Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Greek yogurt makes this easy Cilantro Lime Dressing ultra-creamy. The 5-ingredient homemade salad dressing is so tasty, you’ll want to drink the ranch dressing alternative by the spoonful!

A bottle of cilantro lime dressing.

The original Hidden Valley Ranch, yes, of bottled ranch dressing fame, is a real place in Santa Barbara, California. With that inspiration in mind, I stepped into my Test Kitchen to create a silky, herb-spiked ranch substitute which I now call “California Ranch.”

Just 5 ingredients are required to recreate this far-better-than-bottled homemade salad dressing. (If you’re looking for the OG, I’ve got your Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix here, by the way.) This Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe features some of my favorite fresh, vibrant flavors the Southwest. Although it sure doesn’t taste healthy, this easy dressing recipe is made with a base of Greek yogurt, which delivers a dose of protein and gut health-promoting probiotics.

This is same kind of dressing they drizzle over taco salads at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, but it’s super simple to make at home in 5 minutes flat.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for creamy cilantro lime rice.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Plain Greek yogurt: For a richer texture and flavor, opt for a fat level of 2% or higher. That said, any plain Greek yogurt from 0% up works for this creamy salad dressing. Sour cream is a great substitute, if you prefer.
  • Garlic: Mince the garlic before adding to the food processor, otherwise, you may be left with large chunks of garlic in the salad dressing. (Which I certainly don’t mind, but know that not everyone loves.)

Step by step instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, and garlic. Blend until smooth.
Creamy cilantro lime dressing being blended in a food processor.
  1. With the motor running, slowly add olive oil through the feed-tube.
Someone pouring oil into a food processor for cilantro lime dressing.
  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper). Chill until serving.
A bottle of cilantro lime dressing.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe makes about 2 cups. This is equivalent to 32 tablespoons, enough for 16 2-tablespoon servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Garlic: Try roasted garlic instead of raw for a more mellow flavor.
  • Green Goddess: Made with parsley, chives, and tarragon, Green Goddess dressing has a similar color and texture but a different (yet equally delicious) herby flavor profile. It’s a great choice to explore next!
A clear dish of cilantro lime dressing.

Recipe FAQs

How can I adjust this homemade salad dressing recipe if I don’t love cilantro?

Research proves that our genes play a role in whether we swoon over cilantro or think it smells and tastes soapy. If you fall into the anti-cilantro camp, try this same creamy salad dressing concept with basil or a mix of parsley and dill instead. (You may want to swap in lemon juice for the lime juice in either case.)

Can you eat cilantro stems?

You sure can. Cilantro stems are tender and full of flavor, but I prefer the texture of leaves in this DIY dressing. Feel free to save the stems for other uses, such as Cilantro Mint Sauce.

More homemade salad dressings

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Creamy cilantro lime dressing in a tapered glass open top bottle.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Greek yogurt makes this easy Cilantro Lime Dressing ultra-creamy. The 5-ingredient homemade salad dressing is so tasty, you'll want to drink the ranch dressing alternative by the spoonful!
Author: Meggan Hill
4.90 from 47 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 16 servings (2 tbsp each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 70

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a food processor, combine cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, and garlic. Blend until smooth.
  • With the motor running, slowly add olive oil through the feed-tube. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper). Chill until serving.

Notes

  1. Plain Greek yogurt: For a richer texture and flavor, opt for a fat level of 2% or higher. That said, any plain Greek yogurt from 0% up works for this creamy salad dressing. Sour cream is a great substitute, if you prefer.
  2. Garlic: Mince the garlic before adding to the food processor, otherwise, you may be left with large chunks of garlic in the salad dressing. (Which I certainly don’t mind, but know that not everyone loves.)
  3. Yield: This Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe makes about 2 cups. This is equivalent to 32 tablespoons, enough for 16 2-tablespoon servings.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 70kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 6mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 137IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. This dressing is so so good! It’s creamy, tangy, healthy, and the taste reminds me of summer. So much better than bottled dressings! I love the previous reviewer’s idea of adding jalapeno. We’ll try that next time. This would also be great on steak, chicken, tacos, etc!5 stars

    1. Hi ENorth, sorry you didn’t care for the dressing. I hope you are able to find another one you prefer. – Meggan

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