Cilantro Lime Dressing
This Cilantro Lime Dressing has incredible flavor and only requires a handful of ingredients. It’s a fresh, creamy and balanced dressing that elevates any salad.
If you’re not a fan of the typical salad bars at the grocery store, I totally get you.
Staring at steel buckets full of standard cut up vegetables and bottled salad dressings doesn’t make me excited about eating salad.
When I eat a salad, I want thoughtfully selected ingredients that truly go together, plus a flavorful dressing that’s more than just olive oil and a little vinegar.
This creamy cilantro lime dressing is one of the best tasting dressings I know of, which is no surprise given the ingredients that are in it. Each one has so much flavor, as all things “Cilantro Lime” usually do.
This recipe is similar to my Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce in flavor, but more of a zingy and tangy take that makes it more akin to a salad dressing or vinaigrette.
It’s well-suited to many different types of salad, but especially Mexican-themed ingredients.
This Steak Salad with queso fresco, avocado, tomatoes, and more, ties up perfectly with a drizzle of this good stuff.
I’ve also used this for chicken-centered salads, and sometimes drizzle it on pork too.
The nice thing about this dressing is you can make it in the blender.
Just like Basil Vinaigrette, Romesco, and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, simply toss in a bunch of ingredients and push the button. That’s all the work involved. I’m such a fan of blender sauces and dressings!
What’s in it?
Cilantro, jalapeño, fresh lime, garlic, yogurt, and olive oil are the main ingredients and flavors, with a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning.
It might seem like a simple ingredient list, but the flavor is outstanding. Let’s make it!
How to Make It Step-by-Step:
Place all the prepped ingredients except the olive oil into a blender, and add salt and pepper as well:
Blend the ingredients up until smooth:
Then add the olive oil and mix briefly, just until the oil is incorporated:
The reason we wait to add the olive oil at the end is because blended olive oil tends to become bitter in flavor.
So we blend everything else first, then mix in the oil.
The dressing will have a creamy quality to it, but is still thin enough to be a dressing:
FAQ and Tips
Storing Leftovers: You can store the dressing for about 5 days before the flavor starts to deteriorate. I have no trouble using it up, and find it to be the perfect pairing for the steak salad.
Herbs: Cilantro is the best, but basil is also an interesting herb to substitute here. It goes really well with salads that have corn.
Oil: Instead of olive oil, you can substitute avocado oil.
Greek Yogurt: You can substitute an equal amount of avocado, or mayonnaise. If using avocado, it will not keep well for more than a day.
More Easy Sauces Made In the Blender:
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1 bunch cilantro*
- 1 jalapeno
- 3 large cloves garlic minced (2 tbsp minced)
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 6 tbsp (3 ounces) extra virgin olive oil
- If the ends of the cilantro stems look brown or old, trim them off, keeping as much of the stem as possible. The stems blend well and have great flavor.
- Cut the stem off the jalapeno, and remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno if you desire. Keeping those in will make the dressing more spicy, and they will blend up just fine.
- Place the cilantro, jalapeno, minced garlic, lime juice, yogurt, salt, and pepper into a blender, and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Add the olive oil, and blend for a few seconds, until just incorporated.
- Taste and make any necessary seasoning adjustments. Then enjoy!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in July 2021. Originally published May 2018.