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With fresh herbs and a hint of spice, cilantro lime dressing can be used to dress salads and Mexican dishes, or marinate meat and veggies!

If you love this homemade dressing, you’ll also love our Cafe Rio Dressing and Chipotle Ranch dressings.

Cilantro lime dressing served in a glass pitcher.

We Love a Good Dressing!

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of salads – and what goes better with salad than a deliciously fresh dressing?! This cilantro lime dressing is a zesty favorite with a touch of spice.

Use it to top any Mexican dish from a Taco Salad or Burrito Bowl to marinating meat like pork or chicken.

Why we love it:

  • Fresh and zesty. The combination of cilantro and lime creates a refreshing and zesty flavor that adds a burst of brightness to any dish.
  • Ready in no time. Add a punch of fresh flavor to your Mexican dinners and more in a matter of minutes!
  • Versatile. As mentioned above, drizzle this creamy cilantro lime dressing recipe on tacos, burritos, Cilantro Lime Rice, Quesadillas, or top fresh greens – the possibilities are endless!
A carton filled with fresh jalapenos.

INGREDIENTS

  • jalapeno
    • To deseed: remove the stem, cut the jalapeno in half from top to bottom, and scrape out the center membrane and the seeds. I suggest wearing gloves, avoid touching your eyes and face, and washing your hands when finished.
  • minced garlic
  • lime juice 2 to 3 medium-sized limes will produce ⅓ cup of lime juice. If you don’t have fresh limes, use bottled lime juice.
  • honey – or sweeten with pure maple syrup
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • cilantro leaves – ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves is equivalent to a small bunch or around ½ ounce. Remove any thick cilantro stems from the bunch. Gently pack the cilantro leaves into a measuring cup. If needed, use a knife or kitchen scissors to finely chop.
  • extra virgin olive oil
Jalapeno and garlic in blender.

Just Blend!

  1. BLEND. Pulse the jalapeno pepper and garlic clove until they’re finely chopped.
    • Add the lime juice, honey, vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic salt and cilantro. Pulse a few more times then blend.
    • While blending slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once the olive oil is incorporated use remaining garlic salt to taste.
Blended dressing in a ninja blender.

dressing Tips

  • Mix in the oil, don’t blend. When you blend olive oil it can take on a bitter flavor. It’s something I just learned and is the reason you want to blend all the ingredients, and then mix in the olive oil. 
  • Creamy texture. Add ½ of a ripe avocado or Greek yogurt.
  • STORE. Keep the creamy cilantro lime dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure the dressing does not stay at room temperature for more than two hours.
Cilantro ranch dressing recipe in pouring cup

For More Recipes:

5 from 6 votes

Cilantro Lime Dressing

By: Lil’ Luna
With fresh herbs and a hint of spice, cilantro lime dressing can be used to dress salads and Mexican dishes, or marinate meat and veggies!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • cup lime juice
  • cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoon garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Using a food processor, or a blender, pulse the jalapeno pepper and garlic clove until they're finely chopped.
  • Add the lime juice, honey, vinegar, 1 tsp garlic salt and cilantro. Pulse a few more times then blend.
  • While blending slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Once the olive oil is incorporated use remaining garlic salt to taste.

Southwest Salad

  • This easy southwest salad pairs well with the dressing: 1-2 heads of lettuce, 2 cobs of raw white corn kernels, 1 large can of black beans drained and rinsed, 1 bag of Monterrey Jack Cheese, 1 red onion sliced, cilantro, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and sliced grilled chicken breast.

Notes

Mix in the oil, don’t blend. When you blend olive oil it can take on a bitter flavor. It’s something I just learned and is the reason you want to blend all the ingredients, and then mix in the olive oil. 
Creamy texture. Add ½ of a ripe avocado or Greek yogurt.
STORE. Keep the cilantro lime sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure the dressing does not stay at room temperature for more than two hours. 

Nutrition

Calories: 140.25kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.68g, Protein: 0.12g, Fat: 13.52g, Saturated Fat: 1.87g, Sodium: 292mg, Potassium: 11.8mg, Fiber: 0.09g, Sugar: 4.79g, Vitamin A: 52.61IU, Vitamin C: 5.35mg, Calcium: 1.41mg, Iron: 0.07mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Making this recipe? Tag us!
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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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Next to ranch this is our most favorite dressing, it just seems to add a great flavor to everything its added to.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m not sure If I can choose between your cafe rio copycat recipe or this dressing. Both are so yummy!