Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

Rice is delicious, but it's easy not to like rice so much when it is improperly cooked, and improperly cooked rice is all too common. Why? Most of the time, badly cooked rice comes down to impatience, plain and simple. It can be hard to wait around for as long as an hour as your rice slowly simmers then sits then needs fluffing and whatnot. But hey, why wait all that time when you can speed things up with that lovely piece of technology known as the Instant Pot?

Using her trusty Instant Pot, chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge cooks up a winning rice dish in no time at all. How do you know the dish is a winner? Because it's a family pleaser. "My family and I munched this up, including my toddler son,"Olayinka says, adding: "I love the fact that I can get some greens in as well in terms of the herbs. We had it with some grilled chicken and had very happy tummies."

Let's make some tummies in your home happy and get cooking.

Gather your ingredients for this Instant Pot cilantro lime rice

It doesn't take much to make a batch of rice that will have the kids (and spouses and likely the neighbors who catch a whiff) clamoring for second servings. 

All you need for this recipe is a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a chopped yellow onion, two cups of white long grain rice, two cups of chicken broth (or a veggie broth is just fine and will keep things vegetarian- and vegan-friendly), a pinch of salt, about two cups of cilantro (as measured when roughly chopped, though you will end up chopping it finely) and the juice of one lime.

Prep the ingredients and start to sauté

If there is one major mistake beyond rushing rice that too many amateur chefs make, it's not properly rinsing rice before cooking it. Throughly rinsing rice under cool water cleanses off excess starch that can cause the final dish to be chewy and gummy and not at all pleasant. So rinse your rice!

And if you're working fast, the best time to do that rinsing is while your onion cooks. To cook the diced onion for this dish, add the oil to the Instant Pot and set it to sauté mode, then add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about three minutes.

Add the rice and broth and get cooking, then add cilantro and lime

After the sautéing is done, pour the chicken broth into the Instant Pot, then add the rice, ensuring that it's totally covered — you may have to use a spoon to ensure the rice is evenly leveled and submerged. Now sprinkle in the salt, and then set the pot to cook on high pressure for three minutes.

After the cooking cycle has finished, naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes. "A mistake to avoid is not to be tempted to quick release the steam of the Instant Pot thinking that the rice is ready. It needs the natural release so that it fully cooks," says Olayinka.

While the natural pressure is releasing, chop the cilantro into small pieces, as small as your knife will allow, noting that a sharper knife will help the process.

After the natural pressure has released, open the Instant Pot and place the chopped cilantro inside the pot, then add the lime juice, and stir well to fully integrate everything. Now transfer the to a serving dish or dole out portions and enjoy!

Serving ideas for your Instant Pot cilantro lime rice

Alright, your rice is cooked! Now, how best to enjoy it? This rice of course makes a great side for many a meal. "It serves well with any type of grilled meats — for example, grilled chicken, grilled steak, or some grilled pork chops," Olayinka says. But you can also use it as a delightful component of anything from a taco to a burrito to a fajita to a wrap, or you can use this flavorful rice as the bed for a salad filled with chopped greens, meats, and more.

However, don't plan on leftovers with this dish. "This is best eaten fresh, as cilantro actually tends to go a bit soggy when reheated and turns a bit dark," says Olayinka.

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
5 from 10 ratings
Using her trusty Instant Pot, chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge cooks up a winning rice dish in no time at all.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice served on a plate
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups white long grain rice
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 liquid cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
Directions
  1. Start by placing the rice in a sieve and rinsing it until the liquid runs clear, then set aside.
  2. Dice the onion and put the Instant Pot with vegetable oil on sauté mode for 3 minutes, cooking until the onion turn golden.
  3. After 3 minutes are up, pour the chicken broth into the Instant Pot.
  4. Place the rice into the Instant Pot, ensuring that the rice is all covered (you may have to use a spoon to ensure the rice is evenly level and submerged), and sprinkle in the salt.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  6. After the cooking cycle has finished, naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes.
  7. While the natural pressure is releasing, chop the cilantro into small pieces.
  8. After the natural pressure has released, open the Instant Pot and place the chopped cilantro inside, stirring so that it is all evenly mixed.
  9. Add the lime juice into the pot and stir again, then transfer to a serving dish or serve out portions.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 431
Total Fat 5.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 3.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 83.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 472.2 mg
Protein 10.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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