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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. 

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette in a clear glass container on a wooden board.

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.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • 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.

Recipe Tips

  • 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.
Pouring Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette over chopped salad.

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

Recipe Video

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 117
Servings: 6 servings
This dressing brings zesty flair to any dish – a perfect complement to salads, grilled meats, roasted (or grilled) vegetables and more.

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Serving size is ~2 tablespoons.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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