This is the BEST Cilantro Lime Dressing! This is a Copycat version of Cafe Rio’s dressing recipe and let me just say, this recipe is spot on! It’s so good you’ll be tempted to drink it… or perhaps drizzle it on any and all of the foods in your house. This recipe tastes just like Cafe Rio’s if not better.

A jar of Cafe Rio's creamy cilantro lime dressing.

Making cilantro lime dressing at home is super easy and I’ve come to prefer making it myself. Not only is it waaaay cheaper, but you can adjust the heat level to what you’re comfortable with.

If you like a spicier dressing, you can make it that. Or perhaps you prefer a mild Cafe Rio tomatillo dressing, then you can forgo adding the jalapeño seeds.

A large jar full of Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Ingredients in Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Dry ranch seasoning
  • Buttermilk
  • Milk – any kind of milk fat will do.
  • Mayo – use mayo, not Miracle Whip.
  • Tomatillo – husk the tomatillo and then cut it into chunks. You’ll be adding the tomatillo into the blender raw, as is.
  • Jalapeno – this is where you get the heat. If you want a very mild dressing, do not add the jalapeño seeds. If you want a nice kick to the cilantro lime dressing, add the seeds. We like it both ways.
  • Cilantro – all you need is 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves.
  • Lime juice – use half of a lime.

A blender full of cilantro, ranch seasoning, mayo, and lime juice for making cilantro lime dressing.

How to make Cafe Rio Dressing

Are you ready for this, it’s so easy it’s ridiculous.

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


A blender full of cilantro lime dressing.

Cover and then place the cilantro lime dressing in the refrigerator to chill. As the dressing chills it will thicken slightly.

This cilantro jalapeño dressing will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.

A photo of cilantro lime dressing surrounded by cilantro and lime slices.

Enjoy this dressing with other Cafe Rio copycat recipes:

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cafe Rio Black Beans

If you make this recipe or any other recipe on, be sure to come back and leave a rating and review! Your comments are helpful to me and other readers.

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A jar of Cafe Rio's creamy cilantro lime dressing.
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5 from 5 votes

Cilantro Lime Dressing

This is the best Cilantro Lime Dressing. So good you can drink it; in fact, we think it tastes better than Cafe Rio's!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Blend Time: 1 min
Total Time: 6 mins
Servings: 24 servings


  • 3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tomatillo - husked and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 jalapeno - remove the seeds for a mild dressing. Add the seeds for spicier dressing
  • 1/2 cup cilantro - medium packed
  • 1/2 lime - juiced


  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Place the dressing in the refrigerator to chill. The dressing will thicken slightly while in the fridge.
  • Serve over salad, with quesadillas, sweet pork burritos, or as a dipping sauce.


Calories: 76kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Cholesterol: 5mg (2%)Sodium: 209mg (9%)Potassium: 21mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 48IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 13mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
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