Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Copycat recipe for Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing is fresh and creamy with a hint of spice. We LOVE this stuff!

I may or may not be obsessed with Café Rio and love to whip it up at home with my own copycat recipes! We love their Shredded Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, and especially their signature Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing!

Mason jar filled with cafe rio cilantro ranch dressing


We have a favorite recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing, but when it comes to Mexican dishes, Café Rio dressing is the ONLY way to go!

I’ve been on a QUEST to find the perfect Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing, and I’m happy to tell you that quest is over!

We made a few modifications to a recipe we found in a church cookbook, and VOILA – the perfect Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing Recipe.

This Cafe Rio dressing is DELICIOUS!! You’ll want this stuff with everything! We have it on our tacos, chips, quesadillas, salad—you name it!! 

SO glad we finally found the recipe that is most like the real deal.

Ingredients for cafe rio cilantro ranch dressing

5 minutes + a blender

All you need to make this tasty cilantro ranch dressing is 5 minutes of time and a good blender (or food processor).

JUST BLEND! Throw all the ingredients (minus milk) into the blender, blend, and then add milk until it’s a consistency you like. I prefer it right in the middle of thick and thin, so I add about ⅓ cup.

NOTE: The recipe sets up and becomes more thick if you store it in the fridge. Add more milk (and whisk) if needed right before serving.

Ingredients for cafe rio house dressing


A lot of the copycat recipes I’ve seen include tomatillos, but we decided not to. If you like the flavor tomatillos add, feel free to use 1-2.

Some other add-ins/subs you might like:

  • lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili powder or cumin (for more of a Tex-Mex taste)
  • Switch out your mayonnaise or sour cream for plain greek yogurt if you want something lighter.
Salad topped with cafe rio cilantro ranch dressing.

Making AHead + STORING

Make ahead of time: I personally prefer making cilantro ranch dressing a day or two ahead of when I want to use it, because then it has time to sit in the fridge and let the flavors all combine.

To STORE, put it in an airtight container, a glass jar with a lid, or even reuse an empty dressing bottle. If stored properly, it should last for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Note. I’m not sure how well this would freeze just because I know that dairy doesn’t always thaw well after being frozen. It might be worth a try because some people have had success freezing ranch dressing in ice cube trays or in muffin tins.

To FREEZE it, pour it into the ice cube tray or muffin tins and freeze. When it is frozen then pop them out and put them in a freezer safe ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve it, pull out the desired amount and let it thaw in a bowl on the counter.

You may need to stir it before eating. Let me know how it goes!

Mason jar filled with cafe rio dressing

use this dressing on:

Cafe Rio Dressing Recipe

4.77 from 26 votes
Copycat recipe for Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing is fresh and creamy with a hint of spice. We LOVE this stuff!
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 2052 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 1 packet ranch dip dressing (or 3 tbsp)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-3 tsp diced jalapenos
  • ⅓ to 1/2 cups milk


  • Blend all ingredients in the blender. Add milk until it’s the consistency you want (I did about ⅓ cup).

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 1 star
    Recipe calls for ranch dip mix. Huge difference between that and dressing mix. Use dressing mix. I should have gone with my gut, but I used the dip mix like the recipe called for and my dressing is thick like sour cream. I even used a whole cup of milk.

  2. 5 stars
    This has been our go to homemade dressing recipe. We absolutely love it! Love it on taco salads and kids love to drizzle it on steak tacos.

  3. 3 stars
    It was good, but it doesn’t satisfy the craving. It is too ranchy for us and doesn’t exactly match the cafe Rio sauce but still good.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh man…..nothing compares to homemade ranch. This one was SO GOOD with the jalapenos. Just the perfect amount of spice. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Just tried this recipe and it is simply awesome! This is the second recipe of yours that I’ve tried and both have been hits with my family!

  6. 5 stars
    This is my all-time favorite dressing, and I’ve made this recipe several times. No reflection on the perfection of the original (I modify most recipes I try), but I like it with about 1/2 the buttermilk (this weekend I used oatmilk with great results!), and more cilantro.

  7. I’m a little confused. Do you use the ranch dressing mix or ranch dip mix? Those are 2 different products.

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