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BEST Cilantro Lime Dressing

If you’ve been looking for a great summer dressing, then look no further…this Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe is what you want. It’s a light and refreshing dressing that is perfect for salads or marinades.

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing on a spoon

This cilantro lime dressing is so good, not only on salad, but is also good for marinating grilled meats especially on chicken and steak for Mexican food, like tacos, fajitas etc. 

The lime juice and the sweetener together give you that sweet/tart combo which is great and then add that cilantro which speaks for itself! It’s easy to make and will be a favorite addition to your meals for years to come.

There are 2 versions of cilantro-lime dressing you can make. One is a vinegarette and one is a creamy version. Both are delicious, easy to make, and a nice summer refreshing dressing that goes really well with summer salads, especially ones that have fruit and cheese on them.

What is Cilantro Lime Dressing?

This cilantro lime dressing is a combination of refreshing, sweet, and tart flavorings to add on top of your salad. It goes well with any salad but what I really like it with is a salad that has some fruit on it, such as strawberries, oranges, ….etc. It’s a good combo and especially good in the summer when it’s hot out because it’s very refreshing.

Another way to use this cilantro lime dressing is as a marinade with chicken and beef, or as a great cilantro lime sauce on top of any Mexican food like tacos, fajitas..and so forth.

Is Cilantro Dressing Healthy?

Best Cilantro Dressing Recipe

This cilantro lime salad dressing is a healthy topping for your salad. All of the 5 ingredients are good and healthy ones, and there is nothing bad for you in this dressing. 

I love the taste of cilantro. When I make salsa, in my opinion, you can never add too much of it, it’s such a refreshing and fresh-tasting flavor. 

Cilantro is a very healthy herb with a lot of benefits such as:

  • Healthy skin.
  • Helps ward off diabetes by lowering blood sugar.
  • Increased energy.
  • Can help prevent heart disease.
  • Can help lower weight.
  • May help reduce anxiety, by improving sleep quality.

These are a few of the health benefits, but there are so many more. 

It helps to eat cilantro daily and there are a lot of foods that go well with some chopped cilantro. For instance, mix it in your morning eggs, add it to your green salad, or along with your chicken or steak, and as a garnish on top of your burger.

What Ingredients are in Cilantro Lime Dressing?

Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Dressing
  • Lime Juice – This adds a refreshing and bright citrus flavor. Use fresh lime juice, it’s much better than bottled and makes a big difference.
  • Cilantro – A very fresh herb, it’s one of my favorites and the more the better.
  • Olive Oil – A very good and healthy oil to use.
  • Mustard – Any mustard of your choice will work. We used dijon in our dressing. 
  • Swerve – A zero net carb sweetener. We used the powdered version because it dissolves easily.

Sweetener Options

Because of the lime juice, which can be kind of tart, adding a sweetener, even if only a small amount, can be a nice combo which offsets the tartness of the lime. It’s that sweet and sour combo that we love!

If you are on a low carb diet then definitely use one of the low carb sweeteners. For this recipe, we like the powdered Swerve, which blends up nice and it dissolves easily. It also has zero net carbs, so that’s a plus for sure.

If you are not on a low carb diet then you can feel free to add a small amount of honey, agave, or regular sugar to the dressing, or a confectionary sugar, just enough to cut the tartness of the lime juice.

Tools to Use

Cilantro Lime Dressing

There are a few tools that you could use to make this lime-cilantro dressing. 

We used the Vitamix but there are a few options:

  • Vitamix – A very powerful blender which is a good choice for this dressing because it’s fast and thorough at mixing things.
  • Blender – It is good for mixing things but if there is not enough liquid it will get jammed up.
  • Immersion blender – It’s a very good tool for thoroughly mixing things.
  • Food Processor/Mini or regular size – The mini works better for this recipe because of the volume. If you had a bigger batch then you could use the regular size food processor.

Immersion vs Standard Blender

If you have an immersion blender it really works well to blend things thoroughly and it does it quickly. It blends things much better than a regular blender does.

In a standard blender, it’s a little hard to mix because if you don’t have enough liquid in it then the dry ingredients get all jammed up and keep the chopper blades from working properly. 

Also, if there is not enough stuff in the blender it makes it harder to blend everything. Scraping down the sides of the blender several times during the process can become cumbersome, and waste a lot of time.

So all in all a blender does not do a good job at all blending the ingredients to make the lime dressing. We used a Vitamix which has a much stronger motor than a blender so it did a good job with the lime salad dressing.

We recommend using an immersion blender or even a mini food processor when mixing up your cilantro lime salad dressing. They both do a good job and are easy to use.

How to Make the BEST Cilantro Lime Dressing 

We will show you step by step how to make the best cilantro lime dressing.


  1. Get out your mini food processor or Vitamix pitcher.
  2. Chop the cilantro, both the leaves and the stems, and put them in your mixer.
  3. Next, cut your limes in half and squeeze them and then add the lime juice. 
  4. Then add the mustard, and powdered Swerve one at a time.
  5. Blend them together.
  6. Then the last step is to add the olive oil and blend.
  7. Pour your lime-cilantro dressing into a glass jar and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving.
pouring Cilantro Lime Dressing into a jar

Making Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Some people like creamy dressing for a change. If you decide to make creamy cilantro dressing instead of an oil-based dressing then we have some ideas for you of things you can use.


  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Mustard
  • Powdered Swerve
  • Choice of greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayo

In this creamy version of our cilantro lime dressing, we replaced the olive oil with your choice of a creamy ingredient, for instance, yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise.

For a different flavor that so many people like, you could also add an avocado to the dressing, which is a good addition. If you use avocado without mayo, sour cream or yogurt, make sure to put oil in the recipe since there won’t be enough liquid to make it creamy enough without it.

Making It

  1. Get out your mini food processor or your Vitamix pitcher.
  2. Chop the cilantro, both the leaves and the stems, and put them in your mixer.
  3. Next add your lime juice, mustard, and swerve one at a time.
  4. Now add your new creamy ingredient, whether it’s yogurt, sour cream, or mayo. 
  5. Blend them all together.
  6. Pour your lime salad dressing into a glass jar and then put it in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to chill before serving.

Best Tips

Pouring Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

We know how helpful it is to get tips when making a recipe that you have never made before, so here are the best things to help you make a lime-cilantro dressing or creamy cilantro dressing as an alternative.

  • When you use the cilantro you can use both the leaves and the stems.
  • The lime-cilantro dressing will taste much better when it’s chilled instead of room temperature. If you are in a hurry to chill it you could stick it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to speed up the process of chilling it.
  • When mixing up the normal version of cilantro lime dressing, mix all of the ingredients except for the oil first, then add the oil and mix quickly. The more you blend the lime salad dressing with the oil in it, the oil may become bitter.
  • When blending creamy cilantro lime dressing, feel free to mix all of the ingredients together all at once at the same time because there is no olive oil in this creamy version of cilantro lime dressing.

You say there is no olive oil in the creamy version, but above you said not to omit it.  Which one is is?

Different Variations of Cilantro Lime Sauce

Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

This Cilantro lime dressing recipe can be altered to fit your taste buds or to create some different variations. 

We prefer to keep the base recipe, but you can always add other ingredients to enhance the flavors of the foods that you serve it with, especially when you use it as a marinade.

  • This cilantro lime dressing recipe is based on the first main ingredient which is lime juice. You can add some lime zest to the cilantro dressing to enhance the tart lime flavor.
  • If you want the lime salad dressing to have a creamy texture, you can add some yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise to make it into a creamy cilantro dressing.
  • Avocado is another yummy ingredient to add to cilantro lime dressing. By adding avocado it not only adds a thick, creamier texture but it also adds so much delicious flavor. If you like avocados then you will want to add one to this dressing.
  • When we make this cilantro lime salad dressing we use dijon mustard and we really like the flavor, but you could use whatever form of mustard that is your favorite.
  • If you are like me, I love cilantro…the more the better, so ¼ cup is not enough for my liking. I think you can add an additional ¼ cup to make it ½ cup altogether.
  • If you make this cilantro lime dressing recipe and you feel that you would like your dressing a bit more tart then you could always add a tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Another suggestion is to take out 1 tsp of the swerve sweetener.
  • In my opinion, I love nuts on things so I think adding a few walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds on top of a salad with cilantro-lime dressing would enhance the flavor greatly. It’s kind of that sweet and salty combination and crunchy texture that we go crazy for. 
  • One more added ingredient that can be used in the lime-cilantro dressing are some finely diced scallions. They give you an onion flavor but are milder than regular onions. That way the scallions are just enough flavor without overpowering the other flavors in the lime sauce.
  • Add chopped garlic, onion powder, or chives.
  • If you want a spicier flavor in your cilantro sauce you can add chili powder, red pepper flakes, chopped jalapeno peppers.

What Does Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing Go With?

Best Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

When you hear dressing you immediately think of salads, and of course, it’s always the number one food for dressing on top. Try our cilantro lime salad dressing on Spinach Salad with bacon or Strawberry Salad, both great combos.

But there are other foods that taste really well with this cilantro lime salad dressing. 

It’s especially tasty with Mexican foods, because of the lime and cilantro, such as: 

  • Tacos with chicken, steak, fish…
  • Bowls or skillets with beef, chicken, shrimp, rice, or pork.
  • Burritos with chicken, beef, cheese, and beans.
  • Fajitas, both chicken and beef.

Using it as a Marinade

Use your cilantro lime dressing to flavor your meat just like you would with a regular marinade.

Just pour it over some pork, chicken, beef, or seafood and cover it and put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 or 2 hours, but you could also marinate it all day while you are gone at work or overnight while you are sleeping.

Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Vegetarian – There is nothing that can’t be had by a person who is a vegetarian.
  • Vegan – All approved ingredients for this diet in this cilantro sauce.
  • Paleo – Cilantro lime sauce has a simple list of ingredients also approved for this diet.
  • Gluten-Free –  Cilantro sauce is another winner for all of our gluten-free readers.
  • Dairy-Free – There are no dairy products in this wonderful lime salad dressing. If you decide to make it creamy with yogurt, or sour cream then it’s no longer dairy-free.
  • Keto/Low Carb –  This is low carb with Swerve, a sweetener with zero net carbs. If you add sugar or honey then it’s not a low carb dressing.

How to Store Cilantro Lime Dressing

Best Lime Salad Dressing

When you make your cilantro lime dressing and there are leftovers, you can put it in a glass jar with a screw on the lid, and refrigerate it for about a week, or two. Don’t prepare a large quantity of it because if you don’t use it all within that time it will go to waste.

While it is in the refrigerator the olive oil will solidify, so just make sure to take it out and bring it to a temperature before serving which will allow the dressing to soften up and become usable.

Can You Freeze Cilantro Dressing?

If you want to freeze lime-cilantro dressing just stick it in a container and freeze it for a month or two, it will certainly freeze well.

If you have some fresh cilantro and you won’t use it all before it spoils, don’t throw it away. Instead, just chop it up and put it in a plastic container with some olive oil and freeze it.

Other Yummy Recipes:

If you’re in the mood for some other Delicious Sauce Recipes then try our:

Keto Cheddar Cheese Sauce

All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, plus they are so yummy that your friends will be raving about them!

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Cilantro Lime Dressing in a jar feature

BEST Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 Servings (1 Tbsp per Serving) 1x
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This Cilantro Lime Dressing is a great summer dressing because it goes so well with so many types of salads. It is refreshing, easy to make and delicious to eat. Cilantro lime dressing also makes a good marinade for beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. So enjoy making it and try it a few different ways and likely it will become a favorite for you and your family.


  • ⅔ cup Lime Juice
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard, dijon or deli-style
  • 2 tsp powdered Swerve (optional)



0.5 NET Carbs

When you use the cilantro you can use both the leaves and the stems.

If you want your dressing to be creamy instead, then you can use a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise. 

If you add 1 whole avocado to the dressing it will also make it thicker.

Chill the cilantro-lime dressing for at least 30 minutes to speed up the process of chilling it, which will make it much tastier to eat.

When you make your cilantro lime dressing mix all of the ingredients together except for the olive oil, then add the oil separately and quickly mix, even by hand or blender. If you mix the olive oil too much then it will become bitter.

If you are making the creamy version then feel free to blend everything at the same time, because you are replacing the oil with the yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sauce/Dip
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Cilantro Lime Dressing, Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe, Cilantro Dressing, Cilantro Lime Sauce, Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Lime Cilantro Dressing, Lime Salad Dressing, Cilantro Sauce, Easy Cilantro Lime Dressing, Best Cilantro Lime Dressing, How to Make Cilantro Lime Dressing, Easy Cilantro Dressing, Best Cilantro Dressing

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