Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice – $5 Dinner Challenge

So I looked out the kitchen window and noticed that the cilantro had almost reached the height of the child rabbit fence around my square foot gardening planters. I knew cilantro grew quickly, but didn’t think it would really grow THAT quickly.

Quick…how can I start using this up. And pronto!!!

How about mixed into brown rice with some lime juice for a little extra flavor?!?

(I’m leaving you with just this for tonight…a complete meal with this lip smackingly delicious rice…coming soon to a frugal food website near you.)

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Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 45 to 50 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice ($.40)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice ($.10)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ($.05)
  • Cilantro, use your discretion (free from the garden)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add the brown rice, lime juice, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Return to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Chop cilantro.

  • Once the rice has cooked, add the garlic powder, chopped cilantro and more salt and pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  • Serve Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice with favorite Mexican dish.

Cost $0.65

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  1. Amy says

    Yes, cilantro grows very quickly. We use ours when we make salsa from our garden veggies, so I don’t even plant the cilantro seeds until we have green tomatoes on our tomato plants. I don’t want the cilantro to be “done” before there are tomatoes to use it with.

  2. Leslie B says

    Throw it together with some cooked jalapenos, onions and tomatillos for a super yummy Salsa Verde!

  3. says

    Okay, a little random but still related: Did you know that cilantro is great for flushing out metal toxins from the body? Apparently they will bind to the cilantro, then subsequently get flushed (literally) out of your system. Just a bit of trivia for you today. :)

    How about using some in smoothies?

  4. Michelle says

    Sounds yummy like Chipotle’s rice! You can also use cilantro in guacamole with your avocados. MMMMMM…..

  5. says

    I have a “cowboy caviar” recipe on my blog that is a great way to use cilantro. It’s like a fresh corn and black bean salsa.

    I’ve also made cilantro and lime rice (it’s just like Chipotle’s which I’m addicted to).

    You can also use it in a marinade, I like to do tequila lime fajitas. A little Tequila, salt, pepper, lime juice and zest, garlic and cilantro. Marinate then grill!! Super moist and delicious.

  6. Clara says

    Been making this for years and it goes great as a side to either grilled chicken or fish. Outside of basal, cilantro is our number one herb to grow and use through the spring/summer until the first frost.

  7. says

    Cilantro Chutney
    1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and roughly chopped
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    4 Tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    pinch of cayenne
    Put it all in a blender, and puree until smooth. This is great over rice, or anything. Keeps in a jar in your refrigerator for about a week.

  8. Kristin says

    Chicken Taco’s with Cilantro Herb Paste
    (recipe courtesy of

    Herb Paste
    1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
    3 medium garlic cloves , roughly chopped
    3 medium scallions , roughly chopped (about 1/3 cup)
    1 medium jalapeño chile , stemmed and roughly chopped
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

    1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into thin cutlets
    1 tablespoon coarse salt or 1.5 teaspoons table salt
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    Combine cilantro, garlic, scallions, chile, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, and with machine running, add 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Process until smooth.

    Remove 2 tablespoons of herb paste to a bowl, whisk in lime juice, and set aside.

    Rub salt over both sides of the chicken, and spread with remaining herb paste. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

    Scrape herb paste off chicken and sprinkle with sugar and pepper.

    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Let cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice into strips. Season with salt if desired. Serve in warmed flour tortillas and top with cheese, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, sour cream, sauteed onions, and reserved herb paste.

  9. Patricia says

    You can also do a Mexican version of pesto with it. Same basic ingredients but sub cilantro for the basil. Great on grilled chicken.

  10. Cena Dunfee says

    I usually make the rice just with salt & water. Then take the cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice (& a little zest…) and blend in the blender with some garlic. When the rice is done pour over rice as you fluff it with a fork. Mmmmm.


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