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.

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Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros and Lime

205 Cals 3.5 Protein 37 Carbs 9 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: Mexican


  • 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.


Makes approx 3 cups.


Serving: 3/4 cup, Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 3.5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 144mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: Gluten Free, Vegetarian Meals

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. Made it for lunch today with cilantro lime shrimp it was great!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Has anyone every baked this recipe?

  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. Made this the other night and we all LOVED it! Thank you!

  16. 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!

  17. Yes, you can.

  18. Hey! This looks yummy, can I make it using a rice cooker?

  19. 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?

  20. Yes, points plus is 5, this wasn't updated yet.

  21. I just built this into recipe builder on WW. It says its 5pt per serving. Any idea why? Thanks!

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

  23. So could I!! I love rice!

  24. I love this recipe- Perfectly cooked, good looking and crazy delicious! I could eat the whole pot!

  25. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this with the Asian turkey meatball recipe from this site. Thanks Gina!

  26. Your recipes are easy to follow! Thank you for sharing these recipes. I'll keep coming back, so keep posting! 🙂

  27. Awesome crafty!!

  28. I made this for dinner tonight, the very first time following a recipe ever!
    It was sooo good-Hubby and his cousin LOVED it 🙂 Your recipes are so easy to follow and very ACCURATE!!

  29. Interesting fact, when cooked, it has a very mild flavor, you don;t even know it's there, start with that!

  30. This is for anonymous – I know, cilantro tastes like soap because we only taste 1 of the 27 flavonoids. It's also in Thai and Indian food like chutney. The Wall Street Journal said that we can get a tolerance for it if we eat tiny bits often.

  31. No, leave it out if you're not a fan!

  32. Hi Gina, I absolutely cannot tolerate the taste of cilantro (so sad considering I love Mexican food!), but would like to try this out anyway. Would it ruin the recipe to leave out cilantro when I make it?

  33. 3 pointsplus per serving

  34. Could you please update the points for this recipe?? Thank you so much!!

  35. This is just delicious! Actually we've had it three times in the past couple months. We really like it with the Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce. Thanks for sharing, Gina! :O)

  36. I just found your site and I just started WW last week. I am VERY excited about both. This looks like a Great recipe!! Do you know if points change based on brown vs white rice?

  37. Remove the seeds and the membrane on the habanero pepper and it won't be spicy.

  38. Just made this with the garlic shrimp. Excellent, but very, very spicy!

  39. This was so good!! I made it with the garlic shrimp…YUM!

  40. Wonderful!!

  41. Just finished having dinner made the rice with chicken fajitas… It was sooo good, most important my husband loved it!!

  42. Funny you should ask, I just made it with brown rice to see. I thought it was great but different than the white fluffy rice. When using brown rice add 2 1/2 cups water and let it cook a little longer on a low flame.

  43. How do you think it would be with brown rice?

  44. You're welcome Kelly!! I liked it so much I made it again last night! It was inspired by my Cilantro Lime Rice.

  45. This sounds and looks fantastic. Stopping to pick up cilantro and pepper tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

  46. No, it's not spicy actually. The pepper is mild but if you want it spicy you can use a chili pepper or jalepeno instead.

    • You're kidding right? The habanero chili is one of the more intensely spicy species of chili peppers. Jalapeno pepper is nothing compared to a habanero chili.

  47. Is the habanero in this very spicy? I like very spicy food. Would it do well to kick up the habanero a notch? Looks wonderful! Can't wait for the shrimp dish tomorrow! Keep them coming! Love browsing your website!

  48. Mmmmm…. I can't wait to try this! Looking forward to the shrimp recipe too.

  49. I love the idea of lime in here

  50. that looks amazing! I love cilantro lime rice, I also love how it has a kick to it from the habanero pepper

  51. Because of the lime, it pairs nice with something spicy!

  52. Sounds yummy!

  53. This sounds good!

  54. This looks like a delicious pilaf, perfect to serve with just about anything! I love the pretty green color from the fresh herbs. 🙂