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:
5 from 23 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

 

45 comments

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  1. Caroline
    06.02.2019

    Can you tag this recipe and the citrus salad dressing as a salad so it shows up when I filter for salad recipes? If it doesn’t show up when I’m looking for salads I will never make it. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      Hi Caroline, I think I’ll make a filter for dressings and sauces – I hope that helps!

  2. Teresa
    06.04.2019

    5 stars
    wow, wow, WOW!! This is delicious. I made it the ‘regular’ way and the ‘creamy’ way (with avocado)… this stuff is SO GOOD – on anything I’ve paired it with so far. (I used it as a dip/dressing with grilled chicken — and even wonderful on a baked potato.) This is definitely going to be made EVERY week in our house. INSANELY DELICIOUS!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      Hi Teresa – yay! I’m glad it’s a new staple for you 🙂

  3. Marci from veggingattheshore.com
    06.06.2019

    This is delicious! I made it with yogurt and tossed with a bunch of veggies from my CSA. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Morgan
    06.06.2019

    I absolutely love this! Also, I was wondering how many days this dressing can stay in the fridge? I would love to use this for meal prep ideas.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      Hi Morgan, the original dressing and the yogurt version will keep for 3 to 5 days (the green color will get less vibrant, but that’s ok). The avocado version will last 2 to 3 days. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. juliana
    06.10.2019

    Hello!!! this is great!!! with what can I subsitute the coriander seeds? I can’t get them where I live! 🙁

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.10.2019

      Hi Juliana, you can just leave them out!

  6. Marie-Eve
    07.23.2019

    5 stars
    This is the best dressing I have ever made!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.24.2019

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Meri
    08.21.2019

    5 stars
    I made it!!!
    My son lives it I love it

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.23.2019

      so happy to hear!

  8. Banjo Bob
    09.12.2019

    5 stars
    Whoa Nellie Belle!
    Outstanding, I used it on a greens & shrimp super salad, my wife love it..
    You should see her boil water!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.23.2019

      I’m so glad you loved the dressing!

  9. JJ
    09.17.2019

    How long does this keep for?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.23.2019

      about 5 days in the fridge!

  10. Naomi
    10.12.2019

    5 stars
    So delicious I’ve made it twice this week. Never though to add the stems along with the leaves. Now I know what I’ll do with every leftover half bunch of coriander.

    We had it in a steak salad with pasta, asparagus, broccoli peas and rocket. So springy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.18.2019

      Hi Naomi, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying it! Yeah those stems are great! No need to toss them 🙂

  11. Christian McCulloch
    10.27.2019

    As far as I know cilantro and coriander are the same thing.

    • TessMarie
      06.27.2020

      5 stars
      Coriander is the dried seed or fruit of the Coriandrum sativum plant, which belongs to the parsley family. Cilantro is the leaf of this same plant and surprisingly, its flavor is vastly different from that of coriander. Cilantro has a complex but delicate flavor with a hint of pepper, mint and lemon. Coriander has a sweet, aromatic taste with a touch of citrus.

  12. Jeanine Donofrio
    02.24.2020

    If it’s too tart, you can add more honey or maple to balance it, to taste. And/or a bit more olive oil. Hope that helps!

  13. Beth
    04.08.2020

    5 stars
    This is my go-to sauce for tacos and burritos. It’s SO good. I especially love the creamy version. Literally every time I make it, I have a little taste of it and say “Oh God, that’s good”. I probably make this once a week.

  14. Lisa
    04.21.2020

    Do you have to remove the leaves on the cilantro, if I am putting it in the food processor?
    Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.21.2020

      Nope! The stems can go in to.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.21.2020

      too, rather 🙂

  15. Elizabeth
    05.05.2020

    5 stars
    Yummmy!! Left out garlic and added some fresh pineapple which made it creamy in my vita mix. A total keeper.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      ooh, that sounds delish, I’m so glad you loved it!

  16. katie from cookingwithleeks.com
    05.06.2020

    5 stars
    obsessed with this sauce. i made it for the first time this week, and it’s great on ANYTHING. i had it with my tempeh & kimchi rice bowl, with focaccia, and will be making this a staple!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that it’s a staple!

  17. Trsci
    05.07.2020

    5 stars
    This salad dressing is absolutely amazing. It’s delicious as a vinaigrette. Then I made it with half an avocado and 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt which was perfect over jerk chicken salad. Definitely a keeper.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving it!

  18. Jane Hargadon
    05.31.2020

    Do you know if it will freeze well? Our cilantro is in and we have way more than we can eat in the 3-5 days you recommend for refrigeration. The dressing is delicious BTW!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2020

      Hi Jane, yep, I freeze pesto all the time so I think this will freeze well too. Just let it thaw completely at room temp. The olive oil will be pretty well solidified, but will thaw well slowly. Give it a stir before using. I’m so glad you loved it! (Note: I wouldn’t necessarily freeze the avocado or the yogurt option).

  19. Liz
    06.10.2020

    5 stars
    Delicious! Husband loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      Yay, I’m so happy to hear!

  20. Karen
    06.23.2020

    5 stars
    Just made this dressing and it’s SOOOO delicious! I added 1/2 avocado which made the consistency and flavor perfect for me. Currently enjoying it in my buddha bowl made with quinoa, marinated and baked tempeh, avocado, sweet potato and mixed greens 😋😋

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      Hi Karen, ooh yum! I’m so glad you loved the dressing!

  21. Samantha
    06.29.2020

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. I dont have avacado or plain greek yogurt so I ve only done it the regular dressing way.

    I massage it into my kale salads and serve it like a bread dipping sauce. It does not last long when I make it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      Hi Samantha, I’m so glad you’ve been loving the dressing!

  22. DMG
    07.22.2020

    My sister in law made this and put it over beans and it was so delicious! I’m going to make it as well but sadly have “slim pickins” In the herb garden this year… curious if this is as tasty if made from fried cilantro?

  23. TessMarie
    07.25.2020

    5 stars
    Delicious 🙂 Used honey instead of maple syrup option. Did not add creamy ingredient option since neither was on hand at the time and the dressing was yummy!

  24. Jeanne
    08.12.2020

    5 stars
    This dressing was amazing. I made the greek yogurt version and we put it on bowls with chick peas, rice, beans and tomatoes…it made the whole dish!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      Hi Jeanne, I’m so glad you loved it!

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.