Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple

CATEGORIES: Latin, Rice, Tropical

This Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple is one of my most favorite personal creations.  There’s something about hot buttery rice that makes me feel warm and cozy inside, and with the addition of some of my favorite flavors, this has become a regular on our menu. It’s both sweet and savory- and if adding pineapple to rice sounds weird to you, I dare you to try it.  This simple rice dish pairs perfectly with both Polynesian and Latin style dishes, and even a lot of Asian recipes, like Teriyaki Chicken.

lime cilantro rice with pineapple in dish

What kind of pineapple do you use for Lime Cilantro Rice with Pineapple?

I originally always made this recipe with a can of pineapple tidbits, but after so many of our readers commented they loved the crushed pineapple, I switched over and agree!  It just kind of melts into the finished dish and adds sweetness and flavor without big chunks.  People often ask if they can use fresh pineapple, and you certainly can, if you have one, but I actually prefer the canned.  Sometimes I leave out the pineapple (often for Latin style dishes- I just go with lime and cilantro), and throw in a can of black beans, or use it for fajita stuffing. It’s a really quick side dish to toss together and a nice change from your every day white rice.

crushed pineapple

How do you make Lime Cilantro Rice?

You don’t need to do anything special with the rice- just make white rice as normal.  When it’s all done, you’ll throw some butter in there to melt all over and make things delicious.

hot buttered rice in pot

And then just toss in your pineapple, some chopped cilantro, a big squeeze of lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

lime cilantro rice

It’s so quick and easy and SO good.

lime cilantro rice

What do I serve with Lime-Cilantro Rice:

Try it with:

Asian BBQ Chicken
Sweet and Savory Flank Steak
Rosemary Pineapple Flank Steak
Teriyaki Bacon Wrapped Chicken Skewers
Hawaiian Flanken Style Ribs


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lime cilantro rice with pineapple

Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Yield: serves 4 1x


This sweet and savory rice pairs perfectly with nearly any meal, but especially Asian and Island inspired flavors. Definitely double if feeding a family or larger group!



1 cup dry white rice, cooked according to directions
2 tablespoons real butter
Juice from 1 large lime, or two smaller ones (taste as you go, I add a lot!)
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained (You may want 2 small cans)
½¾ cups chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook rice. As soon as it’s done, toss in the butter and stir to melt. Add lime juice, pineapple, and cilantro. Stir to combine, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


You’ll want to serve this right away, if you don’t, the flavors tend to mellow a bit and you’ll probably need to add more lime juice because the rice kind of sucks it up.If you’re not quite ready to eat when your rice finishes cooking, just toss in the butter and keep a lid on it so it stays warm.Then right before you serve it, toss it all together.

Depending on your preference, you can substitute the crushed pineapple with canned pineapple chunks or even fresh pineapple cut or diced to your liking.


This is especially amazing with :

Chili-Lime Mango Chicken Skewers

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Sweet and Savory Flank Steak

Asian BBQ Chicken


  1. I can say from personal experience that this rice is AMAZING! (Although I don’t think it had pineapple in it when I tried it; that must be a recent addition that I bet only makes it better.)

  2. I loooooooooooooooooooove this! One of my favorites! I actually love to use crushed pineapple which was totally an accident because I meant to buy tidbits and came home with crushed instead, but I really liked how crushed mixes in texture and flavor-wise.

  3. I agree with Kate. I made it with crushed because it was all I had, and I loved it. The only thing is you should eat it all the day you make it (which won’t be hard because it’s so good). When I made it, I had leftovers, and when I reheated it the next day, the pineapple got all rubbery and just wasn’t the same as the first day.

  4. Bec, sometimes I do pineapple, and sometimes not. Depends on what I’m serving it with.

    And I’ll have to try it with crushed; I’ve thought about it before, but never done it!

  5. So is it still yummy w/o the pineapple? My hubby hates warm pineapple so I’m thinking I’ll leave it out. But, I don’t want to loose out on the yummy goodness!!

  6. ruby, it’s totally still awesome without pineapple. I leave it out sometimes too, just depends on what I’m eating it with (or if I even have pineapple in my pantry at the time).

    And this may sound super strange to some of you, but I also love it with toasted slivered almonds instead of pineapple. Delish!

  7. Hey Sarah! Katie just gave me your food blog. I am so excited, it looks amazing!!! I have a food blog too, but it is pathetic compared with this one. I am so excited to try so much of your stuff. I put a link to yours on mine too, mostly so I can go to it a lot! happy cooking!
    Molly Evans

  8. My family loved this rice! They aren’t so sure about the cilantro, but they will get another chance to decide! Yum is what everyone said when they smelled the pineapple and cilantro while I was mixing it all together.

  9. Ok, so I am admitting that I am blog illiterate. Sara posted something on my blog and I don't know how to respond. I tried but it just showed up on my blog so I copied and posted it here. Yes I am a blog nerd I admit. Here it is!

    Sara – thank you and thank you! You know that picture on the blog is really a fake family and I just posted it there… just kidding. Someone told me we looked like a wireless commercial all lined up showing all the bars. Too funny. We couldn't find one picture where my little guy was looking at the camera. We tried every bribe imaginable. If you look close you can see buggars, tear streaks and sugar all over his face. Italy was amazing and the food was to die for. Hopefully i will find time in my life before I turn 80 to post more pix.

    You know your blog has been my meal group life saver. People think I am a good cook and you are my secret – not to worry, I do give you all the credit and tell people about your blog all the time. Your recipes are ALWAYS amazing. I made something the other day that didn't turn out and sure enough it was a recipe from *gasp* another blog. Go figure. I know that anything you guys recommend will be fabulous. Thanks for the link. I love the rice.

  10. I LOVE this rice! I used brown rice though, and it turned out great! My husband isn't a rice guy, and he even said he liked it. I made the Asian BBQ chix with it, and it was a great meal! Thanks so much!

  11. I made this for my family last week and they didn't care for it but we're not fans of cilantro, I even cut the amount back a ton. Next time I guess I'll try the Sweet and Savory coconut rice and hope they like it better.

  12. This rice got a surprised-sounding "Mmmm!" from my husband. I made your pork chops (instead of tenderloin) with chimichurri sauce and pepper-tomato salad to go with it. Sounds like a weird combination, but the tangy and sweet really worked well together! Thanks!

  13. I'm excited to try this. I know my husband will love it, and I love the lime cilantro combo so much that people find it amazing I've never lived outside the western U.S.

  14. This rice is great! Thanks for posting up this delicious recipe! I tried this with fresh pineapple and it's absolutely yummy too 🙂 love the cilantro lime combination as well…I'll be keeping this to do again soon!

  15. I made this last night to serve with shrimp quesadillas. It was delicious–I have a new favorite rice recipe. Love your blog.

  16. This was SO good!! Although, I must admit that I wasn't prepared for it to be as sticky as it turned out. But my family ate it up!!! We'll DEFINITELY be using this recipe again!

    Actually, I haven't yet found an "Our Best Bites" recipe that I haven't loved!! They're ALL wonderful!! 😀

  17. Wonder what I did wrong. We didn't care for this at all. I used crushed pineapple, but it wasn't the texture, it was the taste- just not for us. Still looking for a jazzed up rice dish we will love!d

  18. I just made this with some grilled chicken. Although it was a bit…"gooey" I loved the flavor. I used fresh pineapple and it was fabulous!

  19. I tried this even though it is not my normal style. It was wonderful! My husband asked me to make it again soon. I served it with tortilla crusted chicken and mexican black beans from the blog Cooking During Stolen Moments. Made an amazing meal! Thanks for sharing. Oh, we also had no problem with the leftovers. We just didn't heat them to totally steaming so the pineapple wouldn't be too cooked!

    1. Kristen, when I make knock-off Cafe Rio salads I make this rice, but without the pineapple. You can also add a can of green chilies to the rice while it cooks!

  20. Hey Sara, just wanted you to know that I made this recipe (no pineapple) tonight and used quinoa instead of rice, and it turned out great! (I love quinoa!) I also used olive oil instead of butter to take the calorie count down a bit and I cooked it in my rice cooker. I served it with cilantro-lime grilled fish tacos and your mango pico de gallo. It was heavenly! My new favorite dinner! Thank you, thank you!

  21. As someone who lived in Brasil for two years, I LOVE all the Brazilian recipes here. For the rice, instead adding citrus, in Teresina they would slice some banana. MMMM, can’t wait to try this recipe with banana! Thanks. 🙂

  22. How much cilantro do you use if you use the dried kind that is in the spice aisle? The same amount? That seems like a lot!

    1. The general rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dry. But really, for this recipe I’d use fresh if you can!

  23. What is the serving size for this recipe? Have a dinner party 3/8/12 and want to try this dish. Just need to know if I’m going to have to double the recipe….

  24. Probably 4-6? It’s one cup dry rice, so just think about how much you normally cook for your family and go from there. Depends on whether it’s a side dish or main dish…

  25. I just made this for dinner tonight, i had it with the sweet and spicy honey grilled Shimp and i swear to you the two dishes married and had a honeymoon in my mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was GREAT. I love it will post it on my blog,, soon and of course link to you.

  26. Made this for our island themed party, although I left out the pineapple since it was in so many other dishes that day. I’m not a big fan of lime myself but everyone enjoyed it! We didn’t have any rice left and my husband requested I make it again. Great recipe!

  27. I’m making this with the chili lime mango chicken skewers, so will leave out the pineapple-subbing brown rice. I love your recipes so consistently I now search your site with a key word first before going elsewhere to get your spin on something. Between you and Smitten Kitchen my joy of cooking and Marc bitman books are getting dusty!

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