This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
The allure of a great salad often lies in its dressing. Enter Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette: a simple but vivacious medley of ingredients that manages to bring freshness, zest, and depth of flavor to whatever it touches.
And while this dressing shines brightly on salads, don’t be afraid to experiment. Use it as a marinade for chicken or fish, or give those roasted potatoes a vibrant twist. Drizzle it over taco salads (or this Mexican Chopped Salad), grilled or roasted vegetables, or elevate a simple bowl of mixed greens. Every drop highlights the power of well-paired flavors.
Table of Contents
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients
- Fresh Lime Juice: Choose limes that are bright green and firm, but with a little bit of give for the juiciest output.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Use raw, unfiltered vinegar for a richer flavor profile.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves that are plump and free from blemishes.
- Fresh Cilantro: Pick vibrant green bunches without any wilting or yellowing.
- Honey: Use raw honey if possible, but feel free to swap with agave nectar or maple syrup if you prefer a vegan version.
- Olive Oil: Use a good quality, extra virgin olive oil. Cold-pressed versions have the most flavor. Avocado oil is also an option if you prefer a neutrally flavored oil.
- Blend Wisely: When blending, start at a lower speed and gradually increase to avoid splashes and to ensure an even emulsion.
- Fresh is Best: Using freshly squeezed lime juice rather than bottled gives a brighter and more natural flavor to the vinaigrette.
- Avoid Over-blending: Over-blending might make the olive oil taste bitter. Just blend until emulsified.
- Taste Test: Always taste your vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sometimes a pinch more salt or a tad more honey can make all the difference.
How to Store
Store vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Over time, the ingredients may naturally separate. If the dressing becomes too thick or the olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator (which extra-virgin olive oil often does), let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes and then give it a quick shake or whisk before serving.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
In a blender, mix lime juice, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, and honey until smooth. While blending, pour in olive oil steadily. Add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t over-blend to avoid bitterness. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Best used within a week.
More Must Try Homemade Salad Dressing
- Champagne Vinaigrette
- French Vinaigrette
- Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Maple Vinaigrette
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Looking for More Salads, check out these 80+ Best Salad Recipes
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cilantro and honey in a blender pitcher and blend until smooth, scraping down sides with a spatula as necessary. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and blend just until emulsified (take care not to over-blend as olive oil may become bitter). Transfer to serving pitcher or jar and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy within 1 week.
- If the vinaigrette has been refrigerated overnight or longer, it’s a good idea to stir or whisk it just before drizzling over the salad, to combine any ingredients that may have separated.
- Serving size is ~2 tablespoons.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.