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Oven Baked Rice – Barefeet in the Kitchen


Tart lime juice and peppery cilantro infuse the long, fluffy grains of rice with fabulous flavor in this simple Oven Baked Rice.

The cilantro lime rice has been completely mixed and is ready to serve.

Oven Baked Rice

Oven. Baked. Rice. This is a game changer, my friends, and there’s no better way to try it for the first time than in this cilantro lime rice. I tried baking rice in the oven once years ago when I first heard about it. But, I was unimpressed.

But, THIS rice? Spectacular. I could have eaten a whole pan full by myself, and my kids really enjoyed it, too. It became an instant staple over here.

I found this cilantro lime rice recipe in from my friend Jessica‘s cookbook, Good Cheap Eats, Dinner in 30 Minutes (or less!). It is filled with 300 easy recipes to help simplify dinner prep for healthy, unprocessed meals.

If you’re wondering how to bake rice in oven, you’ll be glad you learned. It so easy! It takes just moments to mix the ingredients. Pop it into the oven, and less than 30 minutes later, the rice is perfectly cooked.

A close up shot of the cooked cilantro lime rice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

I served each bowl with a lime wedge to squeeze over the top for even more tang. My youngest two boys preferred to eat their rice without extra lime, but Sam and I squeezed extra lime all over our rice and loved that extra flavor.

The cilantro lime rice kept well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and we enjoyed it with Southwest Chicken Bits for dinner and with tacos later that week for lunch. This rice is also amazing tucked into burritos, on salads, and any other way you like to enjoy your rice.

the rice has been seasoned in a blue baking dish, ready to stir.

One of my favorite things about oven baked rice is that you can get your rice started in the oven, then have the whole stovetop free to cook the rest of your meal. That makes this rice recipe a great side dish option for a quick weeknight meal or for those big gatherings when every stove burner is spoken for.

Baked rice can serve as a side dish or you can gussy it up with your favorite meats (I can’t wait to try chicken and bacon) and veggies (broccoli, peas, carrots, celery… the list goes on!). And, don’t forget the cheese!

If you’ve never made rice in the oven before, I definitely recommend giving it a try. Let me know which ingredients you add to the mix, and how it turned out!

An action shot, pouring liquid over the seasoned rice.

How to Cook Rice in the Oven

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • basmati rice, jasmine rice, or other long-grain rice
  • ground cumin
  • salt
  • boiling water
  • lime juice
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges (optional)
The baking dish has been covered with heavy duty aluminum foil in this top down image.

Making this rice recipe is no more complicated than making rice on the stove top. Start by preheating the oven to 425°F. While it heats, lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking or casserole dish with butter or oil.

Add the 2 cup of rice, cumin, and salt to the baking dish and stir to distribute the spices. Then, spread the rice mixture out in an even layer before pouring in the cups of water.

Cover the pan tightly with its lid, or you can use heavy duty aluminum foil, sealing all the edges. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and stir.

The cooked rice has been fluffed with a fork, and there are cilantro leaves and lime wedges visible in the background.

If most of the liquid has not been absorbed, then bake rice in oven uncovered for an additional 3-5 minutes. Afterward, remove from the oven and let it rest for 3-5 minutes.

Before serving, fluff the white rice with a fork, drizzle with lime juice, and sprinkle with the cilantro. Then, stir to combine. Serve with additional lime wedges, if desired.

If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, leftover rice keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. And, don’t forget that leftovers are perfect for making meat lover’s fried rice!

Squeezing half a lime over the cooked rice in a blue casserole dish.

This baked rice with cilantro and lime is in our regular rotation of rice dishes, alongside tried and true favorites like Mushroom and Pepper Rice Pilaf and this Fried Rice with Ham and Vegetables (it’s better than takeout!).

More baked rice recipes you might enjoy include  hearty Baked Rice with Sausage and Peppers by Belly Full, Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions by 365 Days of Baking and Baked Mushroom Rice by Recipe Girl.

A close up shot of the cooked cilantro lime rice.

We also really enjoy this stove top variation on these flavors in Pineapple Rice with Cilantro and Lime. If you’re looking for a rice dish with a little hint of heat, be sure to give Chipotle Lime Rice a try as well.

Shrimp and Sausage Fried Rice is another on the list of our favorite dinners. This easy recipe is a “two thumbs up,” kid-approved, hearty-as-can-be skillet meal; perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

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Servings: 6 -8 servings

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  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with butter or oil. Combine the rice, cumin, and salt in the pan and stir to distribute the spices. Spread in an even layer. Pour in the boiling water.

  • Cover the pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, sealing all the edges. Bake the rice for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. If most of the water has not been absorbed, bake uncovered for an additional 3-5 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, drizzle with lime juice, and sprinkle with the cilantro. Stir to combine. Serve with additional lime wedges, if desired.

Calories: 228kcal · Carbohydrates: 50g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 0.5g · Saturated Fat: 0.1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g · Sodium: 400mg · Potassium: 86mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 0.2g · Vitamin A: 52IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 26mg · Iron: 1mg

{originally published 1/18/16 – recipe notes updated 2/19/24}

white lettering has been overlaid this image of cilantro lime rice in a dark blue baking dish. it reads, "oven baked cilantro lime rice"

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