This easy cilantro lime ranch is a creamy dressing that packs a robust flavor with only five ingredients. It makes the perfect dressing for taco salads and the best sauce for fish tacos.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you are familiar with the Costa Vida and Café Rio cilantro lime dressing, you will be a fan of this easy and uncomplicated dressing recipe. There are only five fresh ingredients and two simple steps required to perfect this creamy cilantro lime dressing recipe.
While there are a lot of different ways to go about making a creamy cilantro lime ranch dressing, we have found that our take with using a bottle of store bought ranch dressing is the easiest and most realistic for us to follow when also making several other components to a meal. And in our experience, it still compares to the real deal! We think this will become one of your favorite homemade dressings because of its ease and delicious taste.
- Ranch dressing - to make this recipe quick and easy, we like to use a bottle of ranch dressing that is ready to use. No homemade ranch dressing, sour cream, plain greek yogurt, or ranch dip packet necessary! Choose your favorite grocery store ranch dressing (use dairy-free if needed)! We have made this cilantro ranch salad dressing recipe with this greek yogurt ranch dressing and these dairy-free ranch dressings (Primal Kitchen and Chosen Foods) and all turned out great! We love that this cilantro lime ranch recipe takes your average ranch dressing and turns it into a gourmet ranch dressing!
- Fresh cilantro - fresh cilantro is a must for this recipe! It adds a fresh flavor to the dressing.
- Jalapeño pepper - we find that jalapeno pepper adds the perfect bold flavor with a little bit of spice. If you aren't a fan of the spicy kick, we would recommend that you remove the jalapeno seeds before adding the jalapeno to the blender or reducing the amount of jalapeno you use.
- Lime juice - fresh lime juice gives this dressing a bright flavor with it's acidic and tart taste. You could also add a little bit of lime zest.
- Salt - just a little bit to enhance the flavor! If you find that your ranch dressing is already as salty as you like it to be, you can omit the additional salt.
See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A blender or food processor
Step by Step Directions
For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1: Cut the stem off of the jalapeño and place your preferred amount into the blender whole unless removing seeds to reduce the heat. Cut the excess stems off of the bottom of the cilantro before measuring (no need to strip the leaves from the rest of the stems).
2: Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high for 20 seconds.
Tips & Variations
- If you're a fan of jalapeño flavor but don't like the heat, remove the jalapeño seeds before blending or reduce the amount of jalapeno you add. If you do like a spicy kick, you can always add more jalapeño to taste.
- As mentioned above, we chose to use bottled ranch dressing for ease, but if you have a favorite homemade ranch dressing recipe that you love, feel free to use it!
There are so many fun ways to use this cilantro lime ranch. Use it on burrito bowls, fish tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, taquitos, and taco salads or southwest salads. See a few of our favorite recipes below!
We have found the best way to store leftover dressing is in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
You can also make a double batch of dressing and put it in an airtight container and freeze it, which we have done before with good results. When it comes time to use it again, simply pull it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight. Shake/combine well before using. Please note that the overall consistency of the dressing may slightly differ from a freshly made batch.
This recipe can check each of these boxes depending on the ranch dressing that you use. If you are looking for a gluten free, dairy-free, or vegan option, make sure that whichever ranch dressing you use meets your individual needs.
Try pairing this homemade cilantro lime ranch dressing with these recipes:
- Vegetarian Fajita Bowls
- Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos
- Sweet Pork (No Soda) and Cilantro Lime Rice to create a copycat recipe for Cafe Rio pulled pork salad
- Sweet Pork Enchiladas
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
If you make this cilantro lime ranch, please let us know how it turns out in the comments below and/or rate the recipe! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to show us your finished product—it makes our day every time we see you trying the recipes we love!
Cilantro Lime Ranch
- 1 cup ranch dressing of choice (use dairy-free if needed)
- 1 cup packed cilantro (cut off excess stems)
- 1/2 - 1 jalapeño (depending on spice preference)
- 3-4 tbsp lime juice (about the juice from 1 lime)
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Cut the stem off of the jalapeño and place it into the blender whole unless removing seeds to reduce the heat. Cut the excess stems off of the bottom of the cilantro before measuring (no need to strip the leaves from the rest of the stems).
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high for 20 seconds.
The recipe can be found on My Fitness Pal by searching "BWB Cilantro Lime Ranch." The nutrition is calculated using Bolthouse Greek Yogurt Ranch.
The nutrition content provided for each recipe is an estimate created through the My Fitness Pal database. Please be aware that the nutritional content of each recipe may vary based on the products you use, the precision of your measurements, and the source you use to obtain nutrition data. While we try to provide accurate information, we give no guarantee regarding the accuracy of the nutritional information provided.