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Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans

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Ready for an easy meal your whole family is going to love? Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans works as either a side dish or main meal.


Main image for Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans


This delightful dish, inspired by Mexican cuisine, is a riot of super yummy and simple. It’s perfect pairing with pretty much any meal!

With its bright citrus flavor from lime juice mingling with the aromatic fresh cilantro, this rice and beans combo is a classic that everyone loves.

The black beans have a rich, earthy kind of undertone that anchors the whole thing and rounds off the flavors beautifully. 

Don’t be surprised if you find everyone coming back for seconds or even thirds!

You can serve this as either a side or main dish too! It’s hearty enough but light enough for either!

Not to mention super delicious and easy to make too! 

It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you just need something and suddenly your teenager is bringing a friend! That kind of meal!

Plus it’s packed with protein and fiber, which means it tastes good and is good for you too! Score!

This black beans with rice recipe is a meal prep superstar. The flavors actually get better overnight, making the dish even more delicious the next day.

Tangy, earthy, and fresh flavors! This dish is family favorite and perfect for parties and potlucks!


All ingredients for cilantro rice and black beans


What Ingredients Are in Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans?

This cilantro lime rice recipe makes a wonderful Mexican rice and is an easy recipe!

If you’re running to the grocery stores, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rice: I think basmati goes best here. It’s a good solid base.
  • Water: To fluff up and cook the rice!
  • Cilantro: If you’re a cilantro hater, leave it out.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime if you’ve got it but you can also used bottled lime if you need to.
  • Black beans: These add a hearty, satisfying element to the dish, turning the rice into a complete protein-packed meal.

Pro Tips:

  • If you’ve got leftover rice, you could always use that instead.
  • Swap out the basmati for long grain rice, brown rice, or jasmine rice.


Rice and water in a pot, ready to cook


How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

Can you get Mexican restaurant quality rice at home? Yes! Yes you can! It’s a great meal too!

  1. Boil rice in water (you’ll need a large skillet or pot for this.)
  2. Add in the black beans, fresh chopped cilantro, and fresh lime juice.
  3. Done! So stinking easy that even your kids could help!

Pro Tip: Check the rice after cooking. You don’t want it to still be hard. If it is, cook it longer.


Cooked rice with lime juice, cilantro and black beans added


What Meat Goes with Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

This Mexican-inspired meal is a great side that pairs well with a bunch of different meats. 

I find it’s a great option for summer barbecues because it goes so well with pretty much everything. Sour Cream Chicken Marinade, Pan Fried Steaks, or Pesto Grilled Shrimp? All of the above.

And if you’re a fan of Mexican-inspired meals, try it goes well with any Mexican flavored meats.

It’s also perfect in Pork Carnitas Bowls with either chicken or beef  Or even with some Salsa Verde or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for those who like it hot.

Try it paired with these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls! I promise you’ll love it!

Honestly, there’s not much meat you couldn’t serve this with.


wooden spoon mixing black beans into the rice


What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

Think Mexican food! Think Smoked Chicken Tacos, burritos, and Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas. This side dish goes well with all of them! 

Honestly, this is one of my favorite recipes because it just pairs so well with soooo many different things.

If you’re hosting a Mexican night, you can feel pretty safe putting this on the table.

A super yummy meal that’s easy too? Add Blueberry Salad, Guacamole with Red Onion, and a dollop of sour cream. Sooo good!

And don’t forget the tortilla chips! Those are always a must!


wooden spoon scooping a portion of rice out of pot


Can You Use Black Beans with Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

Absolutely! Black beans have a hearty flavor and are really popular in a lot of Mexican dishes.

You could choose to swap if you need too though. I’d recommend pinto beans if you do. They seem to pair well with the other flavors.

I’d stay away from kidney beans though. I find the flavor really doesn’t go very well.

And you can use canned black beans!

I mostly cook with canned black beans because letting them sit overnight always slips my mind.

Plus it’s just faster!

Just be sure to rinse and drain them first to remove any excess salt and starch.


top view looking down at cilantro lime rice with black beans


Is Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans Healthy?

Fiber? Check! Protein? Check! Happy mama and kids? Check!

While I prefer the white rice, you could also swap it for brown rice if preferred. I know some people prefer it’s health benefits.

The fresh cilantro and lime add vitamins and antioxidant too! So it’s really a pretty healthy meal!

How to Store Leftover Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

Store leftovers in the fridge. The rice tends to dry out if left on the counter so be sure to keep them covered in an airtight container. 

The rice and beans will stay good for up to five days (though I always eat it up before that!) If you notice any bad smells or looks, they’ve probably gone bad.

This is great for meal prep! I like to get it ready on Sunday night and then I’ve got some to eat the whole week.

It’s perfect for lunch all week.

Plus, it actually tastes just as good later. I think it’s because the flavors actually blend better over time.


small bowl full of black beans and rice


How to Reheat Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans?

You can reheat rice and beans on the stove top. Keep the temp low to medium heat so they don’t burn. 

You may need to add little water or chicken broth to prevent the rice from drying out. 

Stir occasionally until heated through. 

You can also reheat it in the microwave. Cook for a couple minutes or until hot, stirring halfway through the cooking process.

Be careful not to overcook it. And be sure to add a little liquid if it feels dry.


fork full of rice and black beans and being lifted above bowl


Additional recipes to serve this with…

This Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Bean is a simple and hearty side dish or meal that’s perfect for any day of the week.

It’s an easy-to-make dish your whole family will love (promise!) Perfect for meal prep or a weeknight dinner! Enjoy!


wooden spoon scooping a portion of rice out of pot

Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans Recipe makes an excellent side dish to Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo! This dish is easy and flavorful.


  • 1 cup Basmati or long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Bring your rice and water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  2. Turn heat off, and let rice sit for 5 more minutes.
  3. Mix in lime juice, chopped cilantro and black beans.



Wednesday 8th of May 2024

This makes such a great side dish for taco Tuesday. I even like putting it in my tacos!


Wednesday 8th of May 2024

The Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans was absolutely delicious! So simple, yet so full of flavor. It was the perfect side dish for our taco night.


Wednesday 8th of May 2024

The addition of cilantro and lime brought the rice to a different level! And the beans was just perfect with it too! I could eat a bowl of this just on its own!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

So glad I tried this dish! The fresh flavors really come through and it pairs well with everything! This dish became my new go-to side dish!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

I finally tried this dish and it was so much better than I expected! The flavors were amazing, and it was so easy to make! This was a total winner to the whole family, definitely a keeper!

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