Cilantro Lime Dressing is a fresh, zesty, and tangy dressing to drizzle on salads, veggies, or your favorite Mexican-inspired meal.
You can make it in 5 minutes with 7 ingredients in a blender. This recipe is healthy, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and perfect to brighten up your favorite meal.
Check out our best vegan sauce recipes.
Cilantro lime dressing is one of our favorite green herb dressings because is quick and easy to make, and because it brightens up pretty much any meal.
This dressing is great with real Mexican food as well as with Tex-Mex food. Think nachos, tortillas, tacos, taco salad, quesadillas, guacamole, and burritos, including burrito bowls and other wraps. It's also great as a salad dressing, including pasta salads.
Anything that has beans, rice, potatoes, corn, and most grilled, steamed, and boiled vegetables will be delicious with some cilantro lime dressing on top. Let's see how it's made.
Cilantro: fresh cilantro in the USA, fresh coriander internationally. Not to confuse with flat-leaf parsley or with coriander seeds. You can use both cilantro leaves and thin cilantro stems.
Lime juice: where there's cilantro there's fresh lime juice. If you can't find lime you can replace it with lemon juice.
Olive oil: we like to use extra virgin olive oil for the richer and more aromatic flavor, and also because it contains more antioxidants than regular olive oil or vegetable oil. A good alternative could be avocado oil.
Maple syrup: we use it to add a touch of sweetness and balance out both the cilantro and the lemon juice. You can replace it with agave syrup or with honey, but in that case, the dressing won't be vegan.
Garlic: just a small clove of fresh garlic or even less, depending on your taste. It goes well with cilantro, but try not to overpower the dressing with it. We wouldn't recommend garlic powder for this dressing. If you want a milder garlic flavor, then just crush a clove of garlic and add it to the dressing.
Ginger: this is optional, but we like to add a small amount of grated ginger to add even more zest, tang, and freshness to this cilantro lime dressing. Plus ginger, lime, garlic, and cilantro go really well together.
Salt: to tie all the ingredients together and bring out their flavor. Sea salt and kosher salt are best.
To a blender or food processor add all ingredients: cilantro (stems and leaves), lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, peeled and grated ginger, salt, and olive oil.
Blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and lime before serving.
Creamy cilantro lime dressing
The standard version of this dressing is quite liquid, almost like a vinaigrette. And we love it like that. However, some of you might prefer it a little creamier.
The best way to make this dressing creamier is to substitute ½ cup of vegan mayonnaise for half the oil in the recipe card.
To make it lighter, you might cut the mayonnaise in half and replace it with the same quantity of unsweetened plant-based yogurt, greek yogurt, or sour cream. But the dressing won't be as creamy. You can even use 100% plant-based yogurt for the healthiest variation.
Another way of thickening up the dressing is to add a ripe avocado to it. You'll have a delicious creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing and you can even use it as a dip.
Spicy cilantro lime dressing
To best way to add heat to cilantro lime dressing is to use jalapeno pepper or any other type of spicy green pepper.
More Vegan Dressings
If you enjoyed this cilantro lime dressing, take a peek at our other vegan sauces:
- Vegan pesto: our 5-min recipe that helps you make pesto with 9 different flavors. Pesto is a creamy addition to pasta and gnocchi
- Romesco sauce: creamy, nutty, and with roasted pepper, an easy dip and vegan appetizer idea
- Tahini sauce: adds some middle-eastern creamy flair to salads and legumes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for the best result
- Cilantro Lime dressing: bright, fresh and Mexican-inspired dressing
- Mustard vinaigrette: a simple and effective way to add flavor to your vegan pasta salad
- Chipotle sauce: sweet and spicy, this sauce gives new life to flatbread pizza and potato side dishes
- Green goddess dressing: creamy, indulgent, and packed with herbs and vitamins. A perfect dressing for grain bowls and vegan salads
Which dressing is your favorite for salads and veggies? We'd love to hear from you, let us know in the comments below!
Store cilantro lime dressing in an airtight container (like a mason jar) for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 6 months. You can freeze in the same jar or in ice cube trays. Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours. Do not freeze multiple times.
For more condiment ideas, check out our dressing and sauces category page.
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1 cup packed cilantro
- ¼ cup lime juice (2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon ginger grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- To a blender add all ingredients: cilantro, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, peeled and grated ginger, salt, and olive oil.
- Blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and lime before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze in a jar or in an ice cube trays for up to 6 months.