If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dressing or dipping sauce, look no further than this Cilantro Lime Dressing. This flavorful, zesty sauce is perfect for adding a little extra flavor to salads, tacos, and burritos. It’s also a great dipping sauce for chips, veggies, or your next charcuterie board. Best of all, it can be prepared in just minutes with a handful of basic ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.
The star of this sauce is the combination of fresh cilantro and zesty lime juice. These two ingredients provide a deliciously tangy flavor that will liven up any dish. To give the sauce a little extra kick, you can also add in a pinch of red pepper flakes or stir in a teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce. But more on customizing the sauce below.
Whether you’re looking for a dressing for your salads, a dipping sauce for chips, or a flavorful addition to tacos and burritos, this sauce is sure to hit the spot. Below, I’ll be providing you with an ingredient checklist, tips on customizing the sauce to please any palate, and some creative uses for today’s recipe.
- Cilantro. Be sure to de-stem the cilantro thoroughly, and then chop it up as finely as you can manage.
- Garlic. Crush and then chop the garlic up as fine as you can manage.
- Greek Yogurt. Plain, whole fat Greek yogurt is what you’re looking for. We want whole fat for the added creaminess, and plain to ensure that the yogurt doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
- Black Pepper. I suggest using freshly ground. For best results, use a mortar and pestle to really enhance the aromatics of the pepper. Yes, you will notice the difference.
- Olive Oil. For this recipe, use a decent quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably one whose taste you enjoy on its own.
- Salt. Here’s where you’ll want to use your favorite fancy sea salt. That said, plain table salt will get the job done just fine.
- Honey. If you’ve got a favorite gourmet honey, now’s the time to use it.
- Lime Juice. Freshly squeezed. It’s got to be fresh, since we’re eating the lime juice ‘raw.’ Fresh lime juice is simply ‘brighter’ and ‘crisper’ tasting, and that really shines through in sauce.
Uses for Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
- As a Marinade. For meat, fish, or even veggies that you plan on roasting, today’s sauce works great as a marinade. To use today’s dip as a marinade, simply combine it with your meat of choice either in a sealable contained or a zip lock back, ensure the meat is thoroughly coated, and then pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours, or even overnight.
- As a dip. Today’s recipe is most at home as a dip, used either for vegetables, pita chips, or things like olives and charcuterie.
- On Tacos and Burritos. This sauce would pair especially well with vegetarian tacos or burritos, or with fish tacos. Roasted chicken tacos, with plenty of lettuce and melted cheese, would also be a delicious pairing.
- As a Salad Dressing. Whether on something like a crisp cucumber salad, or a Greek salad with peppers, feta, and olives, today’s dressing would be a delicious and refreshing addition.
- On Gyros. This would be great used in place of tzatziki on things like gyros or pita-pocket sandwiches.
- Veggie Wraps. Looking to liven up your next veggie wrap? Today’s sauce is the way to go. Think sliced cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, tofu, and red onion, drizzled with this, and then wrapped in a warmed tortilla.
Ideas for Customizing the Sauce
- For a Spicier Sauce. This one couldn’t be easier. Your choice of a dash of cayenne, red pepper flakes, or your favorite chili flakes would bring a pleasant, though not overpowering, kick. Best of all, this keeps the sauce’s ‘fresh’ flavor profile alive and well.
- For a Smokier Sauce. A dash of paprika and/or chili powder would work wonders if you prefer a slightly ‘smokier’ or ‘earthier’ flavored sauce. This would also contrast nicely with the sauce’s naturally ‘fresh’ and ‘crisp’ flavor profile.
- If you don’t like Cilantro. I admit that cilantro is a love it or hate it herb, but fear not, as today’s dressing works fine with basil used in place of the cilantro. Be aware, however, that this will – of course – change the flavor profile from an ‘herbal’ slant, to one that’s more ‘licorice’ or ‘anise’ slanted.
More Great Sauces and Dressings to Try
- Chili Crisp Sauce. A super simple combination of duck sauce, soy sauce, sesame, chili crisp, and vinegar. This sauce takes just minutes to prepare, and is a great way to add sweet-and-spicy flavor to your next meal.
- Cilantro Chimichurri. Look for more cilantro goodness? Look no further than my Cilantro Chimichurri, which is absolutely delicious on steaks, tacos, or as dip for your next charcuterie board.
- Infused Olive Oil. Great as a vinaigrette, as a dip for bread, or a simple stir in for sauces.
- Anchovy Salad Dressing. I love anchovies. I love them in sauce, tossed with pasta, in salads, and yes, on pizza. Naturally, this salad dressing is one my absolute favorites, a creamy mix of romano cheese, fresh lemon, olive oil, and anchovies.
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dressing
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, rinsed, pat dry and hard stems removed
- 6 – 8 garlic cloves, grilled
- 1 small jalapeno, grilled
- 1 cup plain Greek style yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 – 3 tbs. honey
- Juice of 1/2 large fresh lime
- Grill the jalapeno and garlic in a small cast iron frying pan until it turns slightly charred.
- In a food processor combine the cilantro, grilled garlic, grilled jalapeno, salt, black pepper, yogurt, olive oil, honey and lime juice.
- Give a few good chops until everything is well combined.
- Remove from the food processor and refrigerate until ready to use.
Keywords: dressing, dip, sauce
And that’s my Cilantro Lemon Dressing. If you enjoyed today’s recipe, please be sure to like, subscribe, and share, it helps more than you can imagine.
If you tried today’s recipe, or if you have any suggestions for this or future content, or have any questions, let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you! Happy cooking!0
Oh, yum! I have a shrimp taco recipe that I think would be perfect with this dressing.
Ella English says
Oh wow this dressing sounds so fresh and inviting. I’m gonna make some!
David J Myers says
Catherine, I like the added spice from the jalapeno pepper. Both my wife and I would enjoy this as a dip. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave
This looks so so good! I love cilantro and I love lime! The cilantro/lime combo would taste amazing!!!
Celebrate Woman Today says
Such a beautiful way to mix these ingredients into a nice and delicious dressing. Super good for veggies.
Yeah Lifestyle says
This looks absolutely refreshing and so easy to make as well, love that it is so versatile and you can use it in so many meals
Jupiter Hadley says
This reminds me of a mexican version of Ranch! What a lovely idea for a dressing – thank you for sharing.
Can u taste the honey n the dressing🤔 I hate honey🤢 but I love cilantro & lime especially on tacos 🤤😋besides that the dressing sounds 🔥💋
Catherine Pappas says
Dear Renee, The honey sweetens up the dressing a bit. You may substitute plain table sugar for the honey if you wish or Karo syrup. Thank you for visiting.
Claudia Krusch says
Sounds amazing! So many different ways to use it!