Cilantro Lime Dressing {Mexican Salad Dressing}

Cilantro Lime Dressing (Vinaigrette) is a zesty homemade Mexican salad dressing -- perfect for marinades & salads -- featuring lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a touch of honey!

Bottle of vinaigrette

For more delectable homemade vinaigrettes, don't miss Champagne Vinaigrette, Greek Salad Dressing, and Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette! either love it or you hate it. So today, I apologize in advance to the poor souls who genuinely think that cilantro tastes like soap. In fact, I will totally understand if y'all need to peace out and check back tomorrow. 😉 However, you lucky ones (like me) who can't get enough of that quizzical herb are going to love this fresh, zesty Cilantro Lime Dressing!

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette


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We've been eating a lot of main course salads around here lately, and some variation of taco salad is always a quick and easy last-minute option. I typically pile on as many extra veggies as I can get away with -- even if they're not particularly taco-like -- and my family doesn't seem to notice...because who's going to argue with more "healthy stuff" in a salad when the crowning glory involves a sprinkle of taco meat and shredded cheese, plus a glorious dressing?

Mexican Salad

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I often whip up a batch of homemade Avocado Ranch Dressing to top our taco salads. But since my husband is allergic to avocados, he requires an alternative. So last week, I had the bright idea to adapt my Homemade Italian Dressing into a Mexican-cuisine friendly variation, replacing most of the vinegar with lime juice and swapping fresh cilantro for the dried Italian herbs.

Mexican Salad Dressing

And the result? This Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is indeed fabulous on taco salad -- or any salad -- but I think it would also make a yummy marinade for flank steak, pork chops, or chicken! And even though it's bursting with cilantro, the flavor is not overwhelmingly cilantro-y. Rather, it's zippy, zesty, and just plain delicious.

Bowl with lettuce, carrots, and radishes

How to Make Cilantro Lime Dressing

Making homemade salad dressing is truly as simple as measuring the ingredients into your preferred receptacle and vigorously combining them. And that's it!

I started out by adding 2 tablespoons of fresh minced cilantro to the base of the dressing. Not enough. So I doubled it to a quarter cup. Still not enough! So I doubled that to a whopping half cup. Now you're talking...

That being said, feel free to tweak the amount of cilantro to your liking. I also added a squeeze of honey to the dressing, which balances the acidity as opposed to making it sweet. But again, you can add more or less to taste. And as far as preparing the cilantro dressing, it only takes a few minutes.

Lime Vinaigrette

So whether you're a fan of cilantro...or you adore Mexican/Tex-Mex fare...or you're looking for a new homemade salad dressing to add to your repertoire...this Cilantro Lime Dressing has got you covered! It's fresh and flavorful and just a little bit different than your standard salad dressing. Enjoy!

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • You may make this vinaigrette with extra-virgin olive oil, if you wish. Just keep in mind that the stronger flavor of olive oil is going to come through in the dressing.
  • When I make homemade vinaigrette, I prefer measuring all of the ingredients into my mini food processor (this is the one I have) and pulsing until well-combined. This results in tiny little pieces of cilantro nicely distributed throughout, and it helps to emulsify the dressing as well. But alternatively, you may whisk the ingredients together in a bowl or shake 'em up in a tightly-sealed jar or a handy-dandy salad shaker.
  • Check out more yummy homemade salad dressings here!
Cilantro Dressing poured over a salad

More Recipes for Cilantro Fans

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette ~ a zesty homemade Mexican dressing perfect for marinades and salads, featuring lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a touch of honey! |

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette {Zesty Mexican Salad Dressing}

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is a zesty homemade Mexican dressing -- perfect for marinades & salads -- featuring lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a touch of honey!
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 (2-tablespoon) servings (recipe makes approximately 1 cup dressing total)
Calories: 131kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • ½ cup finely minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored salad oil (such as sunflower or safflower)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Measure ingredients into the bowl of a mini food processor (or blender). Pulse until well-blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. (Alternatively, you may measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously, OR whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.)
  • Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before using.



If you don't have Mexican oregano on hand, you may substitute regular (Mediterranean) oregano.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!
Cilantro Lime Dressing in a bottle and over a salad



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4.83 from 58 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Having a salad is a staple for our family parties. Usually I just through together something and set out a bunch of store bought salad dressings for everyone to choose from. Yesterday, for our February birthday celebration, I wanted to do something different. I made a big pot of chili and thought that a Mexican salad dressing would be perfect, so I did what anyone else would do, I hit the internet. I stumble upon your cilantro lime vinaigrette and thought...perfect. Perfect, it was! I tossed the salad when everyone was ready to eat and it was a big hit. I look forward to trying some of your other dressings in the future. It was so easy, and so delicious! Thank you, sincerely, from my kitchen to yours.

  2. Just what I was hoping to find! Glorious! And the additional Salad Dressing Recipes are a welcome bonus! Thank you!

  3. 2 stars
    This recipe turned out pretty bad. The flavor is completely off and I followed the recipe to a t. There are better recipes out there.

  4. 5 stars
    Omg I love this dressing. I’m needing to loose some weight before my need surgery. So I have been looking for some different dressing for salads. This is on different dark greens with a little of the fried onions and very little parma cheese oh my my my. But I need to make some to take on a trip. So how long will it keep? Also thank you so much for sharing your recipe

    1. So happy that you enjoyed it, Linda! Given the fresh cilantro, it should keep about a week in the fridge (maybe more). 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Was looking to copycat the cilantro lime dressing from the El Sombrero salad at Evergreens restaurant. This was even better! Will keep it in my dressing repertoire. I subbed a fresh garlic clove for the garlic salt.

  6. 5 stars
    Searching online, I found dozens of different versions of “lime cilantro dressing”. Many had yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, or sour cream, as base ingredients, and often included loads of honey. I wanted a dressing that would showcase the fresh, bright flavors of cilantro and lime, and this one really did the trick. I made a big salad and served this dressing on it at our family taco night, and everyone was crazy about it!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve had salad with cilantro vinaigrette at my local Mexican restaurant and I always say that I could drink the dressing because I like it so much! This is no exception and didn’t disappoint! My daughter and I love it. I used both Apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar (3 total Tbsp) and 2 toes of garlic since I didn’t have garlic salt and only 1 Tbsp) of honey because I personally don’t care for sweet salad dressings so it was plenty sweet with half called for and will probably use 1/2 Tbsp next time because there WILL be a next time! It came out so delicious! Yummy!!

    1. Hello, it says 2 tsp honey in the recipe, not Tablespoon. Just FYI 😉 It definitely would be sweet if using 2 Tablespoons.

  8. 5 stars
    This is delish! Ended up using a bit less than 1/2 a cup of the cilantro so we had some for the chicken marinade. I also added a tablespoon of pineapple juice in place of one of the tbsp. of water because I had it on hand. You can adjust things slightly to your own tastes but this is fantastic. I also made it in our Ninja smoothie maker which makes dressings like this a cinch! Thanks!!

  9. 5 stars
    Made for first time last night, with guests over. Used fresh cilantro leaves only, (no stems) and fresh columbian oregano, both minced well. Champaign vinegar, as our apple cider was empty. Garlic powder instead of garlic salt and about a teaspoon of cracked black pepper. All mixed in the mini food processor for about a minute. Everyone raved about the dressing, served on fresh greens accompanying sour cream chicken enchiladas. What a hit this refreshing dressing was.