Cilantro Lime Dressing with Video

LAST UPDATED: Aug 03, 2020 | PUBLISHED: May 17, 2015 | By: Julie Blanner

Give your salad a kick with this easy and delicious Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe! This Cilantro Lime Dressing is the perfect Southwest Taco Salad Dressing. It is made with fresh cilantro, olive oil, and jalapeno and easily blended in the food processor. Add it to simple mixed greens, wraps, burrito bowls, as a marinade for chicken, and more!

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Searching For A Delicious Cilantro Lime Dressing

For what seems like ages, I have searched across Mexican restaurants in St. Louis to get my salad with a kick fix! I’ve enjoyed a lot of great salads and my family has enjoyed a lot of great Mexican, but even the most promising “jalapeño lime vinaigrette” fell flat. Some people love cilantro and others not so much, but it is a family favorite around here and we enjoy the flavor it gives to this dressing.

Just a few miles from our old home, there was a little restaurant, Salty Iguana, that I religiously ordered a side salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette along with chips and guacamole. It was unlike any other salad I’ve had. The “kick” made it feel like I was indulging on something much less diet-friendly and never left me wanting more.

After all that searching, I realized I could hardly subject my family to another Mexican outing. I decided it was time to create a Salty Iguana Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe right here at home.

I NAILED it! Yes, I’m bragging.

You have no idea how incredibly happy it made me as I continue my quest to lose a little weight and still enjoy every bite I take. There’s nothing better than finding a solution to a craving and knowing that it’s healthy, too! Are you like me, looking to add just a little spice to your life?

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing is low in calories – just 88 per serving, yet so full of flavor! It has a way of making you feel like you’re eating something much more exciting than a salad.

However, this vinaigrette can be used for so much more!

How Do I Use This Zesty Lime Vinaigrette?

This salad dressing has a few more ingredients than most of my vinaigrette recipes. However, that’s what makes it so satisfying!

Rather than having to load the salad with lots of other ingredients (though feel free, if you wish), it’s all blended into one tasty vinaigrette!

To use this dressing, toss it into mixed greens, or add to wraps, baked cilantro lime chicken, or make a fiesta pasta salad. One of my favorite ways is adding it to my Taco Salad. The possibilities are endless, and since it keeps for a few days you can get creative!

Just 5 minutes in a blender or food processor yields 3/4 c of salad dressing that remains fresh up to 5 days sealed and refrigerated.

That’s nearly a week of fiesta fun! If your family is anything like ours, we can eat Mexican-inspired meals every day of the week.  What I love about this dressing is the flexibility – we can all enjoy it in a variety of ways! What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

What Readers Are Saying About This Lime Vinaigrette

“I made this last night for mothers day, and used it on top of a southwestern themed chopped salad. My mom LOVED it and said it was the best salad she had ever had. Clearly it was due to the great flavor of this dressing. Wonderful work ?” (Thanks Ellie!)

“I love this dressing. Didn’t have fresh cilantro so I substituted dried. I used 1/3 c. dried, as a half bunch fresh would be twice as much or more. Looks a little different in appearance but tastes great. Nice!” (Glo, SD- thanks so much!)

“So glad I found this dressing recipe! It’s the perfect addition to so many of our favorite Tex Mex dinners. I can’t wait to try it on your pasta salad. Thank you for sharing!” (Patty, Pinterest)

How Do You Make Cilantro Lime Dressing?

  1. In a food processor, blender, or jar combine cilantro leaves, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, and vinegar. Blend or whisk ingredients together well.
  2. Add salt and pepper, mustard and olive oil. Blend until smooth.
  3. Toss into mixed greens, or add to wraps, baked cilantro lime chicken, or make a fiesta pasta salad.

Some like it hot! If you want even more kick, just add a hint of red pepper!

Remember to rinse the cilantro leaves and either air dry or blot them dry with a towel before using.

Here’s a little step by step visual to show you just how easy it is! No chopping necessary.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

“Life without Mexican food is like no life at all” (unknown)

Tips To Make The Best Mexican Salad Dressing

Just a few notes and tips to help you achieve the best possible flavor.

  • Don’t forget to remove jalapeño seeds, unless you like fire!
  • You can substitute with white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also sub fresh cilantro for dried if you’re in a pinch.
  • Quality olive oil and fresh lime juice are key!
  • To add a creamy touch, just add a little plain greek yogurt or sour cream. Now you’ve got a creamy cilantro lime dressing!
  • This salad doesn’t need much, but some of my favorite toppings are freshly shredded cheddar or feta, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado and grilled chicken. At just 80 calories per serving of salad dressing, you can see why this cilantro lime vinaigrette recipe is a favorite!

Why buy your dressing at the store when you can whip this zesty dressing up in just minutes?

Are you as excited about this delicious dressing as I am? I hope you’ll give it a try! Now we just need to whip up a fresh skinny margarita, and we’ll be all set for a fiesta. To see just how easy this Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe is, watch the video in this post.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Do you have a restaurant favorite you wish you could make at home? I’d love any suggestions for future copycat recipes!

If You Like This Vinaigrette, You’ll Love These: 


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5 minute cilantro lime vinaigrette recipe | Mexican Salad Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing (Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette)

Julie Blanner
Give your salad a kick with this easy and delicious Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe! This Cilantro Lime Dressing is the perfect Southwest Salad Dressing. Add it to simple mixed greens, wraps, burrito bowls, as a marinade for chicken, and more! Fresh lime juice is the key to this light, flavorful vinaigrette.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 88 kcal


  • 1/2 bunch cilantro destemmed
  • 2 limes juiced or 1/4 c lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeño remove seeds
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar {*see substitutions}
  • 8 cracks of salt
  • 3/4 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1/4 c olive oil


  • In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, & vinegar. Blend well.
  • Add salt, mustard & olive oil. Blend.
  • Toss with mixed greens.



If you want to make it creamy, simply add greek yogurt.


Calories:88kcalCarbohydrates:2gFat:9gSaturated Fat:1gSodium:8mgPotassium:22mgVitamin A:70IUVitamin C:8.3mgCalcium:7mgIron:0.2mg
Keywords healthy, pasta salad, salad, skinny, vinaigrette
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner



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