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 44 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!


  • 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


  • 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



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Amber

    5 stars
    This salad dressing is phenomenal. It is the perfect taste for a Southwest salad. I will absolutely use and reuse this recipe. No flavors in it are overpowering. It’s the perfect combination of everything. THANK YOU!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  2. Alanna

    5 stars
    It is delicious. Perfect

  3. Sona

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! made it tonight and love it! I added avocado for creamy texture. delicious!

  4. Sara

    Do you use the cilantro stems as well or only leaves?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sara, I use both the stems and leaves.

  5. Sandy Rekemeier

    Can you list the calories

  6. Rita

    Can I use a blender instead of food processor

  7. Jane Shields

    Can you freeze this? At one point would be best to divide and freeze?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jane, I haven’t tried freezing it, but I often freeze pesto (in ice cube trays) and that works well.

  8. Bekah

    5 stars
    Super easy and vey flavorful!

  9. Matthew

    5 stars
    Delicious! I added 1/2 tsp each of cumin and chili powder, and it really gave the flavor some depth.

  10. Lynn

    5 stars
    Made this last night with fresh cilantro from the garden – so easy and tasty! Poured over kale , blueberries, a few slices of strawberry, avocado and sprinkled with fresh dill. My husband even commented on how good the flavors tasted together.

  11. Tina

    This is a rock star dressing! Added 1/2 avocado first day. Served as dip the next day with a couple dollops greek yogourt; incredible, huge hit. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it so much!

  12. Sandra

    Hi is there an option for this to be oil free? A substitute perhaps. Thanks, in advance!

  13. Donna

    Is this best to make a day or two ahead or on day of serving, or no difference?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Donna, there’s no huge difference – the color is a tad more vibrant on the first day.

  14. Paul C

    5 stars
    Unbelievable…incredible…so fresh, so wonderful…vegan: skip the yogurt or milk – double the avocado…well done and thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      so glad you loved it!

  15. Jacqui

    5 stars
    This is my GO TO dressing. I make it every two weeks and it never fails to impress no matter what I serve it on. I buy cilantro by the bunch every week at the grocery store. The coriander is a must. And, there is something so tangy and “umamami” like about the sour limes and sweetness of the honey. (I prefer honey to maple syrup). Just delish!

  16. Jeanne

    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

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

  17. TessMarie

    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!

  18. DMG

    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?

  19. Samantha

    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

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

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.