmine rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or any flavorless oil)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice


  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat bring water to a boil. Add rice, bay leaf and salt. Stir to coat rice. Return to a boil. Once it is a full rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove bay leaf. Fluff rice with a fork, add the oil, cilantro, and juices. Stir to combine.
  3. Serve and enjoy!


Lately, I've been using a lot of lime juice and I've slowly come to like cilantro (is it an acquired taste?) I just know this rice would be terrific with your margarita chicken. Slated for my last of summer meal -- or maybe all winter.

Cilantro always smelled like a garden weed to me. But once you start using it, it goes well with so much. Bahn mi sandwiches, Thai soup, Mexican dishes, etc. It bolts so rapidly in the garden that we don't grow it and have to settle for the grocery store variety.

Chipotle Seasoning Mix Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked paprika if available)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (Mexican Oregano if available)
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Grind coriander, if necessary.
  2. Add the other spices to ground coriander and mix thoroughly.
  3. Store in airtight container and use as called for in recipes.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced large
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).

Add garlic, cumin, and chiles cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 25 minutes.

Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.

Chipotle reveals recipe for white rice in viral video: 'It's actually pretty easy'

Chipotle CEO: Digital experience during coronavirus lockdowns a 'key driver' of success

Chipotle Mexican Grill Chairman and CEO Brian Niccol on increasing drive-thru locations and digital infrastructure to meet increasing demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chipotle has released the recipe for its signature white rice in a now-viral tutorial video that has received a whopping 6.8 million views on TikTok.

The fast-casual chain recently revealed official instructions for preparing the menu staple, in a quick clip that hit the video sharing platform last week.

Narrated by spooky singing in the background, an employee began by cooking up a giant vat of rice. Then, the worker mixed lime juice into a bowl of cilantro, pouring in the rice and adding a dash of salt.

From there, they scooped the spiced-up rice into a smaller metal container, which customers will recognize from ordering at the counter of the Mexican grill.

“It’s actually pretty easy!" someone exclaimed at the end of the clip, which has since received over 1.5 million likes and more than 14,000 comments.

Other jokesters, too, were distracted by the recipe entirely because of the eerie background music. (iStock)

“Chipotle understands us,” one fan declared, as another agreed that the chain “knows what’s up.”

A critic, meanwhile, was skeptical of the sodium serving rice is a popular base for Chipotle’s bowls and burritos.

“Chipotle you need to chill with the salt,” they urged.

Other jokesters, too, were distracted by the recipe entirely because of the eerie background music.

“This audio hurts,” one wrote.

“This audio gave me a panic attack,” one confessed.

“Are the employees OK?” another wondered.

When reached for comment on the viral video, an executive for the chain shared the following statement with Fox News on Thursday:

"We’ve found previous success in giving our fans an inside look into how their favorite Chipotle recipes are made with real ingredients that people already have in their homes," said Tressie Lieberman, Vice President, Digital Marketing and Off-Premise at Chipotle. "Our executive chef made headlines this summer for showcasing Chipotle’s beloved guac as well as corn salsa recipes."

"Integrating unexpected twists like narration or original sound resonates with TikTok users and allows us to have some fun and engage with fans on the platform."

Mexican Rice Variations

You can also add any sorts of veggies to your Mexican Rice. Often Mexican Rice is served with carrots, corn and peas. You will want anywhere from 1-2 cups veggies depending on your personal preference.

  • Mexican Rice with Carrots: if using fresh carrots, dice them and add to the pot when you add the jalapenos.
  • Mexican Rice with Corn: if using canned corn, rinse, drain and add to pot with chicken broth.
  • Mexican Rice with Peas: use thawed, frozen, petite peas (never canned!) and stir them into your rice after it has cooked but before you recover and let sit 10 minutes.
  • Mexican Rice with Frozen Mixed Vegetables: like the peas, if you use frozen, corn or carrots, stir them into your rice after it has cooked but before you recover and let the pot sit 10 minutes. You can even buy frozen mixed vegetables with corn, peas and carrots for the easiest option.
  • Mexican Rice with Protein: instantly transform your Mexican Rice recipe into a meal-in-one by adding protein such as ground turkey,ground beef,shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped chicken,pork,shrimp, salmon/other fish.

Meal prep ahead with this freezer-friendly rice recipe! Whether you do one big freezer bag full or create single-serve containers to grab and go.

Cooking at home doesn&rsquot have to be hard. The Instant pot allows more free time while your food cooks away! Give this easy Chipotle rice recipe a try today.

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