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
    Just what I was looking for. I used Agave instead of honey because that was what I had handy. The dressing was good. Then I blended in one clove of crushed garlic. Then it was great!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a keeper! We have a bumper crop of cilantro now, so this is perfect. Such a well-balanced dressing. I have a bad habit of tweaking recipes, but I can't imagine a way to improve on this one. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I was looking for something to serve with frito chili pie. Settled on a simple green salad and found this vinaigrette. It's perfect! A fresh, tangy contrast to the heavy casserole. My family is now obsessed! I can't wait to serve it on grilled steak salad this summer. It will be perfect!! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I used grapeseed oil and needed to increase the vinegar by double. I also used dried cilantro, everyone enjoyed it! Thank you!!

    1. 5 stars
      I am gluten free, so instead of pasta salads, i use brown rice as a base. I used your dressing in my rice salad with corn, black beans, chopped veggies, and feta cheese. It was THE BEST brown rice salad i ever made! One question is long does it typically stay good for in the fridge.

  5. 5 stars
    Have been making this dressing religiously for a few months now. Officially adding it to my recipe book tonight (only prized recipes go in here).
    Thank you for sharing. xxoo

  6. 5 stars
    Do not sleep on this Recipe! This dressing is absolutely ah-mazing! Love love loved it on my taco salad. Thank u for expanding my palate with this cilantro lime diamond of a recipe!!!!!

  7. 2 stars
    I’m sorry... but this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. And I’m giving it two stars because it does have potential. I think I will replace the apple cider vinegar with reg instead. That taste overpowered the whole vinaigrette. I had to pour it out and use something I had in the fridge.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Becki. With so many raving 5-star reviews before yours, I wonder if the flavor of the particular apple cider vinegar you used could be the culprit? The predominant flavor in this dressing is typically lime juice, not vinegar. At any rate, I hope you're able to adjust the recipe to your liking if you decide to try it again. 🙂

  8. Hi!! Do you think this dressing would still be good without the garlic? We have a garlic allergy here. 🙃

    1. Sure! Just taste it after you make it and see if you might need to bump up any of the other ingredients in case the flavor is a little bland. 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Amazing dressing - my daughter would drink it if I let her ❤️ I used olive oil and it tasted wonderful.

  10. 5 stars
    My family loved this dressing. My daughter actually said it was one of her favorite salad dressings now. It went perfect with the simple salad I served with the Mexican rice and burritos.

  11. 5 stars
    I made and tried this tonight and I really like it. I'm avoiding all sugars so I made it without honey and slightly decreased the amount of AC vinegar (because I left out the honey), which Ieft the flavors a tiny bit unbalanced without the sweetener, but still really like. Thank you for posting this as I've been trying to find a non-creamy cilantro-lime dressing and this tastes really good.

  12. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I tried this recipe for several reasons. First of all I wanted the flavors of lime and cilantro to come out in a good vinaigrette. I also didn’t want one with tomatillos or jalapeños in it. I not only doubled this recipe but I quadrupled it . I made 4 cups and all. I make weekly lunches and sell them two different businesses in our little town. This week I made a grilled steak marinated with lime and cilantro. I made a grilled steak and strawberry salad. I had three choices of salad dressing that they could choose from and Lime and Cilantro vinaigrette was chosen for half the salads. My clients “sight unseen” chose this vinaigrette and reports were amazing. Several of them called or texted me to tell me how good this dressing was. I myself love lime and cilantro with many things. Thank you for posting this recipe. Not only was this a hit for my lunches, but my family liked it as well. I look forward to finding a few other recipes from you. Thank you.

    1. Thrilled to hear that, Candy! I'm so happy that this dressing was such a hit...thanks for taking the time to let me know!

      1. 5 stars
        Very good! Seems to be well balanced! Going to let the flavors meld together for a bit! It will be a complement to the meat of choice for marinade or even dipping sauce Thanks! Going to try on the BBQ!

    1. 5 stars
      I absolutely love this dressing. I’ve made it several times. I use avocado oil because that’s what I had on hand the first time and I haven’t changed it. I even used the leftover dressing on an egg burrito the next day. So good!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this and it came out good. Eye balled the apple cider vinegar. Didn’t have the extract amount of cilantro but still worked out good!!! Yum