Easy Cilantro Lime Dressing

This easy cilantro lime dressing is fast to whip up and its zesty flavor is perfect for Mexican style salads. Try TWO versions: vinaigrette and creamy!

Cilantro lime dressing

Here’s a tasty dressing that makes any salad taste like a million bucks: Cilantro Lime dressing! This one features that classic flavor combo made into TWO dressings: a vinaigrette style dressing that’s plant-based, and a creamy cilantro dressing. It’s full of tangy flavor and zing, and Alex and I absolutely adore it. We made both as options to use on our Mexican side salad. It’s perfect for drizzling on Latin style salads, making it a great side for tacos, enchiladas and more. Here’s how to make it!

What’s in this cilantro lime dressing?

Cilantro lime dressing is one of those recipes where you can make it many different ways! Of course since we’re obsessed with keeping things simple, we chose the simplest ways possible. But we couldn’t choose just one! This healthy dressing uses lime, cilantro and olive oil: but we’ve got TWO different spins on it. Here’s what’s in the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing! It’s vegan and plant-based, and uses olive oil to get just the right body and flavor.

  • Lime zest and juice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic powder & onion powder
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil

Here’s what’s in the Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing! It’s dreamy and creamy, a little like a Green Goddess dressing. If you’d like a vegan version, try our Creamy Cilantro Sauce. This one can also be used as a dip.

  • Lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Greek yogurt
  • Mayo
  • Garlic powder & onion powder
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil
Creamy cilantro dressing
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing!

How to make it!

There are literally two steps to making cilantro lime dressing. It’s so quick and easy! Here’s all you need to do:

  • Zest & juice the lime. Zest and juice the lime.
  • Blend! For the vinaigrette style dressing, you’ll blend all the ingredients without the olive oil first. Then add the oil and blend until it’s combined. You’ll have to stop and scrape a few times. For the creamy dressing, you can just blend all ingredients at once!
Cilantro lime dressing
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Immersion vs standard blender

Since dressing recipes last about 1 week in the refrigerator, you don’t want to make a massive quantity at once. But if you have a standard blender, it’s harder to blend small quantities of ingredients. Have you ever thrown everything in your blender and then the blades whiz but nothing happens? (It’s the worst!) Yep, that’s because you don’t have enough ingredients and liquid to blend in that size of container.

Luckily, this cilantro lime dressing does work in a standard blender! You will have to stop and scrape down the bowl several times to get it to blend well. The vinaigrette style dressing works best in a small blender or immersion blender, making it easy to blend right up! So if you have a small Ninja blender or an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it. But either one works in a standard blender as well.

Don’t have a blender? No problem. Go to our Lime Vinaigrette instead.

Cilantro lime

Ways to use cilantro lime dressing

This dressing is so versatile! It’s brings a Mexican or Latin style vibe to a salad, which makes it perfect for serving with Mexican recipes like tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve it:

Cilantro lime dressing

Storage instructions

This cilantro lime dressing stores for about 1 week refrigerated (probably more, but we like to be conservative!). Note that the vinaigrette version will solidify in the refrigerator because of the olive oil. This is okay and it’s still good! Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

Cilantro lime dressing

This cilantro lime dressing recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Cilantro lime dressing

Easy Cilantro Lime Dressing


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (vinaigrette) or 3/4 cup (creamy) 1x

Description

This easy cilantro lime dressing is fast to whip up and its zesty flavor is perfect for Mexican style salads. Try TWO versions: vinaigrette and creamy!


Scale

Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing (vegan)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice plus zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice  
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. For the Cilantro Lime Dressing: Zest and juice the lime. Using a standard, small or immersion blender*, blend the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, garlic powder and onion powder, and kosher salt until roughly chopped. Scrape down the sides of the blender, then add the olive oil.
    For Creamy Cilantro Dressing: Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend for a minute or two until creamy, scraping down as necessary. This will be easier with an immersion blender; a standard blender you’ll have to scrape down often to get it to blend. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. The vinaigrette-style dressing will solidify in the fridge, so bring to room temperature prior to serving.

Notes

*It’s easiest to make in a small or immersion blender, but it works in a standard sized blender as well! It will be slightly tougher in a very large Vitamix, so just keep scraping and blending.

  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Cilantro Lime Dressing

More healthy salad dressing recipes

Here are some of our favorite salad dressings:

  • How to Make Healthy Salad Dressing Here are two tricks for healthy salad dressing: a creamy pesto and a raspberry vinaigrette — and both taste AMAZING.
  • Greek Salad Dressing A simple oil and vinegar dressing that comes together in less than 5 minutes: the perfect easy vinaigrette for Mediterranean style salads!
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing This creamy avocado dressing is bright green, tangy and savory, perfect for drizzling on salads and bowl meals! It takes only a few minutes to blend up.
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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