Chipotle Reveals The Secret To Its Cilantro Lime Rice

Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice has inspired a loyal following, plenty of copycat recipes, and even a low-carb cauliflower version for testing in select locations this summer. But now it's blowing up the internet with a new viral video on Chipotle's TikTok channel, which shows the process (albeit in fast-forward fashion — this is TikTok, after all) behind making the chain's beloved burrito-, taco-, and bowl-filler. And, despite the vocal group of cilantro haters out there, the recipe has received nearly 7 million views in mere days.

In the video, backed by borderline-creepy, singsongy instructions, an unseen Chipotle chef whips up a batch of white rice cooked in water and oil, then pours citrus juice into a bowl of cilantro and stirs with a spatula. The cooked rice is added to the cilantro-juice mix, sprinkled with a hefty dose of salt, and mixed together. Voilà!

Okay, so it's not exactly rocket science, but many TikTok users were feelin' it. One said, "This is my new favorite video," while another added, "Now I'm going to make this all the time." Even the video's quirky style and song received kudos for its "extremely TikTok" vibe that garnered cool-cred with the Gen Z crowd (via In the Know).

Is salt the real 'secret sauce' in Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice?

On Chipotle's nutrition page, the rice's ingredients listed include a bay leaf (not seen in the video, but presumably added to the rice before cooking), cilantro, lemon and lime juices, rice bran oil, salt, water, and white rice. Need actual measurements? One TikTok reply came from a user, @fatalexistence97, who claimed to be an ex-employee and shares that the recipe requires a "deep pan" of white rice, a half-cup of citrus juice, two cups of cilantro, and two tablespoons of salt.

Yep, two tablespoons. The rice packs in 350 milligrams of sodium in the portion you'd receive in a standard Burrito Bowl or a taco, for example. To put that in perspective, the CDC recommends consuming less than 2,300 milligrams per day, so the rice will take up about 15 percent of the daily limit. And let's face it: Most people aren't hitting Chipotle for a scoop of rice alone.

It's not a huge surprise that the rice is salt-packed — despite the "health halo" it often evokes, Chipotle has been criticized for its sky-high sodium counts. LiveStrong notes that the chain's sodium stats "could be considered one of its biggest downsides," but that's not exactly unique in the fast food landscape.

The good news is, now that Chipotle has shared the method behind its famous Cilantro Lime Rice, when you're whipping it up at home, you can put in as little (or as much) salt as your heart desires — or can handle.