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Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros and Lime

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I made this rice with Spicy Garlic Shrimp for dinner tonight and my husband told me he loved me. I guess it’s true, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! If you like Cilantro Lime Rice you’ll love this recipe! Serve it with garlic shrimp, Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken, Chicken Taco Chili or Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops to name a few.

Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros and Lime

5 from 1 vote
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 3 /4 cup


  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 habanero pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice


  • In a small heavy pot add oil and saute pepper on medium heat.
  • Add rice, water and salt.
  • Boil on high until most of the water evaporates.
  • When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce flame to low and cover about 15 minutes.
  • Shut off stove and keep covered an additional 5 minute.
  • In a medium bowl, combine chopped scallions, cilantro, lime juice, rice and toss until completely mixed.

Last Step:

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Makes approx 3 cups.


Serving: 3 /4 cup, Calories: 205 kcal, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Protein: 3.5 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 144 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g


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59 comments on “Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros and Lime”

  1. Absolutely, love this recipe. I’ve made it as written, loved it. I’ve also had to substitute the habanero with serrano, based on what was available at the store. Still great! I used the whole pepper every time, we love the spice!

  2. PLEASE NOTE: remove the seeds of the habanero before cooking with it! Maybe I’m clueless for not knowing to do this but I’m so surprised the recipe doesn’t specify this.  My husband had to rush our baby out of the house due to a coughing fit when I started cooking.  The dish was delicious but don’t do what I did! 

  3. I made this last night and paired it with your Crockpot Chicken Black Bean tacos and it went perfectly! I've made the Cilantro Lime Rice before and fell in love and this one is just as delicious, but with a little kick. Makes me never want to eat plain rice again!

    We use a rice cooker, so I sauteed the habanero in the oil in a skillet first and then added that to the rice in the cooker and it worked exactly the same as cooking it on the stove. Thanks, Gina!

  4. Avatar photo
    Rene Thurston

    I changed this recipe quite a bit to go with what I had on hand, but hopefully if this happens to anyone else, my comment will be helpful. 🙂

    I made your FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS Baked Chicken Thighs with Dijon and Lime and knew I wanted a rice side dish. This definitely felt like a great accompaniment since it also has lime, but I didn't have a habanero or cilantro, BUT I had habanero olive oil, so I used that in place of the regular olive oil to give it the spicy kick. I used chicken stock instead of water to bring in the flavor of the chicken, and I also added one clove of crushed garlic during cooking. I also added dried parsley, which is also in the chicken thighs recipe. I had some wonderful spring onions from my farm box, so I added those, along with the lime juice at the end. SO DELICIOUS!!! Along with some sauteed swiss chard and spinach, it was a great meal!

  5. I want to make this recipe for 12 people. If I triple the recipe do the porportions stay the same?

  6. I've made this recipe three times now and LOVE it. The first two times the store didn't have habanero peppers so I made with jalapeños instead. Last night was first time I made with habanero – which also happened to be first time I've cooked/dealt with raw habanero. This recipe needs to come with a warning/suggestion on how to properly handle a raw habanero pepper. My hands were absolutely scorched red and burning for HOURS after I made this. I tried everything I found on the internet to make it stop.. wash with oil, take benedryl, apply lotion, soak in yogurt (literally sat with a bowl of yogurt on my lap for 15 minutes) and finally had to soak my hands in a bleach solution to make the burning stop. (Bleach is apparently the only thing that can break down the capisum of hot peppers). Again, I LOVE this recipe its really quite delicious — and when cooked the peppers aren't that hot — BUT I will absolutely wear gloves the next time I handle habaneros.

  7. Avatar photo
    Dena Martin - Blue Ridge Inn Bed and Breakfast

    I thought this might be bland or taste too much like lime. But, I was wrong! OMG! After I finished my plate, I was standing in the kitchen eating rice from the pot. Super yummy! I think it would be great in fajitas or fish soft tacos also. Very light flavor. Thank you for this recipe – it's a keeper.

  8. Oh my gosh..let me tell you I LOVED (and when I say love I mean LOVEEEEED)this recipe. Not sure if anyone has a Chipotle around them, but this tastes exactly like their rice, but healthier and way in my WW points! Thank you so much for this recipe, it is a keeper in my book!!

  9. I made this rice with your skinny coconut shrimp! I used brown rice vs white, did not have habanero and cilantro in a tube (stays fresher longer than fresh cilantro). Simple and delicious!

  10. I made this for dinner tonight along with the cilantro lime shrimp and it was exquisite. Have enough left overs for lunch tomorrow. My husband loves loves spicy so the rice was good for him but it had my nose running. I think next time I'll try a jalapeno instead of the habanero.

  11. Hi Gina – I love your web site and it has inspired me to really give cooking a go. I learned a few lessons cooking this and wanted to share. First, I didn't know that you had to take pepper seeds and insides of the pepper when cooking (guess I should have read the comments before). I just sliced up the pepper according to the directions, so ended up with super hot oil in the bottom of the pan; so hot we had to air out the kitchen to stop coughing. My husband and I love spice but think it would be safer to go with jalapenos, so I'm going to try those for my second go at this recipe.

    The second thing I learned is about the actual rice. My husband got some very meaty round-looking Calrose rice from Whole Foods, and it cooked quickly but was sticky/a tad mushy and didn't separate the way I'd anticipated. So next time I will make regular old Goya rice.

    The third thing thing I learned is something that experienced cooks probably could have guessed, but it's something I didn't realize: I didn't let the rice cool before I put the cilantro and scallions in, and the rice sort of cooked them both. So I ended up with soggy and slightly cooked cilantro and scallions. Next time I will let the rice cool completely, then mix in the cilantro, scallions and lime to keep them crunchy and fresh.

  12. Served this along side your Asian glazed drumsticks! Used a jalapeno, as that's what I had on hand. Watch them temperature of the oil, as I burned my peppers the first go round. Even second guessed the tablespoon of oil at that time. I had to double check the recipe. Wonder how it would turn out if you cut the oil in half? Loved the combination of flavors, esp. the lime juice! Keep 'em coming, Gina!

  13. Just made this today, and it was very good. I used a jalepeno instead of a habanero, as habanero's can be pretty darn hot, depending on who you are serving it to. Also, I doubled the recipe, and i made the mistake of doubling the cilantro, BIG MISTAKE. it was overpowering.

  14. Another great recipe!!! I didn't have habaneros, but I did have anaheim peppers and used them as a substitute. We enjoyed it on Sunday and will definitely make this again!

  15. I made this tonight; I took all of the pepper seeds out and most of the membrane (or so I thought). Delicious but still very spicy. Will make again but think I would prefer the taste of parsley over cilantro and I will be sure to cut ALL of the pepper membrane out!

  16. Hello Gina, So far I love your recipes! Question, what does the term "old points" mean? Why are there two different points values for every recipe?

  17. Avatar photo

    I loved this recipe. I made this tonight for dinner along with the Garlic Shrimp. Delicious. Your recipes are really helping me with WW.