Cilantro Lime Sauce

This easy cilantro lime sauce is a zesty spin on ranch! You don’t even need a blender. Use it for grain bowls, tacos, and more.

Cilantro lime sauce

Meet our new favorite sauce: Cilantro Lime Ranch! This cilantro lime sauce is perfect for dolloping grain bowls, drizzling over tacos, and more. It’s a zingy version of ranch dressing meshed with the Mexican flavors of lime and cilantro. The best part: no blender required. We’re making a fast dinner recipe, the last thing we want to do is get out our blender. (Yep, we’re lazy!) So here’s a fast and easy sauce without a blender: all you have to do is chop a few ingredients and stir.

Ingredients for cilantro lime ranch sauce

This cilantro lime sauce Alex and I created to go with our Easy Rice Bowls. We wanted a drizzle that would add lots of flavor to the bowl without being too time consuming. This idea is a mashup of our Shrimp Taco Sauce and this idea. Here’s what to know about this sauce:

  • Greek yogurt + mayonnaise: This sauce uses our famous combo of Greek yogurt plus mayo to make a light and flavorful creamy sauce. The yogurt offsets the richness of mayo. You’ll see the same idea in many of our recipes, like our tuna salad, egg salad, and homemade ranch.
  • Cilantro: Here you’ll chop it as finely as possible.
  • Lime: The lime brings a bright zing to the sauce.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder: These bring the ranch-like savoriness.
  • Dried dill: This is the element that completes the ranch flavor! You can omit if you want more straightforward Mexican flavors: it’s still good.
  • Salt and pepper
Cilantro lime sauce

No blender needed! But you can blend too.

The best part of this cilantro lime sauce: you don’t need to dirty a blender! When I’m making a fast and easy dinner, it seems like a big obstacle to get a blender dirty. Of course, you can use a blender if you’d like a creamier texture and a light green color. Here are a few notes on the two processes:

  • Chop the veggies as finely as possible. Because you won’t be using a blender, you’ll need to chop that cilantro as finely as possible so the sauce is relatively smooth. The sauce will be white with green flecks, as you see in the photos.
  • Or, blend for a light green sauce. Want a light green sauce that’s fully creamy? You can blend it to get a more uniform texture. It’s easiest to use an immersion blender or food processor, due to the small quantity of ingredients.
Cilantro lime sauce

4 more cilantro lime sauce variations

Looking for a different type of cilantro lime sauce? We’ve got lots of variations. Here are some of our other favorite cilantro lime sauces:

Rice bowl
Cilantro lime sauce is ideal for grain bowls

Ways to use cilantro lime sauce

You can use this cilantro lime ranch sauce in a multitude of recipes! It’s inspired by Mexican flavors fused with ranch dressing, which makes it work in lots of ways. Here are some ideas:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Cilantro lime sauce

Cilantro Lime Sauce


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 3/4 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This easy cilantro lime sauce is a zesty spin on ranch! You don’t even need a blender. Use it for grain bowls, tacos, and more.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion top (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop the cilantro as finely as possible. Finely mince the green onion top (dark green part only). Juice the lime.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the cilantro, green onion and lime juice with the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, salt and pepper. (Alternative: You can blend all ingredients using an immersion blender or in a food processor if you’d like a smooth, light green sauce.) Eat immediately or refrigerate until serving.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Sauce

Keywords: Cilantro lime sauce, Cilantro lime ranch

More cilantro recipes

Cilantro might be a controversial ingredient, but we’re solidly on Team Cilantro! Here are a few more cilantro recipes to use up the bunch:

  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp A healthy, easy dinner recipe that takes just 10 minutes! Serve with rice, in tacos, or as a Mexican-style salad topping.
  • Best Salsa Recipe The very best salsa recipe! This fresh salsa features ripe and juicy tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, and lots of lime.
  • Simple Guacamole Creamy, savory and perfectly balanced, you’ll hear a chorus of “Wow’s” every time you serve it.
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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.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Crystal
    September 30, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Have you ever refrigerated and used the next day? I made too much haha. Also, I used 1 TB dried cilantro, it looked like too much but it was good! :) Probably could’ve used more lol

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 1, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Hi! Yes, it definitely is good for several days in the fridge.

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