Easy Cilantro Sauce

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This Cilantro Sauce has become a staple in our house lately. It takes just a few minutes to make, and it reminds me of chimichurri sauce, only with a lot less oil than traditional versions call for. You’ll want to pour it on everything!

cilantro sauce in a white bowl with spoon

Believe it or not, I haven’t always been a fan of cilantro. I feel like you either love it or hate it, and when I was in college, I remember hating it. I didn’t want it near my meals!

Isn’t it strange how things can change? One day, as an adult, I tried it again and loved it. Now I’ll pour this cilantro sauce on everything. So, if you feel like you were born hating cilantro, be sure to give it another shot in case things have changed!

What is Cilantro Sauce made of?

To make this recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients.

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Shallot (or red onion could work, too)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic

When making a sauce or dressing like this, I usually try to replace at least half of the oil with water, so that the sauce is lower in calories without sacrificing any flavor. The resulting sauce is slightly thinner in texture, but since you’re blending it with the shallot and fresh herbs, those help to bulk it up so it’s not too runny.

Benefits of Cilantro

Why else might you want to try this delicious cilantro sauce? It’s a great way to sneak more of this fresh herb into your day!

Here’s why I love it:

If nothing else, cilantro adds a fresh, herb-y flavor to your dishes that will make it taste like it’s from a restaurant. It’s amazing how something so easy to make can really elevate the flavor of your meal!

How to Make It

Making this cilantro sauce is as easy as it gets. Just add all of the ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth!

fresh cilantro shallot and crushed red peppers in blender

From there, you can taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. Never forget to customize it to your taste!

If the sauce tastes too salty or sour, add a splash of sweetness to balance it out, using maple syrup or honey. If you want something creamier, you can add a spoonful of tahini, or hummus, or even a touch of plain yogurt (use a vegan one if you need to remain dairy-free).

cilantro sauce dripping off of a spoon

How to Serve It

This sauce is light enough that you can serve it as a salad dressing, or you can use it as a topping on your favorite tacos, nachos, or burrito bowls.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

However you try it, I hope it will be a hit in your home! I’d love to hear how you serve it in the comments below.

cilantro sauce on sweet potato nachos and jackfruit tacos

cilantro sauce in a white bowl with spoon
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Easy Cilantro Sauce

This cilantro sauce tastes like it's from a restuarant, but it's made healthy with less oil. It's perfect for drizzling on tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, salads, and more.
Course Salad
Cuisine vegan
Keyword cilantro sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 64kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (tightly packed; 21 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (25 grams)
  • 1 shallot (24 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1 gram)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (53 grams)
  • 1/4 cup water (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1 garlic clove (3 grams)
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • This sauce will be runny when you first blend it, but it will thicken up in the fridge slightly if you let it chill for several hours. You can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Notes

Try to use mostly the cilantro leaves, not the thicker stems towards the bottom of the bunch. If you want to change-up the sauce, try adding in a handful of fresh parsley or basil, too.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is for roughly 2 tablespoons of sauce. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.

If you try this Cilantro Sauce, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from hearing about your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite sauce these days?

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Comments

Abigail @ AbigailJane

This sauce sounds so good! I don’t often use much cilantro so this sounds like a good place to start!

Crista Cady

Hi, Megan. I’m going to give this sauce a try. It looks so refreshing! My husband and I eat cilantro with almost everything. I’m also going to try it with mint. In northern Thailand I once had a mint sauce at an Indian restaurant that blew my mind, and I’ve never been able to find anything similar since!

Nina

LOVE LOVE LOVE that you put the measurements in weight! Thank you so much for taking the time to do that! I really appreciate it!

Rebeca

Just found this recipe and even though I haven’t made it I have to tell you how much I appreciate that now you are including the measurements in weight. Doing this recipe soon.

Heidi Marquardt

Hello! I made this tonight and mine doesn’t look at all like the picture you posted. It’s good, and will probably be a good summer dressing. I followed the recipe to a “T”, do you think it might be missing an ingredient? Anyhow, thanks for all your recipes, I love them!

Charlene Carr

Delicious! I’ve made this probably 3 times in the past two weeks. Good with throwing in half basil too.

Rosa

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!! And my husband does, too!!! And YES, it has become a total staple in my home… I love cilantro, and this is the best way to have it on-hand… now whenever I buy a fresh bunch, I make a batch of the sauce… last time I made TWO batches, one to use right away, and another to freeze. LOVE IT!!!!

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