Cilantro Lime Dressing – Cookie and Kate

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Make this cilantro lime dressing recipe the next time you prepare a Mexican meal. It’s bright, sunny and fresh! This dressing is boldly flavored with fresh lime, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, honey, cumin and Dijon mustard. You can make it creamy or spicy if you wish.

Drizzle this dressing over crisp greens with sliced avocado and toasted pepitas for a perfectly simple side salad. You’ll find a longer list of salad toppings to choose from below.

cilantro lime dressing ingredients

I improvised this dressing to make a green salad with leftovers from my Fajita Veggie & Halloumi Bowls, and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you. It’s almost as versatile as my favorite Lemon Vinaigrette and suits some flavors even better.

This dressing comes together quickly in the food processor and keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week. Sometimes having a vibrant sauce on hand makes all the difference!

creamy cilantro lime dressing recipe

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Dressing

Drizzle this cilantro lime dressing over greens to serve alongside Mexican and Tex-Mex meals. This fresh dressing comes together quickly and lightens heavy entrées. Serve it with Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas, Fajita Veggie & Halloumi Bowls or Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.

This dressing is suitable for any green, from mild lettuces like Bibb lettuce and romaine to hearty greens like kale and arugula.

Here’s a list of salad ingredients that go well with this dressing:

Watch How to Make Cilantro Lime Dressing

Flavor Variations

Make it creamy

Add tahini or Greek yogurt. I love the light nuttiness and intrigue that tahini brings. The recipe below includes suggested amounts for each option.

Make it spicy

Add a fresh jalapeño or red pepper flakes. Start small and blend in more to taste.

Skip the cilantro

For the cilantro-averse, yes, you can omit the cilantro! You’ll end up with a lovely lime dressing. It’s especially good with jalapeño for some extra flavor, which will be very similar to the Jalapeño-Lime Dressing in my cookbook, Love Real Food (page 53).

cilantro lime dressing near salad

Salads Featuring Similar Dressings

These dressings are tailored to each recipe. I hope they offer additional inspiration.

Please let me know how your cilantro lime dressing turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you. You can check out more salad dressings here.

cilantro lime dressing pouring onto salad

Print

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¼ cups 1x
  • Category: Salad dressing
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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Make this cilantro lime dressing recipe for your next green salad! It’s the perfect burst of freshness to accompany your Mexican and Tex-Mex meals. You can make the dressing creamy or spicy, if you wish! Recipe yields 1 ¼ cups.


Scale

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup lime juice (from about 4 to 6 limes)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (mostly leaves, small stems are ok, from about 1 small bunch) 
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Scant ½ teaspoon fine salt, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • Optional, for spice: 1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, and roughly chopped, and/or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional, for creamy dressing: 2 tablespoons tahini or ½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or small blender, combine all of the ingredients. Process until the mixture is completely smooth with tiny flecks of cilantro. 
  2. Taste, and adjust as necessary—if the dressing is overwhelmingly tart, add more honey by the teaspoon. If it tastes a little bitter or needs extra oomph, add another pinch or two of salt. For more spice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Blend again. 
  3. Serve immediately or store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey. For a creamy dressing, choose tahini.

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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