Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

cilantro lime dressing

Made with fresh lime and cilantro, Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is tangy, tart, and has a hint of sweetness. It has a bright green color and is great over taco salads.

Happy Memorial Day! We’re scheduling this post ahead of time so that we can spend the day relaxing with our girls outside, but I’ve been so excited about summer recipes that I couldn’t wait  to kick things off.

Since spring has been strange for everyone, the transition to summer feels very welcome. It won’t be the kind of summer we had originally planned, but I believe the kids of the world will remind us what summer is all about. There may not be summer camps or public pools, but there will surely be running through sprinklers, lemonade stands, drippy popsicles on the deck, chasing fireflies at dusk, fire pits for s’mores, and eating cherry tomatoes right off the vine. Even a worldwide pandemic won’t keep my summer-loving self down.

cilantro leaves in a salad spinner

And if you have a summer herb garden planted, hopefully it’s starting to fill out like mine! We’ve got basil (Thai and Italian!), cilantro, mint, and rosemary coming in fast in all their fragrant, green glory. I’m already looking ways to make use of all those herbs! Vinaigrettes and salad dressings are always a good option. Blended until smooth, this Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is a beautiful bright green and is great over salads or for dipping vegetables.

cilantro, cumin, garlic, honey, olive oil and lime in bowls on a grey background


  • Cilantro Leaves – You’ll need ¾ of a cup of cilantro leaves for this dressing. It’s the only part of  making this vinaigrette that takes any time at all, and you don’t have to worry about being super precise. Just tear the leaves off with your hands (don’t worry if a few pieces of stem get included in the mix.)  
  • Fresh Lime Juice – This is the key flavor of the vinaigrette and it’s important to use the fresh stuff. You’ll need 2 to 4 limes for this, depending on their size. 
  • Garlic – If you love the flavor of garlic, feel free to increase the amount. 
  • Honey, Ground Cumin, Salt – These pantry staples round out the vinaigrette with some sweet and savory flavors. If your limes are extra tart, you may want to add a bit more honey after tasting the finished vinaigrette.
  • Cooking Oil – Use a neutral flavor oil for this. I use avocado or grapeseed oil for almost everything, including this vinaigrette. Olive oil would work well here too, but will have a different flavor.

pouring cilantro lime vinaigrette into a small bowl

Summer is here! Looking for Ideas? Here are more of my summer favorites. 

  • Nectarine, Arugula and Crispy Pancetta Summer Salad – Salty and sweet, this summer salad has nectarines blended right into the vinaigrette.  Extra thin crispy pancetta gives it crunch.  Arugula gives it peppery bite.  Those nectarine slices are straight up summer sweetness.
  • Rainbow Yogurt Popsicles – These Rainbow Yogurt Popsicles are quick, easy and made with just two ingredients – yogurt and fresh fruit!
  • Panzanella Salad Skewers – These sweet Panzanella Salad Skewers are practically begging to be brought along to your next picnic, potluck, Labor Day barbecue or baby shower. Golden toasted bread tossed in olive oil, sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil all speared onto skewers for easy nibbling.

Favorite Tools

  • Immersion blender – An immersion / stick blender makes quick work of this smooth vinaigrette and results in almost no dishes. Immersion blenders are so convenient, take up very little space and are so much easier to clean than a standing blender, so I always recommend them for making vinaigrettes (and many other things). See the recipe notes if you’d prefer to use a standing blender or to make the vinaigrette by hand.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette in a small white bowl

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette in a small white bowl on a grey table
No ratings yet

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

With fresh lime and cilantro, Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is tangy, fresh, and has a hint of sweetness. It has a bright green color and is great over taco salads.
Makes about 1 cup of vinaigrette. Click on the number next to “servings” to increase the recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 12


  • Immersion Blender


  • 3/4 cup Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 clove Garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • Pinch of Ground Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Cooking Oil


  • Combine cilantro leaves, garlic clove, honey, lime juice, cumin, and salt in a narrow jar or bowl. (Note: instructions are for using an immersion / stick blender, but see notes below if using a regular blender or chopping by hand.)
  • Use an immersion blender to roughly chop all of the ingredients, ~2 minutes.
  • With the blades of the immersion blender running, slowly add cooking oil by pouring it down the sides of the jar or bowl. Continue blending until smooth.
  • Taste vinaigrette and add some more salt if you’d like it more salty or some more honey if you’d like it more sweet. If you like spice, you can also add a tiny pinch of cayenne.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (Give the vinaigrette a good stir before using.)


You can use a regular blender to make this vinaigrette, but make sure that the blades sit low enough to chop the ingredients. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender bowl to keep the ingredients concentrated in the base. You can also make this by hand by very finely chopping the cilantro and garlic before adding the other ingredients.


Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $2.00
Calories: 85
Keyword: easy dressing, herb salad dressing
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

*This post contains affiliate links*

Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.