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This easy cilantro lime vinaigrette is fast to whip up with a deliciously zesty flavor! It’s ideal for adding a zing to green salads.

Cilantro lime dressing
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Here’s a tasty dressing that makes any salad taste like a million bucks: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette! It’s full of tangy flavor and zing, and Alex and I absolutely adore it. We made it as a plant-based option to use on our Mexican side salad, but it’s perfect for drizzling on any type of green salad. It’s particularly a great side for tacos, enchiladas and more. Here’s how to make it!

What’s in this cilantro lime vinaigrette?

Cilantro lime vinaigrette is one of those recipes where you can make it many different ways! Since we’re obsessed with keeping things pretty simple, we wanted it to be the simplest method possible. 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

How to make it!

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

  • Zest & juice the lime. Zest and juice the lime.
  • Blend! 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.

Want more lime recipes? Head to 15 Zingy Lime Recipes.

Cilantro lime vinaigrette
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

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 vinaigrette does work in a standard blender! You will have to stop and scrape down the bowl several times to get it to blend well, and it works best if you double the quantities for a large blender. With the quantities specified below, it works best in a small blender or immersion blender! So if you have a small Ninja blender or an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it.

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

Cilantro lime

Ways to use cilantro lime vinaigrette

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

  • Mexican chopped salad: This tasty refreshing salad is a simple side that goes perfectly with Mexican-style recipes like tacos and enchiladas.
  • Southwest Salad: This main dish salad is an easy lunch or plant based dinner recipe, a mix of sweet potatoes, colorful veggies, and rice.
  • Best Tossed Salad: Turn this tossed salad Latin-style by adding cilantro lime vinaigrette and tortilla strips.
Cilantro lime vinaigrette

Storage instructions

This cilantro lime vinaigrette stores for about 1 week refrigerated (probably more, but we like to be conservative!). It will solidify in the refrigerator because of the olive oil, which is expected! Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

This cilantro lime vinaigrette recipe is…

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

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Cilantro lime vinaigrette

Easy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup 1x
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This easy cilantro lime vinaigrette is fast to whip up with a deliciously zesty flavor! It’s ideal for adding a zing to green salads.


  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, lightly packed
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. 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.
  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. It will solidify in the fridge, so bring to room temperature prior to serving.


*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 Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More healthy salad dressing recipes

Here are some of our favorite salad dressings:

  • Healthy Salad Dressings Here are the tricks to healthy dressings.
  • Quick Tomato Vinaigrette Perfect for juicy, ripe tomatoes!
  • 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.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Erica says:

    Can I freeze this?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      No, we would not recommend freezing this dressing!

  2. Mary Scott says:

    I love your recipes