Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice is light, delicious, and so versatile. Whether it’s on your favorite burrito, as a side dish, or a late night snack straight from the fridge, you won’t be able to resist this awesome dish
When Kara and I were in college, a Taco Bell opened 2 blocks from our apartment. On a whim, we decided we needed to eat there the first 30 days in a row they were open. To this day I have no clue why we thought that was necessary. A few years later Chipotle opened nationwide. I decided to give it a shot at the original location in Denver, and I haven’t eaten at Taco Bell since.
I’m a creature of habit at Chipotle, so I always get the fajita burrito. I sometimes change up the protein, but I always, ALWAYS get the cilantro lime rice. Yes, they put too much on the burritos. Yes, of course, I could tell them to scale back. And yes, I plan to tell them that each time. But come crunch time, I give in.
I rarely go to Chipotle these days but I still crave the rice so I decided to make my own version at home. And instead of the traditional, I kicked it up several notches with Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- It’s easy to make, and ready in about 25 minutes
- It’s perfect as a side dish, in a burrito, or on its own
- You can make it ahead, and it’s delicious hot, room temperature or even cold
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT RICE
Basmati Rice is my favorite for Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice. It is more aromatic than regular long grain rice and cooks up perfectly every time.
Rinse and drain the rice, to remove the excess starch and any impurities. Just a quick rinse under cold water is enough.
Simmer the rice, on low and covered, for 15 minutes. And then, remove the saucepan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Don’t stir the rice! Stirring activates the starches, resulting in a stickier texture. Instead, just fluff it with a fork.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR FLAVORING YOUR RICE
Start by sauteeing fresh onion and garlic in Avocado Oil. The onion and garlic practically melt by the time the rice is done and they add so much flavor
Cook the rice in broth, as it adds much more flavor than water. I use my Homemade Vegetable Broth, or you can use chicken broth. If you use store-bought, make sure to look for unsalted or no salt added.
Add a little bit of salt to the liquid. You don’t need a whole lot for that great punch of flavor
Fresh cilantro is a 100% requirement, and you can adjust the amount to your personal preference.
Fresh lime juice and lime zest. Limes are plentiful and inexpensive, and you really have no idea how fresh the lime juice in the jar really is
NOTE: I use about 1 Tablespoon of lime juice for this recipe. It’s not overwhelming but adds a nice brightness to the rice. You can adjust the amount to your preference.
ABOUT THOSE BLACK BEANS
Black beans are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and versatile. Last year I created a fabulous Black Bean Soup, but that’s my only black bean recipe on the blog so I need to get my act together. With chickpeas, I almost always use dried, but I prefer to use canned Black Beans. And if you don’t use the whole can at once, store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Add the black beans at the very end, along with the cilantro and lime juice and zest. If you add the beans to the cooking liquid, they become too mushy for my tastes
SERVING OPTIONS AND LEFTOVERS
There are so many great ways to enjoy Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice:
- As a side dish with Grilled Vegetable Fajitas or Steak Fajita Quesadillas
- In a burrito
- With your favorite protein for weekly lunch meal prep
- A side dish for a party, picnic, or potluck
I’m not usually a big fan of leftovers, but Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice is an exception. As a matter of fact, it might even be better the next day! I love to eat it at room temperature or even straight out of the fridge.
Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice will last for about one week in an airtight container in the fridge.
MORE RECIPES I LOVE AS LEFTOVERS
- Baked Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet
- Maple Mustard Garlic Sheet Pan Chicken
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- Add rice to a mesh strainer. Rinse and drain well
- In a large saucepan, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add rice to the saucepan, and stir for 30 seconds to fully combine.
- Add vegetable broth and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a low simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat, and fluff the rice with a fork. Re-cover, and let rest for another 5 minutes
- Add black beans, lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro to rice. Toss well with a fork.
Basmati Rice is my favorite for this recipe. Jasmine rice is another good option
Don't stir the rice! Stirring activates the starches, which creates a stickier texture. Instead, just fluff with a fork
Vegetable broth (or chicken broth) add much more flavor than water. If you use store-bought broth, look for low sodium or no salt added
I always use canned black beans, because they're so convenient. And I recommend low sodium beans, if you can find them.
If you make half the recipe, store the beans and liquid in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
LIME JUICE & ZEST
Lime juice and zest add a wonderful brightness, but too much can be overwhelming. I use 2 Tablespoons of juice and the zest of 1 lime for the full recipe. If you're unsure of how much to use, add half that amount, taste, and adjust as needed.
SERVING OPTIONS & LEFTOVERS
This dish is delicious hot, warm, or even cold. Make a big batch so you have a quick snack in a pinch.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 431mgCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 2g