Easily whipped up in less than 5 minutes and adds the best fresh flavor to your meals! This creamy cilantro lime dressing makes everything better!
This dressing is so easy to whip up and will add SO much flavor to your meal. We love pouring it on taco salads, beef tacos, burrito bowls and even skillet nachos. I also love it on my favorite BBQ chicken salad. Seriously, it tastes good on any Mexican dish!
Homemade dressings are SO much better than store-bought! They’re quick, fresh and full of amazing flavor. I always order the Café Rio cilantro lime dressing and wanted to recreate my own version. And boy did it turn out amazing! It reminds me of ranch dressing (same thick consistency and flavors) but with other fresh ingredients like cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and a tomatillo. It’s perfectly creamy and smooth and tastes amazing on SO many dishes. The options are endless!
Amounts included in printable recipe below.
- Buttermilk: This adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
- Mayonnaise: I like using mayo in my dressing, but feel free to sub with sour cream or Greek yogurt if preferred.
- Ranch seasoning mix: Adding ranch seasoning really enhances the flavor of this dressing!
- Cilantro: I like to leave some cilantro bits in mine when blending, but you’re welcome to blend until the consistency is smooth too.
- Jalapeno: If you like your dressings on the milder side, make sure to remove the seeds from the jalapeno. If you’re a fan of heat, keep the seeds and feel free to add in more jalapeno if preferred.
- Garlic: I typically add in about 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic for added flavor.
- Lime juice: The fresh lime juice helps to add acidity and gives the dressing that perfect zing.
- Tomatillo: A Mexican husk tomato with a bright fresh flavor and green color.
Tips + modifications
- Let chill. Make sure to chill the dressing at least 30 minutes before serving. It helps meld all the flavors together and thickens it up a bit.
- Spice. If you like heat, you can leave the seeds on the jalapeno or even use an additional Tablespoon (it will be hot!).
- Buttermilk. If you don’t have any on hand, make homemade buttermilk by mixing together whole milk and distilled vinegar.
- Garlic. If you really like garlic, you can add an additional teaspoon for an extra oomph of garlic flavor.
- Tomatillos. If you don’t have fresh tomatillos, you can use 1/4 cup store bought salsa verde in it’s place.
- Consistency. If the dressing is too thick, add in a little more buttermilk until it’s reached the desired consistency.
This dressing will stay good for about 5-7 days if stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure to store in an airtight container, such as a mason jar. The flavors in the dressing will continue to meld as it chills in the fridge.
Favorite ways to use it
There are so many ways to use this cilantro ranch dressing! Below are a few of our favorites:
- Drizzled over a big Mexican salad, BBQ chicken salad, taco salad or fajita salad
- As a topping on sweet pork tacos, BBQ chicken tacos or chicken tinga tacos
- Added to Mexican dishes like taquitos, burrito bowls or nachos
- It also makes a great dip for fresh vegetables
More homemade dressings:
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayo , can sub with sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon finely diced jalapeno
- 1 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tomatillo
- Add the buttermilk, mayo, ranch, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice and tomatillo in a blender. Blend until well combined or you reach desired thickness.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will stay good for 5-7 days. Serve over salads.
- If you don't have fresh tomatillos, you can use 1/4 cup store bought salsa verde in it's place.
- Remove the seeds from the jalapeno if you don't want any spice. Add more jalapeno, if you like the heat.
- You can thin out with milk, as needed.