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 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.

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Cilantro Lime Dressing

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 189 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
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

Make it creamy (optional - choose one):

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

 

219 comments

4.99 from 189 votes (118 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Samantha Rosendahl
    07.16.2024

    5 stars
    Absolutely lovely! I didn’t add the maple or honey and it was still so delicious 🤤

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.18.2024

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Colleen Schwartz
    07.09.2024

    5 stars
    Hi Jeanine – I just discovered your blog and love it! And, ahem – I may have also broken my rule of no new cookbooks! Your recipes are helping me freshen up my repertoire. We’ve been vegetarians since 1976!
    This dressing is my new favorite way to jazz things up! I used both avacado and greek yogurt. And- added some white wine vinegar.
    I discovered it makes a great dip for steamed artichokes.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      07.12.2024

      Hi Colleen, thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes. What a great idea to use this dressing with artichokes!

  3. Rob
    06.03.2024

    5 stars
    Loved this! I only made a few alterations. I did 1:1 oil and juice. I used a 1/4C grapeseed oil and a splash of olive oil. I did slightly more lime juice and a small splash of red wine vinegar.. lastly I tossed the 1/4 of a big shallot I had leftover. Came out fantastic!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      06.06.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the dressing, Rob! Thanks for sharing your twist. It sounds delicious!

  4. Cassie
    06.03.2024

    5 stars
    So fresh, bright and yummy! I had all ingredients on hand (mainly leftover cilantro from a meal last week) that needed to be used and am so happy this popped up when I searched for recipes. Made the original today but will definitely try it with Greek yogurt or avocado next time. Cilantro lime chicken and rice for the win tonight! 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      06.06.2024

      Hi Cassie, I’m so glad you loved the dressing!

  5. Jenn
    05.30.2024

    5 stars
    Another dressing that is top notch! Love this. We made just the dressing without avocado or yogurt. We paired it with her cilantro lime rice and sofritas.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.31.2024

      I’m so glad you loved the dressing, Jenn! What a delicious meal combo too.

  6. Shelly poetter
    04.11.2024

    5 stars
    Had to save this recipe for sure. It is amazing. Used honey. Not maple syrup. Also added the Greek yogurt. To make a creamy flavor. I was reluctant to make it as I didn’t have any limes, but used lime concentrate and it’s amazing. We’ll be perfect with my fajitas tonight.

  7. Elena
    04.03.2024

    Hi. I followed the recipe exactly as is, but it turned out quite bitter. Any idea why that happened?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      04.05.2024

      Hi Elena, I’ve found that certain olive oils can taste bitter when combined with cilantro and lime. You could try using a neutral oil, such as avocado oil, in the future.

      • Quince
        05.07.2024

        5 stars
        I recently learned from Sohla El-Wahly (sp?) that if you add some extra salt, it can counteract bitterness. Works like a charm.

        • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
          05.10.2024

          Great tip, Quince!

          • Clara
            07.14.2024

            Hi Phoebe,

            Can’t wait to try this recipe!Can I please ask how long would this dressing last in the fridge?

  8. Lynn
    04.01.2024

    Hi, does the dressing lose its green hue when blended with an avocado? After refrigerating for a couple days, I mean.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      04.05.2024

      Hi Lynn, it’ll darken a little after a few days in the fridge.

  9. Julz
    03.16.2024

    5 stars
    Delicious dressing…. Wow.. used the avocado add in for fish taco sauce and wow… thanks for sharing

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

      Hi, so glad you loved it!

  10. Alisha
    02.01.2024

    How long does the dressing stay fresh for?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.02.2024

      Hi Alisha, It will keep in the fridge for about a week.

  11. Greg M
    02.01.2024

    5 stars
    Just curious, regarding the creamy version, the article states, “To make it, add 1/2 avocado to the food processor with the base dressing recipe, and blend!” but the actual recipe calls for 1 [whole] avocado. Which is it?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.01.2024

      Good catch! We typically use 1 whole avocado. The article has been updated accordingly. Thanks!

      • Greg M
        02.01.2024

        Thanks for the quick reply! I actually started out with 1/2 then added more until it was the consistency that I was looking for. I ended up using the whole, average-sized, avocado too.

        • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
          02.02.2024

          Oh, great! Thanks again for that catch.

  12. isona sakafunya
    01.30.2024

    Interesting and loving i will rate the recipes at 10 over 10 both of them.

  13. Sandy
    01.28.2024

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice with the optional yogurt. It is so delicious-! It’s bright and tart with a little bit of sweetness that brings out the cilantro flavor. Thanks for the keeper!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2024

      I’m so glad you’ve loved it!

  14. Elise
    01.24.2024

    5 stars
    This recipe is delicious!! I only used 1/4 cup of olive oil to make it more like a sauce for burrito bowls and it was perfect.

  15. hanna
    01.02.2024

    5 stars
    this recipe is delicious and fresh. I didn’t have coriander so I replaced it with cardamom. its so fresh and delicious.

  16. Kay
    11.26.2023

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now, such a great way to stretch your cilantro so it doesn’t go bad. The only changes I made was to swap the oil for coconut water and add a little xantham gum to thicken so it’s fat free 🙂 Delicious and lasts in the fridge for over a week 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.28.2023

      Hi Kay, I’m so glad you love 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.