Go Back
+ servings

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing takes just 5 minutes in our blender and is about to become your go-to intoxicating dressing! This dressing makes everything better from salads to tacos, to burritos to bowls to grilled chicken or fish.  It also makes a fabulous dip for veggies, quesadillas, empanadas, etc.  It’s spiked with tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime and smoked paprika to create a luscious dressing packed with irresistible tangy, punchy flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 2 tomatillos husks removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno deveined, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream may sub Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice use less if using Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix (1 oz. packet) - see DIY NOTES
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • Milk as needed


  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender puree until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Chill before serving (a must!). Dressing will thicken in the refrigerator so you may need to whisk in some milk before serving. This Cilantro Lime Dressing stores fabulously well for about 5-7 days, but honestly, it never lasts that long at our house!


DIY ranch seasoning

You can use  Hidden Valley Ranch packet for a shortcut or you're welcome to use your own DIY ranch seasoning:
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Tips and Tricks

  • Half recipe.  This recipe makes a generous amount of dressing so you can easily cut it in half if you prefer - but we always use it all!
  • Dry cilantro. Wash then dry cilantro very well otherwise the leftover water will thin the dressing and make it less flavorful.
  • You can use some stem. You will use the top part of the cilantro bunch with the leaves and stems - no need to pick off individual cilantro leaves.
  • Don’t be afraid of tomatillos. If you aren’t sure where the tomatillos are at your grocery store, ask someone!  They are super easy to use and sooo good!  You will remove the outer husks then roughly chop the tomatillos before adding to your blender.
  • Customize heat. As written, the dressing is not spicy at all, just flavorful because we are removing the seeds and membrane which contain most of the heat. I would suggest reserving the jalapeno seeds until after the dressing is made then you can taste the dressing and add some/all of the seeds for some heat or just spice it up with some dashes of hot sauce.
  • Greek yogurt substitute. I still prefer sour cream in this Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe but Greek yogurt works well in because we are making a tangy dressing.  If the dressing is too tangy, add a teaspoon or so of honey.
  • Customize tang. The cilantro, tomatillo and ranch mix all add tang to this dressing, so the best way to customize the tanginess is with the lime juice.  This recipe only calls for 1 ½ teaspoons but you will be surprised at how much that enlivens the rest of the ingredients.  Feel free to add more or less to taste.
  • DIY ranch seasoning. As previously discussed, you can use the specified seasonings instead of the ranch seasoning mix in the post.
  • Control consistency. This dressing is wonderfully creamy.  I find my blender works so well it thins dressings and sauces out more than others so you might need to add additional milk to reach desired consistency and the beauty is the consistency is 100% up to you!
  • CHILL! This is the biggest tip I can give you! Once you first make your dressing you are going to taste it at room temperature and wonder what all the hype is about.  The fresh, vibrant tanginess only emerges after the dressing is cool, and the flavors melded.
  • Chill in freezer. If you are short on time, place the dressing in the freezer! You can chill in the freezer for up to 30 minutes to speed up the process then the Cilantro Lime Dressing in the refrigerator.
  • More than a salad dressing! See in the post for the long list of ideas to use this recipe for/on!