This Avocado Cilantro Dressing is light and refreshing, perfect for dressing a summer salad. Made with just a handful of fresh ingredients, it’s dairy-free and vegan, and calls for only one tablespoon of olive oil. I want to pour it over everything!
Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either love or hate. Not so long ago, I was a cilantro hater. When I was in college, you couldn’t pay me to eat anything with cilantro on top! (I thought it tasted like soap.)
Don’t ask me what changed, but now I find the flavor of cilantro super-refreshing. Maybe it just eventually grew on me? Or perhaps it was pregnancy? Even though I’m no longer pregnant, certain preferences and aversions have definitely stuck with me– for example, I really didn’t like bananas in smoothies when I was pregnant, and I still don’t care for them now. (I also hated peanut butter when I was pregnant, but that one didn’t stick.)
Whatever the reason, I’m now a pretty big fan of adding fresh cilantro to guacamole, tacos, salads, and dressings like this one. (You should also try the Sweet Cilantro Dressing on page 104 of No Excuses Detox— it’s addictive!)
As an added bonus, fresh cilantro is a healthy addition to your diet. Cilantro is thought to bind heavy metals like arsenic, aluminum, and lead that may be stuck in your tissues, helping to loosen and remove them from the body (source). Cilantro may also aid liver function and help to lower blood sugar levels (source).
This mild and creamy dressing goes well over a number of salad combinations and I’m looking forward to enjoying it all summer long. Last night, I served it over a bed of mixed greens, cooked quinoa, roasted veggies, and extra sliced avocado, but I think it would also be delicious over tacos or a burrito bowl, too. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- 1/2 avocado (about 6 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro , loosely packed
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- black pepper , to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then store it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- If you’re on an oil-free diet, feel free to omit the tablespoon of olive oil. I think it helps to emulsify the dressing nicely, but it still has plenty of creaminess and healthy fat without it.
- If you’d like a more tangy flavor, I’d try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, as I think that often balances dressings made of lemon or lime juice.
- If you don’t love cilantro, feel free to use fresh parsley or basil. You definitely won’t need to use a full cup of fresh basil, so just add it to taste.
- As always, if you make a substitution, please leave a comment below letting us know what worked for you so we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite summer salad dressing? Are you a fan of cilantro?
Questions and Reviews
i’ve heard that some people have a gene that makEs cilantro taste loke soap. I Certainly have that gene. I just substitute parsley. Interesting that your tast changed.
This looks delicious and so interesting about the cilantro. I love it though. I cannot seem to find the “Pin it” button?
Sorry, we’ve been redesigning my website and the Pin-it button stopped working! I just added social sharing buttons to the top and bottom of my posts so you can find it easily. 🙂
Great – thank you! You have so many great recipes! I especially loved your new peanut butter cookies!
What is the rice bowl in your photos. I like to make that bowl also.
Made this over the weekend and find it delightful! It’s the perfect mix of flavors. added it to a burrito made with a brown rice tortilla, spiced black beans, sauteed onions and peppers, some shredded cabbage and lots of tapatilo, the dressing added just the right amount of creaminess and flavor that I didn’t even miss the cheese! And since I definitely feel better when properly combining my food, it was a win win. in fact, just writing this review has me salivating, so I think I’m going to recreate this for lunch today.
this looks so fatty yet refreshing. i’m thinking of adding some nuts (pine/peanut) to make it even thicker and fattier. do you think that’ll work, or would it destroy the taste?
I have no idea what adding nuts would do, but it would probably be tasty as long as you like all the ingredients! Let us know how it goes.
So excited to try these recipes! For this recipe I found 3/4 cup of water made it too watery. I used a whole avocado, however, it was a “mini” one and I didn’t add the oil.
So nice to have something other than garlic and lemon juice to put on my nightly salads.
I ordered both of your cookbooks and looking forward to trying the recipes.
I’m on Dr. Morse’s diet to get my kidneys working right again and a lot of your recipes I think I can adapt and have flavor with my raw ingredients with minor adjustments. Thank you!
can you freeze this recipe?
if so, for how long?
I read in the “Medical Medium” books that those with heavy metals in their bodies have a reaction to cilantro and this is why they don’t like the taste. Cilantro actually helps remove heavy metals from the body. I grew up with it as we had it everyday and I love the flavour. I have known people that have hated it and over time began to love it. This is an ingredient in almost all Indian dishes, and may be why India has a low Alzheimer’s rate.
The dressing was a hit at my job, that we finished the whole bottle during our lunch between 6 girls. Thank you for sharing!
Delicious! Hubby and I both loved it!
Just made your dressing, very good. It has a very wonderful mix of flavours. Thank you.
I know this was posted a while ago, but can this dressing be made in batches and frozen?
I’ve never tried freezing it, but it’s worth a shot! Please let me know if you try it.
Great sauce. I have seen and had variations of this. This one was very good and exactly what I needed. The only change I made was I omitted the olive oil and used a whole haas avocado instead of half. I used this as a sauce for a veggie rice bowl. I made jasmine rice added chopped zucchini, tomatoes, and yellow pepper (can add what never veggies I have on hand). Easy filling dinner.
I added a seeded jalapeño and some cumin seeds and it’s great!
I have a quick question about your avocado dressing. I see it calls for Maple syrup and since I am a diabetic can I leave that out as not to reuse my glucose or can I substitute the syrup for something else? Any suggestions would be helpful
Sure, you can leave it out or use any other sweetener that you can have to your taste.
Is it possible to freeze this dressing?
Can I ommit garlic? I’m on aFODMAP diet and garlic is a no no…Thanks
Can I substitute agave in place of maple syrup?
I used Meyer Lemon and a whole (small) avocado. I didn’t have fresh cilantro so I used dried leaves. It was delicious over vegan stuffed bell peppers.
This is excellent!!!! I used agave rather than maple syrup and added a touch of rice vinegar.
i made this recipe and my family loved it. they even asked me to make it again for the next reunion so, thank you!
I love this recipe! I use it with everything. From salads to fish chicken or steamed veggies. It is so yummy! Thank you!