Cilantro Lime Dressing

This tangy cilantro lime dressing is destined for your next taco salad. Enjoy it as a vinaigrette, or add avocado or Greek yogurt to make it creamy!

Creamy cilantro lime dressing

This cilantro lime dressing is the perfect summer salad dressing – it’s tangy, it’s herbaceous, and it’s so yummy drizzled over summer salads, grilled veggies, and more. The best part about it this dressing? It can be made 3 ways! Once you make the cilantro lime dressing, serve it as-is, add Greek yogurt to make a creamy ranch-like dressing (pictured in the middle above), or add avocado to make a thick, creamy sauce (pictured left above).

Let’s get started!

Cilantro lime salad dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing Ingredients

I make this dressing in the food processor so that the cilantro gets finely chopped and the dressing becomes emulsified. It takes minutes to blend together, and these 7 ingredients make it zesty & bright:

  1. Cilantro is the star of the show. It makes the dressing super fresh and green.
  2. Garlic adds a little bite.
  3. Lime juice makes it tangy.
  4. Maple syrup or honey calms and balances the sharp, tangy flavors.
  5. Ground coriander is one of my go-to ingredients when I’m using cilantro & lime, and it gives this dressing extra depth of flavor.
  6. Sea salt makes the flavors pop.
  7. And extra-virgin olive oil adds richness and ties it all together.

That’s it! Just pulse it together (I try not to blend it too long so that it still has pretty flecks of green), and your dressing will be ready for salads, burrito bowls, tacos, and more.

Cilantro lime dressing recipe

Variations of cilantro lime dressing:

I while I love the vinaigrette version of this dressing, I like to change it up from time to time, depending on what I’m craving and what I’m making. I like to make creamy cilantro lime dressing two different ways: with yogurt and with avocado.

A creamy Greek yogurt variation has a similar consistency to ranch or a buttermilk dressing – it’s lightly creamy and not too thick. To make it, simply add 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt to the food processor along with the other ingredients.

A creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing is thicker than the Greek yogurt version. I love to serve it alongside burritos as a dipping sauce or put big, thick dollops on a taco salad. To make it, add 1/2 avocado to the food processor with the base dressing recipe, and blend!

Make it spicy by adding a bit of jalapeño or a few pickled jalapeños.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This dressing is a great one to keep on hand in the fridge. It adds a bright, zesty pop to simple green salads as well as DIY burrito bowls made with cilantro lime rice, black beans, veggies, pico de gallo, guac, and mango salsa.

It would also be delicious drizzled or scooped onto:

Cilantro Lime Dressing

If you love this cilantro lime dressing recipe…

Try more of my favorite sauces like these tahini sauces, this citrus salad dressing, this chipotle sauce, tomatillo salsapesto, tzatziki, healthier Caesar dressing, or the carrot ginger dressing in this recipe.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

rate this recipe:
5 from 122 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves 4 (makes 1 cup)
This easy cilantro lime dressing is great to have on hand in the fridge for topping onto salads, tacos, or burrito bowls. To make it creamy, add 1/2 avocado or Greek yogurt to the base recipe!


  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make it creamy (optional):

  • 1 avocado or ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt


  • In a food processor, place the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, maple syrup, coriander, and salt and pulse to combine. With the blade running, pour in the olive oil and process until smooth.
  • Make it creamy (optional) - blend with 1 avocado or ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Nilsa Rodriguez

    5 stars
    Hi. Made the cilantro
    Lime dressing w avocado. Tremendous flavors. Thank you. How long does it keep ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nilsa, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It keeps for a couple of days because the avocado will start to discolor over time.

    • Marie-Helene

      I have the same question; I gather once the avocado is in, a few days?

  2. Chantal

    Would this dressing still be good if I use green onions as opposed to garlic? If so, what quantity would you recommend?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Chantal, I think green onions might be good here – I’d use 1-2 tablespoons chopped

  3. Jessica

    5 stars
    I made this with avocado to go on a taco salad and it was absolutely delicious. Even my cilantro hating husband really liked it. This will definitely be a go-to dressing for any salad. I think it’ll even work as a refreshing dip.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  4. PK

    5 stars
    This dressing is so good it’s addictive – the combination of sour lime with sweet maple syrup and fresh herbs is just perfect. I used it for every salad I made this week.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving it!

  5. Bridget

    5 stars
    Wow!! So so good. Love this dressing for salads, tacos and beyond. All of your dressings are my go tos. Yummmmmm

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  6. Mary-Anne

    What’s the shelf life

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      It will keep for about 4 days in the fridge!

  7. Nancy

    This sounded so good; however, my cilantro was looking sad and I only had 1 lime, so I decided to riff on it cuz I needed a dressing 😎 I only had about 1/8 C cilantro, and added about 1/8 C apple cider vinegar to make up for missing lime juice, and about 1/4 C normal yogurt (not Greek). But it was flat, so I added abut 3/4 tsp cumin, and 6 pickled jalapeño slices. Shazam – that did it. I look forward to following the recipe the time but will definitely still include the cumin and jalapeño slices. .

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Love the idea of pickled jalapeños here!

  8. Kim

    This was so good! I needed to use up cilantro and limes that I had from making fajitas, so this was perfect. I cut the recipe in half and then decided to mix it with leftover veggies I had on hand, such as broccoli, radishes, romaine, tomatoes and avocado. I mixed everything together, added a little cumin, and voila, it was delicious. Thank you for a most excellent recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Kim, I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Angie

    Do you know how many calories, carbs, etc. per serving?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.