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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


DELICIOUS CAFE RIO 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 1/3 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

Variations

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 large tomatillos.

Some other add-ins/subs you might like:

  • lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/4 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:

4.88 from 48 votes

Cafe Rio Dressing Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Copycat recipe for Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing is fresh and creamy with a hint of spice. We LOVE this stuff!
Servings: 1 bowl
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups milk

Instructions 

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

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 2052kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 213g, Saturated Fat: 52g, Cholesterol: 213mg, Sodium: 3710mg, Potassium: 410mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 2175IU, Vitamin C: 11.1mg, Calcium: 271mg, Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dressing
Cuisine: American
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!


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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41 Comments

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