Oven Baked Spanish Rice is one of my most popular recipes on the blog. I guess I’m not the only one who loves the convenience of being able to throw it in the oven and forget about it while I prepare the rest of the meal.
The subtle lime and cilantro flavor are the perfect pair for any of your favorite Mexican inspired dishes. We loved it as the base of these Chipolte Lime Pork Burrito Bowls.
Oven Baked Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Delicious flavorful rice that is the perfect compliment to any of your favorite Mexican dishes. Also, this recipe is very forgiving...if you do not have fresh garlic or onion, you can use dehydrated or powder in it's place.
Recipe type: Rice
- 2½ cups regular white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth (I use two cubes of chicken bullion dissolved into two cups hot water.)
- 3 cups hot water
- 2 limes (remember, put the limes in the microwave for 10 seconds before squeezing, they will give you more juice)
- 6 tbsp softened butter, or canola oil
- ¾ tsp salt, divided
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed (or ¼ tsp garlic powder or dehydrated garlic)
- ¼ cup chopped onion (or ¾ tsp onion powder or 1 tbsp dehydrated onion)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves, very loosely packed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a 9x13 pan combine rice, chicken broth, water, the juice of ONE of the limes, butter OR oil, ½ tsp of the salt (reserve the other ¼ tsp for after rice is cooked), crushed garlic and chopped onion.
- Carefully stir to distribute ingredients evenly, cover with foil and place in 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove rice after 1 hour. In a small bowl mix, juice of the second lime, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar and ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves. Pour mixture over baked rice and stir carefully until well combined. Serve and Enjoy!
Store leftovers in an air tight container in your fridge for up to 4 days or in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keep it Real!!!
I was looking for a no mess easy recipe for cilantro rice yesterday and this one delivers. I put a tiny bit more onion, doubled the garlic, and skipped the sugar. I’ll definitely be working on scaling this one down for two people.
I am so glad you liked it LG, thanks for coming back to comment.
Have you ever tried it with brown rice?
I haven’t. My friend makes my baked spanish rice with brown rice and says it turns out fine she just has to cook it a little longer. It’d be worth a shot. 🙂
This may be silly, but is the rice cooked or not cooked when you start out?
There is no such thing as a silly question. 🙂 It is not cooked.
How do you reheat the frozen rice?
And do you tink it would work the same if you doubled the recipe and used a large foil pan for a grad party?
I just use the microwave. I put it in a covered dish and sometimes drizzle just a little bit of water on it. Doubling it and putting it in a larger pan should work, depending on the depth of the ingredients it may need to cook a little longer.
This rice was amazing!!!!!! I used 1 qt. of low sodium vegetable stock – no boullion or water.
I would also recommend adding a LOT more cilantro… just my taste!
Thank you Annie!
Would the time required to cook change if I’m using white Basmati rice?
No, it typically takes an hour no matter what rice you use, unless you use brown rice, then it takes an extra 15-20 minutes.
If making a day in advance, would you recommend reheating in the oven or on the stove top? How long?
If making in advance, reheating in the oven would probably be best. I would also wait to add the final lime juice mixture until right before you were ready to serve.
Has you ever used bottled lime juice instead of fresh? I have everything but the fresh limes and don’t feel like making a trip to the store.
I haven’t. I think the fresh is best but worth a shot with bottles if that’s all you have.
I never knew how to bake rice! This turned out fantastic!! Very moist and flavorful, and it didn’t stick together at all. I don’t think I will ever boil rice again. Even without the lime and cilantro I’m sure this is the best way to prepare rice. Thank you so much for this recipe 💙
Right! I love baking rice, it is so easy and comes out great every time. We bake Spanish and cilantro rice all the time. For plain rice I still just use my rice cooker because it is really fast too, but maybe I’ll try it in the oven sometime just for fun.
I’m using a large 12”x19” x3” hotel pan. Do you have any idea how to convert the recipe and cooking time??
Hi, find out how many cups that pan can hold and then you can probably double the recipe as long as the amount of water and rice and tomato sauce are at least 2-3 cups less then what the pan can hold. Does that make sense?
Thank you for your precise instructions and your insight!
I’m of Latin descent and I have never been able to cook rice perfectly to save my life. It was a bit of a downer, given my heritage – but your easy step by step guide helped me make my first perfect rice in 20 years!
Thank you again!
Awesome! I absolutely love hearing that Merry!
Great recipe! Doubled it for a church event, and it did need about fifteen minutes longer in the oven (although that may have been the oven’s fault!). I’ll probably add more lime juice next time, only because I really enjoy citrus flavors. This is a definite keeper!
Awesome! So glad you liked it and it worked for your church event!
Do I need to adjust the cooking time if I cut the recipe in half? Thanks! I’m looking forward to trying!
Hi Kim, no, it will still need the same amount of cooking time.
If I wanted to double this recipe- should I just increase to 2 hours cooking time? I’d love to serve this at my taco bar this Saturday for 20 volleyball players!!
So sorry for the late reply. When I double it I use two 9×13 pans and leave cooking time the same.
Have you ever doubled or tripled the recipe? Did you still bake for 1 hour? Think large deep aluminum pan full or rice. 😉
I haven’t, I have one and a halved it though and it needed an additional five minutes. I would try it and make sure to plan enough time that if it needed up to 20 or 30 more minutes it wouldn’t effect your plans.
I made this for our annual taco lunch fund raiser and it was delicious. I used the large foil pans and doubled the recipe. Did 3 pans and they all were great. No adjustment to time. I thought the batch i made With butter tasted better than the batch i made With oil but i wanted a dairy free option. Overall great recipe!!
Awesome, I am so glad to hear that Mary!!!
Hi Mary, Did you cook all 3 pans at the same time? Still 60 min?