Copycat Chipotle Rice Recipe
Copycat Chipotle Rice Recipe: When you eat a taco, rice isn’t really the main event. After all, it’s mostly there to fill up space. Rice is cheap, so putting a lot of it in your dish is a great way to save money. Still, rice can be boring if you don’t add anything to make it taste better.
That’s what makes the cilantro lime rice at Chipotle so good: Their soft, fluffy rice is perfectly chewy without being sticky. The lime juice gives it a deliciously tangy flavor, and the cilantro gives it a burst of green notes.
It goes well with the strong tastes of Chipotle’s spicy salsas, charred fajita vegetables, or spiced meats. If you want to make it at home, you will need to be careful; About half of your wrap or taco bowl is rice, so it has to taste great.
How can something as easy as white rice be so interesting? All you have to do is pick the right kind of rice and treat it in a certain way before you cook it.
Then, you just need a few flavorings to make rice at home that tastes almost exactly like Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice. Will it have the same great taste as the original? Find out by reading on!
Gather Your Ingredients For Perfect Chipotle Rice Copycat Recipe
The first step in crafting the ultimate Chipotle rice imitation recipe was figuring out what ingredients to use. While Chipotle does not make the ingredients or quantities available, they do provide enough information on their website for us to figure it out.
They concur that bay leaves are steamed with the rice to lend a “herbal fragrance” to the dish. The rice is then seasoned with lime and lemon juices and garnished with cilantro.
They discussed how longer grains of rice are firmer and fluffier, which is why they prefer long-grain white rice.
Then it was just a matter of putting the final puzzle pieces together. We confirmed from their allergies statement that it was both vegetarian and vegan, so adding chicken broth or butter was out.
We were convinced the rice contained some kind of oil to flavor the grains, so we read their write-up on rice bran oil, Chipotle’s preferred cooking oil.
They cook vegetables and meat with it, but they also use it “to season our rice,” so we added it to our list. We then added a pinch of kosher salt to bring all of the tastes together, and our ingredient list was complete.
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What Type Of Rice Can You Use For Perfect Chipotle Rice Copycat Recipe?
You might be wondering the sort of rice we used for our imitation Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe because there are various different varieties of rice. We chose white long-grain rice because that’s what Chipotle uses in its restaurants.
If you don’t have that sort of rice on hand (or if you want to create the brown rice version of Chipotle rice), you can certainly make some substitutions, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Long-grain rice, according to the Whole Grains Council, is the best rice to use if you want fluffy rice since the grains stay separate rather than adhering together.
This largely affects the texture of the rice, so if you use medium- or short-grain rice, your Chipotle rice will be softer and stickier. The recipe will be more fragrant with floral and nutty overtones if you use long-grain basmati rice.
Finally, if you use brown rice to make Chipotle’s cilantro lime brown rice, you’ll need to increase the water to 2-1/2 cups for every cup of rice. Brown rice takes longer to cook as well, so allow 40 to 50 minutes instead of 15 minutes.
Why Rice Bran Oil Is Important For Making Chipotle Rice
Most Chipotle rice recipes call for olive oil, however we discovered that the only oil used by Chipotle is rice bran oil. In fact, some claiming to be Chipotle staff have suggested on Reddit that adding olive oil on the rice will not work as well.
That’s because rice bran oil is exceedingly light, with a faintly nutty flavor that’s practically undetectable. It’s the ideal element for giving the rice texture without overloading it with an oily flavor.
In addition, rice bran oil has been hailed as one of the world’s healthiest oils, with zero trans fats and a slew of vitamins and antioxidants.
Unfortunately, rice bran oil is not always easy to come by. We went to many food stores in our neighborhood, but none of them had the oil. Rice bran oil, on the other hand, is commonly available from internet sellers.
If you can’t wait for the goods to arrive, substitute olive oil for this recipe. Just keep in mind that it will taste heavier and have a stronger flavor.
The First Step For Perfect Chipotle Rice copycat Recipe Is Rinsing The Rice
After we’ve gone over all of the ingredients, it’s time to get started on the rice. Many imitation recipes begin by toasting the rice kernels in oil, but we’re not doing that. While it adds a nutty flavor to the rice, it’s not entirely authentic; a Redditor who used to work at Chipotle confirmed that “no saute is involved.”
But we’re not just going to throw the rice in the rice cooker. One of the most common mistakes when cooking rice is skipping the rinse stage.
Why is this step required? Rinsing long-grain white rice, according to Cook’s Illustrated, is the best approach to ensure the grains are separate and distinct since it removes excess starch off the outside of the grains. As a result, the rice will be fluffy and light rather than sticky and creamy.
You can certainly rinse the rice in a large bowl, and if you want to save water, soak it for a few minutes. Place rice in a strainer under cold running water to clean it quickly and easily. The water should flow clean after a minute or two, and the rice is ready to cook.
Place The Ingredients In The Rice Cooker For Perfect Chipotle Rice Copycat Recipe
It’s time to start cooking now that the excess starch has been washed from the rice. In the bowl of the rice cooker (or a medium-sized saucepan if using the stovetop cooking method), combine the rice, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon rice bran oil, and water.
The bay leaf isn’t a necessary ingredient, but it helps infuse the rice with a herbal smell, so we recommend including it if you want the rice to taste authentic.
Turn on the rice cooker and let it do its job. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover the pot for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the water.
You might be asking why we didn’t use all of the oil and why we didn’t use any salt or oil throughout this phase. These seasonings are typically added prior to boiling the rice, but we confirmed on Reddit that Chipotle adds them at the end.
Employees have stated that the oil is added “in increments, not just all off the top,” and that the salt is added “afterwards during the mixing process, not just to the water.”
Once Cooked, Add The Oil And Let The Copycat Chipotle Rice Rest For 10 Minutes
The most difficult element of this recipe is waiting for the rice to rest. It may not appear to be a critical component, but it makes all the difference, so summon all your patience and wait at least 10 minutes before serving your Chipotle cilantro lime rice.
If you omit this step, you may end up with clumps of rice rather than individual grains. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it won’t have the same texture as Chipotle rice.
Long-grain white rice, for example, contains the most amylose, a starch in rice that does not thicken and gelatinize as it sits. Adding the oil and let the rice to sit without stirring allows the starches to relax, resulting in fluffy, light grains with the nicest texture possible.
This resting period also allows the rice molecules to absorb more moisture as they continue to steam.
Finish The Chipotle Rice With Salt, Cilantro, And Citrus Juice
Now that you’ve summoned all of your patience to let the rice to rest, it’s time to finish it. A Chipotle employee on Reddit suggests adding the salt a little at a time. Chipotle cooks 30 cups of rice at a time, thus seasoning is done a teaspoon at a time.
At home, you’ll probably only need one teaspoon! We recommend adding half of the salt, carefully stirring, and tasting the rice. Add the remaining salt if you believe it requires it.
This is also the time to incorporate the cilantro and citrus juice. Use a sharp knife to chop the cilantro as thinly as possible. The finer the chop, the better it will blend into the rice as you stir.
Chipotle uses a product called “citrus juice,” but you can make it at home by combining equal parts lime and lemon juice a teaspoon of each gives the rice a vibrant flavor with an enticing tang, but feel free to adjust to your liking.
Freshly squeezed juice provides the greatest flavor, so avoid bottled juice whenever possible.
Ways To Serve Perfect Chipotle Rice Copycat Recipe
It’s time to eat the rice now that it’s finished. Our favorite way to enjoy Chipotle cilantro lime rice is in a burrito or as part of a wonderful burrito bowl. These recipes are very simple to make at home and cost a fraction of the price of Chipotle takeout.
Begin by replicating your favorite Chipotle meals, such as their grilled chicken, barbacoa shredded beef, or delectable pork carnitas. Non-Chipotle products, such as battered fish or grilled shrimp, can also be made.
If you want to make a vegetarian bowl, cook up some fajita veggies and a batch of beans (either from a store-bought can or by soaking and cooking dry beans).
It’s all about the toppings from there. Classic toppings include cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole, but feel free to experiment. Try topping your rice with roasted corn or sautéed zucchini, and experiment with different sauces.
Infusing a store-bought sauce with chipotle peppers is an easy way to add a lot of flavor to your rice bowl, but you can also prepare a variety of classic salsas, such as roasted tomatillo, mango, or pineapple. The options are limitless!
How Close Did We Get To The Original Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice?
Overall, we came extremely close. The rice’s texture was perfect. Our grains were fluffy, light, and didn’t clump together thanks to cleaning the rice and allowing it to steam for 10 minutes after cooking.
It worked great wrapped in a tortilla to make a burrito, and it worked just as well without a tortilla in a burrito bowl.
We were pretty stoked to see this turned out the way we wanted it to because nailing the texture was a significant win.
We were slightly off in terms of flavor. The cilantro gave our rice just the proper amount of herbaceous taste, while the rice bran oil supplied just the right amount of flavor and texture.
Just under a teaspoon of salt seemed to be the perfect quantity to flavor our rice without making it too salty.
The lemon and lime juice were our downfall. Chipotle, as previously noted, uses a bottled substance called “citrus juice,” which we assumed was equal parts lemon and lime juice.
Our rice was a little tangier than we’d prefer, so we’ll either cut the amount of citrus juice totally or experiment with the ratio next time.
We assume that adding more lime juice and less lemon juice will get us there. Having said that, our rice tasted really excellent, and we look forward to making it again and again.
- 1 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed,
- 2 cups water,
- 1 bay leaf,
- 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or olive oil),
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt,
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro,
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice,
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice,
Nutrition information for Chipotle Rice
|Amount Per Serving
Note: This information is for one serving of Chipotle Rice. The values may change based on the size of the serving and the ingredients used.
FAQs-Copycat Chipotle Rice Recipe
A copycat Chipotle rice recipe is a recipe that tries to replicate the flavor and texture of the rice served at Chipotle Mexican Grill, a popular fast-food chain in the United States.
If you love the taste of Chipotle’s rice and want to enjoy it at home, making a copycat recipe is a great way to do so. It’s also a more affordable option than buying rice from Chipotle.
You will need white rice, water, salt, lime juice, cilantro, and optionally, butter or oil.
Yes, you can use brown rice instead of white rice. However, the cooking time and liquid ratio may need to be adjusted.
To cook the rice, combine the rice, water, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
To season the rice, mix in lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Yes, you can make the rice ahead of time and reheat it when you’re ready to serve. However, keep in mind that reheated rice may be drier and less fluffy.
You can serve the rice with grilled chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables. You can also use it as a base for burrito bowls or as a side dish.
The rice itself is a healthy source of carbohydrates, but the added salt and butter or oil may increase the calorie count. To make the recipe healthier, you can use less salt and skip the butter or oil.
Yes, you can make the rice in a rice cooker by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then season with lime juice and cilantro as directed.
While a copycat recipe may not be identical to Chipotle’s rice, it can come very close in terms of flavor and texture. It’s a great option for those who want to enjoy the taste of Chipotle at home.