Cilantro Lime Dressing

This tangy cilantro lime dressing is destined for your next taco salad. Enjoy it as a vinaigrette, or add avocado or Greek yogurt to make it creamy!

Creamy cilantro lime dressing

This cilantro lime dressing is the perfect summer salad dressing – it’s tangy, it’s herbaceous, and it’s so yummy drizzled over summer salads, grilled veggies, and more. The best part about it this dressing? It can be made 3 ways! Once you make the cilantro lime dressing, serve it as-is, add Greek yogurt to make a creamy ranch-like dressing (pictured in the middle above), or add avocado to make a thick, creamy sauce (pictured left above).

Let’s get started!

Cilantro lime salad dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing Ingredients

I make this dressing in the food processor so that the cilantro gets finely chopped and the dressing becomes emulsified. It takes minutes to blend together, and these 7 ingredients make it zesty & bright:

  1. Cilantro is the star of the show. It makes the dressing super fresh and green.
  2. Garlic adds a little bite.
  3. Lime juice makes it tangy.
  4. Maple syrup or honey calms and balances the sharp, tangy flavors.
  5. Ground coriander is one of my go-to ingredients when I’m using cilantro & lime, and it gives this dressing extra depth of flavor.
  6. Sea salt makes the flavors pop.
  7. And extra-virgin olive oil adds richness and ties it all together.

That’s it! Just pulse it together (I try not to blend it too long so that it still has pretty flecks of green), and your dressing will be ready for salads, burrito bowls, tacos, and more.

Cilantro lime dressing recipe

Variations of cilantro lime dressing:

I while I love the vinaigrette version of this dressing, I like to change it up from time to time, depending on what I’m craving and what I’m making. I like to make creamy cilantro lime dressing two different ways: with yogurt and with avocado.

A creamy Greek yogurt variation has a similar consistency to ranch or a buttermilk dressing – it’s lightly creamy and not too thick. To make it, simply add 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt to the food processor along with the other ingredients.

A creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing is thicker than the Greek yogurt version. I love to serve it alongside burritos as a dipping sauce or put big, thick dollops on a taco salad. To make it, add 1/2 avocado to the food processor with the base dressing recipe, and blend!

Make it spicy by adding a bit of jalapeño or a few pickled jalapeños.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This dressing is a great one to keep on hand in the fridge. It adds a bright, zesty pop to simple green salads as well as DIY burrito bowls made with cilantro lime rice, black beans, veggies, pico de gallo, guac, and mango salsa.

It would also be delicious drizzled or scooped onto:

Cilantro Lime Dressing

If you love this cilantro lime dressing recipe…

Try more of my favorite sauces like these tahini sauces, this citrus salad dressing, this chipotle sauce, tomatillo salsapesto, tzatziki, healthier Caesar dressing, or the carrot ginger dressing in this recipe.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 95 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 4 (makes 1 cup)
This easy cilantro lime dressing is great to have on hand in the fridge for topping onto salads, tacos, or burrito bowls. To make it creamy, add 1/2 avocado or Greek yogurt to the base recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make it creamy (optional):

  • 1 avocado or ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Instructions

  • In a food processor, place the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, maple syrup, coriander, and salt and pulse to combine. With the blade running, pour in the olive oil and process until smooth.
  • Make it creamy (optional) - blend with 1 avocado or ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

 

131 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Monica
    09.25.2022

    5 stars
    This was a lovely way to use my cilantro bunch from my farm box, thank you for the recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Gillian
    09.05.2022

    I haven’t made the sauce yet, but wondering if it freezes well.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.06.2022

      Hi Gillian, I think it would freeze fine – the regular recipe, not the yogurt or avocado versions.

  3. alissa
    08.25.2022

    5 stars
    Such a delicious dressing! i added greek yogurt to make it creamy. it was a bit pungent when i first tasted it with a spoon but once i added it quite liberally to a corn/black bean salad – woah!!!! all the flavours came together and it was soooo good! 5 🌟

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.26.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. jocy
    07.19.2022

    5 stars
    i am cuban and puerto rican so i measure with my heart rather than actual measurements lol BUT this turned out absolutely phenomenal. i had everything except coriander, it is so fresh and light and tasty. definitely will be making again! i am very picky with dressings since most are mayo based so finding this recipe was a gem!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.19.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Sandy
    07.16.2022

    5 stars
    How long will it last in fridge?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.17.2022

      up to about 5 days.

      • Feisty Granny
        08.16.2022

        5 stars
        About 5 days! Not in my house, unless I make it by the gallon. LOL Delicious!! All 3 variations! Double the star ratings. And wait until you use it to marinate chicken or fish!!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          08.17.2022

          Ha, I’m glad to hear it doesn’t last long 🙂

  6. Nichole
    07.11.2022

    5 stars
    Hi, I love this recipe. I’m always an adder. I added 2T of fresh toasted peacans. It made it a little crunchy and brought out all of your flavors. It was a little bitter at first, could have been older limes. I added avocado for the creaminess. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2022

      Hi Nichole, it can be the oil, not that it’s bad, but some are more fruity than others. I find the bitterness disappears once I put the dressing on something vs. tasting it with a spoon. I’m glad you enjoyed!

  7. John Breier
    07.04.2022

    If adding the avocado in , does it need to be used immediately? Will the avocado turn if not used right away?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.04.2022

      Hi John, I used it within 1 to 2 days. The lime will keep it from turning brown right away but it won’t last super long.

  8. Carol Murphy
    06.19.2022

    Looks like a great recipe but I’m wondering if I could replace the Cilantro with parsley? As much as I would love to like Cilantro my tongue just won’t let me!

  9. Emma
    06.07.2022

    5 stars
    I am so glad I found this recipe! I have made it twice in the last week for salads. So delicious served over greens with peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn and black beans. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.11.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Aspen
    05.27.2022

    5 stars
    This sauce was great!! I added avocado as suggested to make it creamier. It was a hit with all of my housemates! I made this to go along with burrito bowls (rice, black beans, corn, etc) and the cilantro lime sauce really brought it all together. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.28.2022

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  11. Dad
    05.08.2022

    Thanks Lydia for the cilantro-lime dressing. Great idea!
    Dad

  12. Alan
    05.08.2022

    5 stars
    I loved this and it was a hit at a party. It was too salty for my taste, so I fixed it with a bit more maple syrup. Next time I would probably use half the salt, especially if adding salty things to the salad like cheese, corn chips, olives, etc.

  13. Travellinggourmets
    05.06.2022

    Turned out a bit bitter Was it the lime or the use of dark maple syrup ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.07.2022

      Hi, it could be the oil. I would either add more sweetness to fix it, or just try it on the dish you’re serving it with vs. tasting it on a spoon. It can be pungent before it’s mixed with other things.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.