This Cilantro Lime Dressing features fresh ingredients for a bold condiment that’s sweet, spicy, and loaded with flavor. Use it as a dip, dressing, or marinade to enhance the flavor of protein, veggies, and all your favorite recipes! 

cilantro lime dressing - healthyish foods

I developed this delicious cilantro lime salad dressing almost ten years ago, and it has been one of my favorite dressings for salads, kabobs, and summer vegetables ever since. The cilantro provides a bright, punchy flavor, and the jalapeños add the perfect amount of heat. Then, we include honey for a touch of sweetness, creating a well-balanced taste. 

With just a handful of ingredients, minimal prep time, and no cooking required, this dressing comes together in minutes and is nut-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free to fit a variety of dietary needs. Plus, it’s tastier than anything you’ll find at your local grocery store!

Use it on your favorite salads, side dishes, and main courses, and all your guests will be begging for the recipe.

Homemade Cilantro Lime Dressing Ingredients

  • Oil – Use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil to create a smooth sauce with a rich flavor. I don’t recommend substituting other oils, because extra virgin olive oil is the perfect finishing oil used most commonly on salads. 
  • Fresh Limes – We use these for fresh lime juice. However, bottled varieties will also work if you’re in a pinch for time. Try this handy citrus juicer.
  • Cilantro – Make sure to use fresh cilantro leaves. Remove them from the stems before adding them to the dressing, or the texture may be slightly gritty. 
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves – For the best taste, use whole garlic cloves, not pre-minced varieties. 
  • Jalapeños – If you prefer a milder cilantro lime dressing, make sure to remove the seeds and white part of the peppers. Or, if you want an extra kick of heat, include a few seeds and the white membrane. 
  • Dijon Mustard – This adds an extra hint of tang. 
  • Honey – Adjust to taste.
  • Kosher Salt – A little goes a long way to enhance the flavor of the rest of the ingredients, but you’ll notice if you skip it.
cilantro lime dressing - healthyish foods

How to Make the Best Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

  1. Blend the ingredients. Add the fresh squeezed lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, whole garlic cloves, honey, kosher salt and Dijon mustard to a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. 
  2. Add the extra virgin olive oil. With the blender on low, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the mix just until smooth. Taste and season accordingly. Use right away, or store for later! 

Serving Suggestions

In my opinion, there’s no right or wrong way to use this dressing. It goes well with pretty much everything. However, if you’re looking for inspiration, try pairing it with options like: 

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store homemade cilantro lime dressing?  This recipe is best used within 3-4 days, but you can store it in an airtight container or salad dressing jars in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Is this recipe spicy?  This recipe is mildly spicy. However, you can easily adjust the spice level by adding more jalapeños or honey to suit your flavor preferences. 

Way to use this dressing? You can use this dressing over salad or over grilled chicken and vegetables. It’s a great way to add flavor to so many recipes.

How long will this dressing last? This dressing will last up to one week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. 

Can I freeze this recipe? I don’t recommend it! The taste and texture are likely to change upon thawing.

Do you need a blender for this recipe? Yes! A high powered blender or food processor will work.

If you love this dressing, try some of my other salads and homemade dressings. Ultimate Caesar Salad, Sautéed Spring Vegetable Salad, or my Five Ingredient Simple Salad.

How to Store Cilantro Lime Dressing

Store this simple cilantro lime salad dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Be sure to stir it before reusing it.

cilantro lime dressing - healthyish foods

Sweet and Spicy Cilantro Lime Dressing

This Cilantro Lime Dressing features fresh ingredients for a bold condiment that’s sweet, spicy, and loaded with flavor. Use it as a dip, dressing, or marinade to enhance the flavor of protein, veggies, and all your favorite recipes! 
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Ingredients

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice, about 4 ripe limes – fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 medium jalapeños, cut in half length-wise, remove seeds and stem
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, remove the stems and pack it in the measuring cup
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, depending on size and preferred garlic flavor
  • kosher salt, to taste

Equipment

  • 1 blender

Instructions 

Blend the Ingredients

  • Add the fresh squeezed lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, whole garlic cloves, honey, kosher salt and Dijon mustard to a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. 

Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • With the blender on low, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the mix just until smooth. Taste and season accordingly. Use right away, or store for later! 

Notes

How to Store Cilantro Lime Dressing

Store this simple cilantro lime salad dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Be sure to stir it before reusing it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 113mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 183IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg