Delicious Cilantro Rice Recipe- Perfect Side Dish!

Welcome to Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice recipe – a dish that will transport you straight to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This rice dish is a staple at Cafe Pasqual, located in the heart of Santa Fe, and is essential to their cuisine. In this recipe, we fuse fluffy white rice with the bold flavors of cilantro, scallion, and lime juice to elevate your taste buds to a new level.

If you’re looking for an easy and simple recipe that will make dinner special or impress guests, this cilantro rice recipe is the one for you. The unique blend of ingredients makes it perfect for pairing with any protein, from chicken to fish, and it provides a great base for taco bowls or burrito fillings. Trust me; this recipe will become your new best friend in the kitchen!

Now let’s get started on how to make this delicious dish!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cafe Pasqual's Cilantro Rice
Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice

Are you tired of the same old boring rice dishes? Look no further than Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe! This recipe is sure to add a bit of excitement to your dinner table.

First and foremost, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some easy steps, you’ll have a delicious side dish in no time. Plus, the ingredients are all readily available at any grocery store. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its flavor. The combination of fresh cilantro, lime juice, and scallions creates a bright and zesty taste that pairs perfectly with any Mexican or Southwestern-inspired meal. The long grain white rice also provides a great base for the flavors to really shine through.

Additionally, this recipe is very versatile. While it pairs perfectly with dishes like chile relleno or carne asada, it can also be served alongside any protein or vegetable for an added boost of flavor. It’s so delicious that it may even steal the show!

Finally, this recipe is a healthier alternative to many other rice dishes out there. It’s low in cholesterol and uses olive oil instead of butter or other less healthy oils. You can feel good about serving it to your family and friends!

In conclusion, Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to spice up their rice game. It’s easy to make, bursting with flavor, versatile, and healthy. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and let your taste buds wander to Santa Fe!

Ingredient List

 A colorful, savory dish perfect for any occasion!
A colorful, savory dish perfect for any occasion!

Ingredient List

Before getting started with the recipe, gather all the ingredients needed to create the Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe. Located in Santa Fe, Cafe Pasqual’s is a renowned restaurant famous for its delicious southwestern cuisine. To prepare this meal, you will need simple and accessible ingredients such as long-grain white rice, fresh cilantro leaves, and scallions. I recommend using kosher salt to enhance the taste of your dish.

Here are all the required ingredients for the Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe:

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 scallions (sliced)
  • Juice of 1 lime

With only seven ingredients, you can create a robust and flavorful dish that works well as a side or a main course. If you need further guidance on measuring your ingredients or tips for storing them, refer back to this list throughout the recipe instructions.

The Recipe How-To

 Transport your tastebuds straight to Mexico with this authentic recipe.
Transport your tastebuds straight to Mexico with this authentic recipe.

Now, let’s dive into the recipe itself. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe.


  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Step 1 – Rinse and prep the rice

Measure out the rice and rinse it thoroughly in a sieve under cold running water for a minute or two. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Drain the excess water from the sieve and set aside.

Step 2 – Bring the rice to a boil

In a large heavy pot, add the rinsed rice, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 3 – Reduce heat and let simmer

Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer without stirring for about 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed by the rice.

Step 4 – Let it stand

Remove from heat and let stand covered for about 5 minutes to allow any residual steam to finish cooking your rice.

Step 5 – Whisk together dressing ingredients

While the rice is cooking, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and kosher salt in a small bowl until well combined.

Step 6 – Fluff and combine

Once done, fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Add in chopped scallion, cilantro, and dressing mixture. Gently mix until well combined.

There you have it! Your delicious Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe is ready to serve! You can pair this dish with your favorite protein or enjoy it as a standalone meal.

Substitutions and Variations

 Our cilantro rice is the perfect side dish for any spicy meal.
Our cilantro rice is the perfect side dish for any spicy meal.

If you’re feeling experimental or don’t have all the ingredients, don’t worry! There are some substitutions and variations you can try. Here are a few ideas:

– Brown rice: Want to make this rice recipe a tad healthier? Substitute white rice with brown rice. You’ll need a bit of extra water and longer cook time, but the result is worth it!

– Chipotle cilantro lime rice: For a spicy kick, mix in some chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce along with the cilantro and lime juice. This variation will add an extra layer of flavor and is perfect for those who like their cuisine to have a little heat.

– Green onion instead of scallions: If scallions aren’t available, green onions can be used as a substitute. They taste similar but can have a slightly stronger flavor profile.

– Gluten-free version: Using an alternative grain like quinoa or millet instead of rice makes this recipe entirely gluten-free.

– Vegetable Broth: Swapping out water for vegetable broth brings extra depth of flavor to the dish

These variations are just a starting point – I encourage you to try new things and see what works best for you! Whether you decide to take the spicy or healthy route or something entirely different, this recipe is versatile enough that you can personalize it to suit your desires.

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to impress your guests with this beautiful and flavorful rice dish.
Get ready to impress your guests with this beautiful and flavorful rice dish.

Cafe Pasqual’s cilantro rice is a versatile dish that can complement a wide range of dishes. The bright flavors of fresh cilantro and lime juice make it a perfect side dish for any Mexican or Southwestern-inspired meal, particularly when paired with spicy dishes like chile rellenos or chipotle chicken. The rice is also an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats or fish, providing a refreshing contrast to heavier flavors.

When serving the cilantro rice, garnish it with additional cilantro sprigs and chopped scallions for a pop of color and flavor. You can also top it with slices of fresh lime to enhance its citrus notes further. Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or incorporating it into your main course, this rice is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

For wine pairings, consider light-bodied whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the rice. Alternatively, you can opt for a light to medium-bodied red like Barbera or Sangiovese that will complement its earthier notes.

Overall, Cafe Pasqual’s cilantro rice recipe is a crowd-pleasing side dish that’s perfect for entertaining guests at summer barbecues or casual weeknight dinners. With its bright flavors and versatile pairings, this dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

This cilantro rice dish is excellent for make-ahead meals and leftovers. To make ahead, prepare the rice as directed in the recipe and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat the rice, simply add a bit of water and heat it over medium-low heat in a covered saucepan until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave by covering the dish with plastic wrap and heating on high for 1-2 minutes.

If you’re planning on making this dish ahead of time, it’s important to note that the cilantro flavor will be more intense after it sits in the refrigerator. If you prefer a milder flavor, consider adding less cilantro to the recipe.

Leftover rice makes a great addition to salads, burritos, or as a simple side dish for any meal. You can also use it as a base for dishes such as Chipotle bowls or Santa Fe style tacos.

When storing leftover rice, make sure you transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate promptly. Cooked rice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to six months.

When reheating previously frozen cilantro rice, thaw it first before reheating by letting it sit in the fridge overnight or microwaving on low power. Then follow one of the reheating methods mentioned above.

With these tips and recommendations, your make-ahead, storing, and reheating activities become easy as slicing through butter. Enjoy your cilantro lime rice anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

If you want to achieve the perfect Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe, follow these tips and recommendations that will elevate the flavors of this dish.

Firstly, use long-grain white rice since it has the ideal consistency that will help the rice to absorb all the flavorful ingredients. Brown rice may seem healthier, but it changes the original recipe’s flavor and texture.

Secondly, don’t underestimate kosher salt since it gives an extra flavor kick that other types may not provide. Additionally, make sure to add salt at the beginning of cooking when boiling water with rice. It is easier for the rice to absorb salt before cooking than after.

Thirdly, fresh lime juice is a must-have ingredient to add to your Cilantro Rice Recipe. However, you want to squeeze them right before adding them to the rice. Lime’s acidity can dissipate quickly, which can affect its potency concerning flavor and freshness.

Fourthly, embrace the power of cilantro by adding plenty of leaves to your Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice dish. Chop some sprigs and reserve them as a garnish for the final presentation. The same goes for scallions; as they bring a fresh oniony flavor that accents cilantro’s green notes.

Fifthly, olive oil brings a fruity taste that adds depth to Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe. However, consider using a light version instead of an extra-virgin oil since it has lower levels of acidity that can complement better with the other ingredients.

Finally, follow the recipe instructions entirely and resist opening the lid while cooking since it can interfere with steaming and disrupting moisture levels leading to undercooked or mushy rice. Once done cooking let it sit covered five minutes before removing the lid to allow all steam to escape.

Keeping these tips in mind will guarantee a delicious result every time you make Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe.


As you have successfully cooked Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice, you may still have some questions regarding the recipe. In this FAQ section, I will address some common concerns and offer solutions to ensure your future cilantro rice cooking endeavors are just as successful.

What is cilantro rice made of?

Let me guide you through a recipe that will awaken your taste buds! First, let’s get started with the rice. While it’s cooking, it’s time to create the show-stopping element of this dish – the cilantro dressing. Grab your food processor or blender and throw in some fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup of olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1 garlic clove, cumin, and some minced seeded serrano chile. Pulse until it’s smooth and creamy. Now, set it aside and let’s check on the rice. Once it’s cooked, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool for approximately 45 minutes while stirring it occasionally.

Does Costa Vida rice have cilantro?

Rice is a staple dish in every Costa meal and our vegetarian option of long grain rice is a crowd-favorite. Made by cooking the rice with veggie broth, tomatillo-cilantro sauce, butter and freshly squeezed lime juice, it has a delightful mix of tanginess and sweetness. The rice is cooked to perfection with a tender texture and is ideal for absorbing our delicious sauces, making it an essential part of every Costa meal.

How do you microwave Vigo cilantro lime rice?

Alright, if you’re looking to whip up some of our delicious coffee oatmeal, here’s how you do it in the microwave. First, grab a 1-1/2 qt microwave-safe casserole dish and combine the oatmeal packet, 2-1/4 cups of hot tap water, and your choice of 1 tbsp of butter, margarine, or olive oil. Cover the dish and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes on high heat. Then, reduce the power to 50% and continue microwaving for 20-22 more minutes until most of the water has been absorbed. This should yield you some steaming, hearty oatmeal to start your day off right!

Is cilantro rice good for diabetics?

Cilantro, the green herb often added as a garnish to dishes, is packed with nutritional benefits. It contains iron that can help prevent anemia, and its leaves and tips are rich in antioxidants, which can aid in preventing heart disease. Additionally, cilantro has been shown to be useful for people with diabetes. This beneficial herb can be a healthy addition to your daily diet.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves tangy, zesty and flavorful rice. This recipe is easy to follow and is perfect for any occasion or meal. With fresh cilantro, lime juice, scallions and long grain white rice cooked in olive oil, this dish will transport you to the vibrant streets of Santa Fe.

Remember to try variations of this recipe with brown rice or even a chipotle version for added depth and piquancy. You can also substitute the scallions with white onions or add some jalapeños for those who like to spice things up.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice recipe is sure to impress. The aromatic flavors and healthy ingredients make it a great addition to any low cholesterol food diet.

So get in the kitchen and start cooking this delectable dish! Share your creations on Pinterest or with your friends and family. And don’t forget to check out Cafe Pasqual’s other recipes like their famous Chile Relleno with Cilantro Green Rice.

Thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoy making Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice recipe as much as I do!

Cafe Pasqual's Cilantro Rice

Cafe Pasqual’s Cilantro Rice Recipe

Print Recipe
Cooled with cilantro & scallion, this rice is also heated with a chile kick. Adapted from Gourmet magazine - July 2006.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Mexican, Rice, Southwestern, White Rice
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Calories 184


  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapenos, including seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • Bring rice, water & 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan & simmer 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid & fluff with a fork.
  • While rice is cooking, using a blender, puree cilantro, onion, scallion, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil & remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. (If needed, can add 1-2 tablespoons water to get a smooth puree.).
  • Add mixture to rice & stir with a fork till well blended.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 152g | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3.6g | Fat: 1.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 443.3mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 0.9g

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