Cilantro Lime Dressing is light & refreshing, and all you need is a few simple ingredients to make it! It’s the perfect topping for salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and more.
Why You’ll Love It
It’s delicious. Lightly tangy, this dressing is the perfect topping for any number of dishes. You can use it all week long on vegan quesadillas, burritos, or over a taco salad.
It’s allergy-friendly. This dressing recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. Instead of using mayonnaise, sour cream, or greek yogurt, it uses olive oil as the base. For extra creaminess, you can add in half of an avocado, too!
It’s easy to make. Just toss the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! It’s ready to serve in just 5 minutes.
Prefer a low-oil option? You can replace the olive oil with half of an avocado, plus a 1/4 cup of water. Blend, and add more water as needed, until the dressing is as thin as you prefer.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in cilantro lime dressing?
- Fresh cilantro
- Olive oil
- Fresh lime juice
- Jalapeno (optional)
- Maple syrup
Just blend these simple ingredients together, and you’ll have a bright & flavorful dressing with a slightly spicy kick from the jalapeno. (Be sure to remove the seeds and membrane, or it could knock you over with spiciness.)
For a more mellow dressing, omit the jalapeno or just use half of one. You can also use a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, instead.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Dressing
1. Add the ingredients to a blender.
Add the olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and cilantro to a blender and blend until smooth.
Note: I tend to only use the cilantro leaves in this recipe, as I find the thicker cilantro stems can taste slightly more bitter. (The small stems attached directly to the leaves are no problem; just the long, larger stems.) Feel free to experiment with this, to see how you like it.
2. Adjust the flavor.
Taste the cilantro dressing, and adjust the flavors to your liking. You can add an extra splash of maple syrup (or honey) if you’d like a little more sweetness, or a little more lime juice for a more tart flavor.
Pour the blended dressing into a jar or other airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. This dressing should last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Drizzle this sauce over your favorite salad, baked chicken, black bean tacos, and more. It’s delicious on practically anything!
Substitutions & Common Questions
Can I use dried spices? I don’t recommend replacing the fresh cilantro in this recipe, as it also provides some of the bulk & texture. But, you can use a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder instead of the garlic clove.
Can I use a food processor? If you have a large food processor (12-cups or larger) you might need to double this recipe in order to get a large enough quantity for it to blend evenly. In this case, you might want to mince the garlic & jalapeno before getting started, so the food processor doesn’t leave any large chunks in your dressing.
Can I make it creamy? For a creamy cilantro lime dressing recipe, add a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt or half of an avocado. You may want to thin the dressing out with a tablespoon or two of water in this case, too, as the extra creaminess will thicken it up. This is perfect, however, if you want a creamy topping for enchiladas or tacos.
Can I make it oil-free? I recommend starting with my avocado cilantro dressing recipe, instead, which already calls for very little oil. It’s much easier to leave it out of that one!
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Add the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, maple syrup, and salt to a high speed blender, and blend until smooth, about 60 seconds. (For a more mild dressing, use just half of the jalapeno, or omit it entirely.)
- Taste and adjust any seasoning to taste. You can add an extra splash of maple syrup for more sweetness, or extra lime juice for a more tart flavor. Store the dressing in an airtight container with a lid for up to 5 days in the fridge, and enjoy it over your favorite salad, tacos, and more!
If you try this cilantro lime vinaigrette, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.