Spicy Cilantro Rice

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I have two complete and utter obsessions lately that, no matter what, I can’t shake. One of them is rewatching all three seasons of Arrested Development (ILLUSIONS DAD! THEY ARE ILLUSIONS!) and the other is cilantro. I mean I’m SERIOUSLY addicted. But I guess having an addiction to a show and a spice is better than say, crack cocaine or meth right? I mean, that’s a plus side? Last week I satisfied both of my addictions by eating an entire family size helping of this spicy cilantro rice while watching (and quoting with a mouthful of food) season one of Arrested Development.

Spicy cilantro rice

“His eyebrow just fell into the candy beans!” In addition to watching it all for the 15th time, I’m also speckling my everyday conversations with quotes, like the one I began this paragraph with. And most of the time they actually don’t make any sense to the context of the conversation. Like, Elliot asked me to help him yesterday and instead of a normal “YES!” or, more like me “Give me ten minutes” (which turn into hours), I said “I’m a scholar mother! I enjoy scholarly pursuits!” Then I threw in “A magician called Gob!” If you’ve never seen the show or just have a life that doesn’t involve watching it over and over, you probably have the same look on your face that he did yesterday. So…SPICY RICE!

Spicy habenero rice

I actually made this rice before I made the creamy cilantro pasta last week (but I mean, I can’t not share a creamy pasta, right)? Although honestly, this rice is JUST as good. I’m not even kidding. It’s like the rice you get when you order a burrito from Chipotle, but spicier. Those little orange bits in the rice? Chopped habaneros. They add the perfect kick without being too hot. Like the time I forgot to deseed the jalapeños and had to use an ice pack on my tongue.

Super spicy rice

You could eat this on its own like I did just straight from the serving platter with a fork, or you could serve it with fish, in burritos, alongside your favorite chicken. It’s so versatile  And with Cinco de Mayo coming up, it’s the perfect side dish to your zesty fiesssstaaa. And while you are fiesting (it’s a word) why not invite me over? I’ll bring some margaritas!

“Even if it means taking a chubby, I’ll suck it up!”

Spicy Cilantro Rice

Easy spicy cilantro rice


Makes 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: About 15 minutes


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, deseeded and halved
  • 2 habaneros, deseeded and halved
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a glass baking dish with foil and cover with nonstick cooking spray. Place the jalapeños, habeneros and garlic cloves on the foil. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes or until darkened and garlic is fragrant. 
  2. In a medium sauce pan, bring the water to a boil. Add salt and rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the rice is soft and tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Drain the water and place the rice in a large bowl.
  3. In a food processor, add the oil, cilantro, jalapeños, habaneros, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt and pepper. Pulse on low until slightly pureed. Mix the cilantro mixture to the rice and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per 1/2 cup:

Calories:  118.5
Fat: 6.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 12.25 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Weight Watchers Points: 3

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  1. Posted by Liz @ The Lemon Bowl on
    Monday, April 8th, 2013
    I want to dive into this!!!
  2. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    I love Arrested Development so much. I can't wait for the new episodes to be released in a few weeks!
  3. Posted by Meagan @ A Zesty Bite on
    Monday, April 8th, 2013
    I am addicted to cilantro too! It smells so good! Love cilantro rice!
  4. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    I adore cilantro too, which goes to show that your tastes do change over time. I used to hate it! This rice would be great for burrito bowls. My family loves those.
  5. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    We must be kindred spirits because I spent yesterday testing recipes and re watching season 1 of arrested development. Quite possibly the most underrated, best show on television. I've seen it dozens of times and it seriously never gets old... Steve Holt!
  6. Posted by Kathryn on
    Monday, April 8th, 2013
    Love the idea of this spicy and flavourful rice. It's definitely got me in the party mood!
  7. Posted by carrian on
    Monday, April 8th, 2013
    That looks like all kinds of crazy delicious! YUUUUUM!!!
  8. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    Pretty sure I could LIVE off of this.
  9. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    this looks so gooooood!!!
  10. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    Such a great, flavorful rice recipe, Claire! I can so see myself making this for Mexican meals and weeknight side dishes. Thanks for sharing! Also - your Arrested Dev. obsession is shared in this house (big time) by me and my hubby! ;D
  11. Monday, April 8th, 2013
    GAH, I love cilantro rice. It's one of those things that I can eat endlessly. And yours looks SO delicious - yum!
  12. Posted by Laura (Tutti Dolci) on
    Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
    I love cilantro, perfect in this rice!
  13. Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
    Love cilantro rice! I want a big bowl of this right now!
  14. Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
    I'm in love with this rice! I want to put cilantro in all the things!
  15. Posted by Bree {Skinny Mommy} on
    Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
    I love cilantro too and this rice sounds perfect--with the little punch of jalapeno too!
  16. Posted by Donna on
    Thursday, April 11th, 2013
    This recipe will stun "gone paleo" by subbing in grated celeriac root or cauliflower "rice"...Cannot wait...delish the recipe...love me my cilantro..a used and abused ingredient in our household!
  17. Posted by Barbie on
    Saturday, April 13th, 2013
    That looks too friggin good for words! Can't wait to make it as I too am obsessed with cilantro. BTW, I just blue myself.