Cilantro Lime Dressing

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This bright and vibrant Cilantro Lime Dressing owes its flavor to fresh lime juice and citrusy cilantro. Plus it’s easy to prepare — simply throw everything into a blender and let it whirl! This naturally vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free Cilantro Lime Dressing checks all the nutrition boxes.

Not feeling a vinaigrette? Try our wildly popular cilantro lime dressing recipe (creamy version) — this Cilantro Lime Sauce. Or if you’re a Cafe Rio fan, be sure to check out our creamy Cafe Rio Dressing.

What Does Cilantro Lime Dressing Taste Like?

This dressing has an herbal, bright, fresh flavor. When combined with the lime zest and juice, the cilantro imbues a citrusy flavor.

Image of the cilantro lime vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

While visiting LA earlier this year, my sisters and I had the best cilantro lime dressing from SweetGreen® restaurant and quickly became obsessed. I could (maybe did?) drink the dressing– it was that good!

Since there isn’t a SweetGreen anywhere near my actual home, a re-creation was in order the minute we got home!

overhead view of ingredients in the blender

Why Make Your Own Dressing?

Not only is making your own dressings more economical, but they also taste so much better than the shelf-stable dressings at the grocery store. Also, you can control exactly what goes in your dressing, tweaking flavors to perfectly suit your tastebuds.

Another bonus is the ability to use better oils. SweetGreen (like most other restaurants) uses oils like sunflower oil (it’s cheaper and doesn’t go rancid as quickly). So when you make dressings at home, you are able to use anti-inflammatory oils like avocado or olive oil to make a healthy cilantro lime dressing — score!

Overhead view of the Cilantro Lime Dressing in the blender after processing

How To Make Cilantro Lime Dressing:

This easy Cilantro Lime Dressing is so quick to make with a blender or food processor. Throw everything in (except the oil) and blend. Then slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running to nicely emulsify the dressing.

The prep time is even quicker with a microplane for zesting the limes and then a citrus juicer for juicing them.

Closeup view of a salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

What Is Cilantro Lime Dressing Made Of?

We combine cilantro (leaves and stems!), garlic, cumin, jalapeños, white wine vinegar, lime juice & zest, and olive oil to create a powerhouse dressing. A few more detailed ingredient notes:

  • Jalapeño: To avoid “Jalapeño Hands,” wear thick kitchen gloves to cut out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño pepper before finely dicing. As written, I’d say this is a very mild dressing and the jalapeños balance out the flavors. That said, if you prefer no heat, reduce the amount of jalapeños. Alternatively, amp up the spice by adding in more!
  • White wine vinegar: This is not the same as white vinegar, which has a much higher acetic level. White wine vinegar is much milder with a slight fruitiness instead of the sourness you get from plain white vinegar.
  • The better the olive oil used, the richer and more robust the dressing will taste. We recommend using extra virgin olive oil in this dressing.

Overhead view of a salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing added

What Does Cilantro Lime Dressing Go On?

We love having this dressing on hand (I meal prep it frequently) to drizzle over all kinds of dishes to add a bright citrusy pop of flavor.

My personal favorite way to use this Cilantro Lime Dressing is drizzled over this roasted corn salad (SO good!) I then use those dressed corn and peppers throughout the week to add texture or flavor to lots of different meals like grilled chicken, grilled steak, chicken tacos, etc.

Other ideas:

Overhead view of a jar filled with Cilantro Lime Dressing

STORAGE

How Long Will Cilantro Dressing Last In The Fridge?

Cilantro Lime Dressing stays fresh for 5-7 days in an airtight container (like a mason jar with a plastic–not metal– lid in the fridge. 

Heads-up: Leftover dressing will likely separate and may even solidify a bit. This is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures. Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it’s ready to use again! Colors will also change a bit to a duller green as it stores.

Recipes To Use This Salad Dressing On:

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Cilantro Lime Dressing

5 from 1 vote
This bright and vibrant Cilantro Lime Dressing owes its flavor to the fresh lime juice and citrusy cilantro. Plus it's easy to prepare -- simply throw everything into a blender and let it whirl!
Print Recipe

Cilantro Lime Dressing

5 from 1 vote
This bright and vibrant Cilantro Lime Dressing owes its flavor to the fresh lime juice and citrusy cilantro. Plus it's easy to prepare -- simply throw everything into a blender and let it whirl!
Course condiment, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Cilantro Lime Dressing, Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup (12 servings)
Calories 92kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $3.12

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro (some stems are fine!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño peppers (remove ribs/seeds -- See Note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (Note 2)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice plus 1 teaspoon zest (3-4 limes)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (Note 3)
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  • COMBINE: Add all of the ingredients except the oil to a food processor or blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper).
  • BLEND: Blend until smooth and then while running the motor, slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Don't over blend with oil.
    (If you don't have a blender that can blend while adding oil, add it all in at once then blend again just to emulsify)
  • CHILL AND ENJOY: Taste and adjust flavors to personal preference. Transfer to a mason jar with a plastic (not metal) lid and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Shake up again before using.
  • STORAGE: This Cilantro Lime Dressing stays fresh for 5-7 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
    Heads-up: Leftover dressing will likely separate and may even solidify a bit. This is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures. Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it's ready to use again! Colors will also change a bit to a duller green as it stores.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Jalapeño: To avoid “Jalapeño Hands” wear thick kitchen gloves to cut out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño before coarsely chopping to measure. As written, I'd say this is a very mild dressing and the jalapeños balance out the flavors. That said, if you prefer no heat, reduce the amount of jalapeños. Alternatively, amp up the spice by adding in more!
Note 2: White wine vinegar: This is not the same as white vinegar, which has a much higher acetic level. White wine vinegar is much milder, with a slight fruitiness instead of the sourness you get from plain white vinegar.
Note 3: Oil: The better the olive oil used, the richer and more robust the dressing will taste. We recommend using extra virgin olive oil in this dressing.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Fat: 10.5g | Sodium: 0.5mg | Sugar: 0.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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