Cilantro Lime Chicken Rice Bowl

I saw this recipe on Good Things Utah and didn’t think too much of it.  They had the girl back on to do an ice cream recipe, and one of the hosts kept talking about how she had made this rice bowl after the last show and it was unbelievable.  So I made it.  And we think it’s pretty darn yummy, too.  It goes together quite fast – don’t be intimidated by all the directions and sub-recipes below.  I made half the dressing, and we had plenty of leftovers.  I froze some chicken in the marinade for later, so it will be a quick dinner one night.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ C cilantro lime marinade, recipe below or bottled Cilantro lime rice, recipe below
  • 1 C Mango salsa
  • ¾ C Sour cream
  • ½ C finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 ½ C Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Tomatillo Ranch Dressing, recipe below
  • Extra cilantro and limes, for garnish
  1. Place chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag.  Add prepared marinade and mix to coat.  Marinate for 4 hours to overnight.
  2. While chicken is marinating, prepare tomatillo ranch dressing and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  3. 30 minutes before removing chicken from marinade, prepare cilantro lime rice as directed. Set aside for later use.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and grill in skillet or on the grill.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes then shred with fork.
  5. While chicken is cooking, mix sour cream and ½ C chopped cilantro together.
  6. To compile rice bowl, place desired amount of rice in an oven safe bowl. (Preferably the same bowl you’ll serve it in)  Top rice with the following in this order: shredded chicken, cilantro sour cream, mango salsa, and finally shredded pepper jack cheese.
  7. Place rice bowl under the broiler just until cheese is melted and the dish is warmed through.  Serve with a drizzle of the tomatillo ranch dressing, garnish with cilantro and lime then enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Marinade


  • ¾ C vegetable oil
  • Juice and zest of two limes
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ C finely chopped cilantro


  1. Add all ingredients except oil to a food processor or blender.
  2. Slowly drizzle oil in while food processor is running.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing


  • 1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet
  • 1 C mayo
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 5 sml-med tomatillos
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded or not depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*This makes about 4 cups of dressings but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
*Leftover dressing is fabulous on any fresh ‘south-of-the-border’-style chicken or pork salads.

Cilantro-Lime Rice


1 cup uncooked rice
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
zest of one lg lime
2 cups hot water
1 chicken bullion cube
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add hot water and bullion.
  3. As soon as water comes to a boil and bullion is dissolved, stir in rice and reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and add lime zest, juice, cilantro, garlic and sugar.
  6. Fluff rice with fork, stirring ingredients together as you do so.  Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Cilantro Lime Chicken Rice Bowl

  1. Pingback: Salmon Tacos « Julie Cooks!

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