Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

An easy, creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing made with Greek yogurt! So good you’ll want to eat it with a spoon. Guaranteed to brighten up any salad!

This is one of those salad dressings previously reserved for dine-in and take-out situations only.

The fresh, vibrant colors and flavors previously reserved for Tex-Mex entree salads at your favorite restaurant are about to take over you kitchen, and it couldn’t be easier. Or more delicious.
Cilantro Lime Dressing - a photo of a clear jar full of a green cilantro lime dressing with a white bowl of salad in the background - click photo for full written recipe

How do you make Cilantro Lime Dressing?

Blend cilantro leaves (stems removed and discarded, or fed to your cat) in a food processor with Greek yogurt, lime juice, and minced garlic.

  • Pro Tip: Even though you’re making this in a food process or blender, you should still mince the garlic so you don’t accidentally end up with a random large piece of raw garlic.

Next, with the motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with s&p!
Cilantro Lime Dressing - a photo of a clear jar full of a green cilantro lime dressing being poured onto a salad - click photo for full written recipe

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Besides the pretty green color, you can look forward to a protein boost from the Greek yogurt and extra vitamins from all the fresh herbs from this fabulous Cilantro Lime Dressing. Delicious!

How do you make Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette?

In a food processor or blender combine:

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Lime Dressing - a photo a green salad covered in cilantro lime dressing in a white bowl with halved limes at the bottom - click photo for full written recipe

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An easy, creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe made with Greek yogurt! So good you'll want to eat it with a spoon. Guaranteed to brighten up any salad!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

An easy, creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing made with Greek yogurt! So good you'll want to eat it with a spoon. Guaranteed to brighten up any salad! Naturally gluten free.
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 16 servings (2 tbsp each)
Calories 78 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine cilantro, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add olive oil through the feed-tube. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper). Chill at least 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Recipe Notes

  1. Be sure to mince the garlic before adding to the food processor. Otherwise, you may have large chunks of garlic in the salad dressing.

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40 comments

  1. Hi! I just tried this recipe tonight and the yogurt seemed to over-power a little (and I use Greek yogurt all the time!) The final product, even after chilling for 10 minutes, had sort of a sour/bitter taste for a salad dressing. Do you have any recommendations? I also doubled the recipe, do you think that had something to do with it? Any help or suggestions are welcome!

    • Hi Katelyn! Hmmm, I am so sorry to hear that. I really don’t see how doubling the recipe would have made a difference. None of the ingredients are bitter, per se, so that is an odd flavor to show up (unless it was just more sour than bitter, in which case I’d look at the lime juice). How was the saltiness? I guess if I tried it and it seemed bitter, I’d probably add more salt. Obviously that wouldn’t work for everyone though. Which brand of yogurt did you use? I know I used Fage… but I really feel like all plain Greek yogurts taste the same. Short of making it again in your kitchen with you, I’m sort of at a loss… other than wondering about the ingredients and whether more salt would have helped. :-/ I am really sorry.

    • Just wondering, did you use fresh lime juice? Sometimes the bottled juice can cause things to taste a little bitter. Also, were your limes fresh?

    • Hi Fay, yes, my limes were absolutely fresh. I do not buy the bottled juice no matter what. I also don’t buy the pre-chopped garlic in a jar even though everyone keeps telling me how good and convenient it is! I feel like with the bottle lemon and lime juices, it’s just not even in the ballpark of tasting right. In this application it might not taste BAD, but it wouldn’t taste the same for sure. And yes I could see bitterness being a side effect.

    • I’ve discovered if I run garlic through my processor or blender it tends to make things bigger. I put it through my garlic press and then add it at the very last minute only blending enough to mix it in. That has solved my bitter problem

    • That’s excellent, Cindy! Thanks for sharing that tip. I’m so glad, hopefully you can enjoy the dressing more. Good detective work. :)

    • I think your problem was actually the olive oil — did you use extra virgin? It gets bitter when you put it in a blender or food processor. Use regular olive oil or a different kind of oil and it’ll be fine :)

    • Great! Yes! That completely makes sense. I rarely cook with extra virgin olive oil so I never would have thought of that. Genius. :)

  2. Yum! So tangy, and a great colour! Thanks

  3. I just made this and it is delicious and so easy! Thank you! By the way the yield was about 1 cup for me.

  4. I added some avocado and some seeded jalapeño for a little kick… ahmazing!

  5. I’ve been making a similar recipe for years that I obtained from a world renowned chef that had the pleasure of vacationing with. The only difference was it had more cilantro and more lime juice although we added what was needed while making it.

    This was something that he whipped up for a fish, black beans and rice dish, not a salad dressing. The meal was a little more Caribbean and I believe he used some Caribbean seasonings on baked fish. We used the leftover as a dip with some corn chips. Since then I have used it as more of an all-purpose sauce but mainly on fish. It’s also important that you use fresh cilantro and a ripe lime. It’s also important to make sure it is well blended and would not recommend trying to mix by hand

    • The meal you are describing sounds positively mouth-watering! I can see how this could easily be used a sauce rather than a dressing as you have described. You have me dreaming of the possibilities. Thanks for your ideas!

    • Sorry for not approving this comment yesterday, I see you were kind enough to leave it twice. Thanks again for your story and the remarkable new ways to try this recipe!

  6. I haven’t done this yet but I’m thinking about adding some Mexican seasonings, I absolutely love cilantro.

  7. I’ve tried this recipe several times & found it a little bitter so i added a little honey to take the bitterness out – turned out great!

    • Hi Jenn, I am so glad you found a way to make it to your liking! I am definitely going to add honey next time, just to see how the flavor changes. Sounds perfect. :) Thank you!

  8. I realize I’m late to the party but I wanted to chime in on how the dressing might have been bitter. When using fresh garlic be sure the garlic hasn’t sprouted. Not that you can’t use sprouted garlic but you will want to remove the sprouting portion or you will have marked bitter garlic flavor.  Slice the clove long wise and remove the sprout from the center. The sprout should be easy to remove. If it’s difficult to remove then your garlic is beyond saving and you’re better off planting it than to use it in cooking.  Hope this helps someone and thanks for the recipe. Also, I’m not  a big fan of the tangy flavor of yogurt in dressings so I’m substituting this ingredient with sour cream. Thanks again!

    • I appreciate all the comments! I will have to experiment with this dressing more to try to offset the bitterness. I’m not sure if my palette is just wacky or why that never bothered me. But, thank you for your tips, especially on the garlic!!! And I agree, sour cream is positively heavenly. Great choice.

  9. Our family loves this dressing.  We use it to make a cole slaw to go with shrimp tacos.  Our latest use was for a chicken salad wrap.  We loaded a tortilla with avocados and diced chicken tossed in the dressing.  Thanks for a great recipe.

    • That sounds fantastic to make a cole slaw! Heading out now to get ingredients.

    • I agree, Caitlin, sounds like a great dressing for cole slaw. I’d probably throw extra cilantro in the slaw, too. Sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Delicious!!!!

  11. This recipe looks amazing. Any clue how long it stays good for once refridgerated?

    • Hey there, Hailey! I’d say about 3 days, 4 at the most. That’s the standard for most things in the fridge, and I know I’ve held on to this and used it for a few days without issue. I hope that helps! Thanks for your question. Take care!

  12. What is the calorie count for 2 tablespoons of this dressing?

    • Hi Eileen, I finally added nutrition info for this recipe. The calorie count for 2 Tbsp is 157 calories. Thanks for your question!

  13. I have found, that even using Extra Virgin oil can make things bitter. I made a Japanese mayonnaise with it and, it was HORRIBLE! Had to throw it away…I used safflower oil instead and, it was AWESOME!!!! This dressing is very good with both sunflower and safflower oil in place of the olive oil…virgin or not. I too added a touch of honey..It was so good! Thank you for the recipe Meggan

    • Thank you so much for the insights Deborah!!! I always forget about safflower and sunflower oils… need to get those on hand and start making my recipes with them! I don’t really buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil because I don’t care for the taste. I so appreciate your comment, thank you for sharing. :) Have a great weekend!

  14. I just saw your receipe for the first time. I have really enjoyed using avocado oil for cooking, so I am going to try that instead of the olive oil. Just made a similar dressing with Mayonnaise and also added a liittle cumin, ground fresh black pepper, fresh pressed garlic and a dash of onion powder. That dressing was really great with our Mexican dish. Thanks for the recipe Meggan. I just made my own yogurt and wanted a different receipe.

  15. Hiii Megghan, would you mind sharing what inmersión blender/food processor  you have?? 

    • Hi Adriana! I have a KitchenAid food processor. It’s several years old – probably from 2007 or 2008 or something like that. My blender is from Blendtec. I bought it on Black Friday a few years ago on Amazon. I do also have a Kitchen Aid immersion blender, but it’s still in the box after a few years. I’ve never used it. I hope this is helpful. Thank you!

  16. Must use Greek yogurt. I used regular yogurt and it was too runny. Cut the garlic in half too for a family member who does not like garlic. Regardless it was delicious.

  17. Love this dressing !!

    How long does it keep until?

  18. Hi, where did you get the cool container for your homemade dressing? Thanks!

    • Hi Ruth! I got it on Amazon, you can find it here ($7.19 from where I’m sitting): http://a.co/88oX08Q
      This is not an affiliate link, I don’t make any money if you click on this and buy anything! I love the little jug. :) Thanks Ruth! Take care.

  19. I loved the dressing add 1/4 cup of orange  and honey..I’m not used to put a yogurt .. 

  20. Hi. This site for cilantro lime dressing has two recipes. One has the addition of white wine vinegar, brown sugar and spicy brown mustard. The other does not include these ingredients. 
    Which is correct?

  21. This was so amazing. I’m getting bored of my normal salad dressings, and this one knocked it out of the park! I used sour cream instead of yogurt since it’s what I had, but it came out great! Thank you!

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