Copycat Cafe Rio Dressing {Creamy Tomatillo}

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My take on the famous Cafe Rio dressing – complete with creamy tomatillo. Looking for a delicious salad dressing with a Mexican flair? You’ve come to the right place.

Delicious Cafe Rio Dressing Copycat but Healthy! I’ve shared this dressing before when I shared this awesome honey-lime chicken, but it’s SO GOOD I had to post it as a separate recipe.

For those not familiar with the restaurant, Cafe Rio is a Mexican restaurant that has a bit of a cult following. And for good reason too.

We make this Cafe Rio dressing VERY frequently at our house. It’s exceptionally good on salads, but also surprisingly good on grilled meat. The husband says it tastes just like the real Cafe Rio dressing! That is a huge win since it’s a lot healthier than the real thing – this version gets its “creaminess” from an avocado instead of loads of mayo!

The great thing about this Cafe Rio dressing is that you can customize the flavors to your individual preferences. It’s very easy to make small tweaks to the amount of each ingredient used while still maintaining the integrity of the dressing. Want more heat? Up the jalapeno! Don’t like cilantro? You get the picture:)


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Copycat Cafe Rio Dressing {Creamy Tomatillo}

5 from 3 votes
Print Recipe

Copycat Cafe Rio Dressing {Creamy Tomatillo}

5 from 3 votes
Author Chelsea


  • 1 ounce packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix 1
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1/4 cup green salsa verde
  • 1 cup smallish avocado ~3/4 when chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk I used 1% (or sub low-fat buttermilk)
  • 1/2 small jalapeño seeded
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Add more milk if needed to get to your desired thinness and increase any of the flavors desired (more cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, jalapeño) to reach your personal preference for the dressing.
  • Even if you don't like spicy, I wouldn't recommend omitting the jalapeño as it adds a ton of flavor. If you are worried about spice, add a very small amount to start with (make sure to remove all the seeds!)

Recipe Notes

Dressing recipe adapted (made healthier) from Our Best Bites.

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    That is so bizarre.

    I just came here to see if you had any good dressing recipes, as I’m making a tortilla thing with split peas and lentils tonight for dinner and this looks perfect. Can’t wait to try it out 🙂 Thanks.

  2. I love love love cafe rio dressing and was so happy to find this because I have been wanting to try a healthy version. My only problem is that Greek yogurt is so gross to me, I cannot even stomach the smell of it. Can you recommend any alternative? Or how do you think this would turn out without the yogurt? Thanks!

    1. I would use mayo instead of Greek yogurt 🙂 Not as healthy, but you could try the olive oil version! I don’t think it would be great without some kind of thickener (yogurt or mayo) Hope that helps!

  3. If this is Cafe Rio Tomatillo dressing, why aren’t there any tomatillos in it? Tomatillos are healthy.

    1. 5 stars
      @ Lorna Heppler What do you think is the main ingredient in the salsa verde?? Also, it never hurts to say thank you for posting the recipe… Thanks a bunch Chelsea; I’m in love with Cafe Rio Ranch! You rock figuring out a healthier version!

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