This Easy Cilantro Lime Dressing is a blend of sweet, sour, and tart. You’ll love the mix of flavors, and it goes great on almost any salad.
You’ll definitely want to try this dressing on our cilantro lime salmon salad.
The BEST cilantro lime dressing
This salad dressing is perhaps the tastiest dressing I’ve ever had. It has such a unique flavor that will complement any spring salad. The cilantro is surprisingly not overpowering. It also has a nice sweetness from the honey. But it’s not too sweet due to the sourness of the vinegar and limes. After making this dressing, I actually kept tasting it straight out of the bottle… Yeah, it’s that good!
What type of salad pairs well with this dressing?
This cilantro lime dressing goes really well with most salads. You can add it to a salad with similar ingredients, like this Cilantro Lime Salmon Salad. Or in a Mexican salad, like this Taco Salad. Or just a fresh salad with complementary flavors, such as this Spinach Salad.
What ingredients are in this salad dressing?
- Garlic- this flavor really goes well with the lime and cilantro
- Limes- adds a citrusy flavor
- Vinegar- a little tartness
- Honey- the sweetness of the honey balances the sour/tart notes
- Cilantro- makes this dressing taste so fresh
- Grape seed Oil- binds the ingredients together
- Salt & Pepper- seasons to perfection
Can I substitute the lime for lemons?
Unfortunately, no. Limes and lemons may seem similar, but their flavors are not the same. Limes are more acidic and bitter than lemons, so they not only have a different taste, but also are not equivalent when you add them to a recipe. So, for this cilantro lime dressing, make sure you have lime juice so the flavor is just right.
How to make cilantro lime dressing
- Combine garlic, lime, honey, and vinegar. Add these ingredients together in a small beaker and stir.
- Add the cilantro. Chop the cilantro and add it to the other ingredients. Blend well with an immersion blender, or whatever tool you prefer.
- Slowly add the oil. While blending on low speed, slowly add the oil in. By adding it while quickly whisking the other ingredients, the oil is able to emulsify and bring everything together.
- Season. Once all the oil is well-blended, season the cilantro lime dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
TIPS to make this dressing even better
- Use good-quality oil– Oil is an important factor in flavor here, so make sure to use a high-quality, light-tasting oil, like grapeseed, avocado, or olive oil.
- Don’t refrigerate the limes– Keep the limes at room temperature since the fridge strips them of their incredible flavor.
- Use chopped cilantro– Chopping the cilantro before adding it into the blender makes it blend better and faster.
- Don’t overmix the oil– Emulsify the oil gradually (in a thin stream) or it will mix too fast and thicken up.
How long will it keep in the fridge
This cilantro lime dressing will last for 5 days in the refrigerator. Keep it in a tightly sealed container so that the flavors stay fresh.
How to make it creamy
If you’d like a more creamy version of this dressing, then just add avocado. By blending in a ripe avocado, you add another dimension to the flavor and a creamy texture that goes great in salads.
Full Recipe Instructions
Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 3/4 cup grape seed oil or any other light tasting oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a small beaker, combine minced garlic, lime juice, vinegar, and honey.
- Give it a quick stir, then add in the roughly chopped cilantro and blend well. (I used an immersion blender).
- As you blend the dressing over low speed, slowly add in the grapeseed oil. Adding the oil in while briskly mixing will help properly emulsify the dressing. Once the oil is well blended, add in the salt and pepper.
- Use good-quality oil- Oil is an important factor in flavor here, so make sure to use a high-quality, light-tasting oil, like grapeseed, avocado, or olive oil.
- Don't refrigerate the limes- Keep the limes at room temperature since the fridge strips them of their incredible flavor.
- Use chopped cilantro- Chopping the cilantro before adding it into the blender makes it blend better and faster.
- Don't overmix the oil- Emulsify the oil gradually (in a thin stream) or it will mix too fast and thicken up.
This recipe was originally published on May 28, 2015, but we have tweaked it a bit since then.
- Smoked Salmon Salad - May 31, 2023
- Garlic Aioli - May 30, 2023
- Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad - May 27, 2023
Elizabeth Lewis says
This dressing is one of a kind delicious. Will be adding avocado one time.
Thank you, Elizabeth. Its truly addictive and goes well with so many different salads.
This is AMAZING. Yum!!! My husband made this the first time a few weeks back and I just made it again. We don’t have an immersion blender so we just mixed it in the traditional blender we have on low speed, which works perfectly. This is sooooo delicious! I’ve served it on salads with other friends or gatherings and everyone loves it.
I’m so happy to hear that Laura! I always love to hear feedback like this on my recipes 🙂 I am glad that this cilantro dressing is now part of your regular recipes at home 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to write this review!
Do you think it would be ok to sub the grapeseed oil with olive oil for example?
Hi Jenya, you can most definitely substitute the grapeseed oil with olive oil.
Hi, I recently came by your site not long ago and everything looks so good. I made 3 things from your list already and am very eager to try more! This dressing tastes pretty amazing I got to admit, I have so much left over still and just wondering what salads you pair with this dressing. Hope to hear soon.
Liz, you are so sweet, thank you! I pair this dressing with a variety of salads. It can go with almost anything. I like it with romaine lettuce, red onion, corn, and red bell peppers. Its super simple, but so delicious!