This cilantro lime sauce is vibrant, refreshing, and ready in five minutes! It pairs with any dish, whether you want delicious salad dressing or a dipping sauce for tacos and chips.
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Pairs well with many dishes. Cilantro lime sauce is such a versatile recipe that goes well with salads, tacos, burrito bowls, chips, eggs, and sandwiches.
- Super simple to make. Just add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender until combined, and voila! You'll have a super creamy cilantro lime dressing that you can whip up any day of the week.
- Vegan and gluten-free. This easy cilantro lime dressing uses only vegan and gluten-free ingredients, so everyone can enjoy it!
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make cilantro lime sauce, you'll only need a handful of ingredients. Make sure you have fresh cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic clove, salt, and pepper.
Notes and variations
- Cilantro. Use fresh cilantro leaves and stems for this recipe. Make sure to choose cilantro that is bright green without any signs of wilting for a fresh flavor. You can also make this recipe with basil or parsley.
- Lime. Use 2-3 fresh limes to get a flavorful lime zest.
- Garlic clove. You can use fresh, jarred, or frozen garlic. Whatever is available to you will be great!
- Olive oil. The better quality the olive oil, the better. Use extra virgin olive oil, if available to you. For substitutes, you can use any type of neutral-flavored oil such as avocado oil.
- Add spices. To turn up the heat a little, use jalapeño or chili powder.
- Add plain greek yogurt or sour cream for a creamier sauce.
📖 How to make cilantro lime sauce
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and minced garlic until well combined.
Season the dressing with salt and black pepper to taste. Your creamy cilantro lime dressing is ready!
👩🏽🍳 Tips for the best cilantro lime sauce
If you want to create the best cilantro lime dressing, follow these expert tips!
- Use a food processor or a high-powered blender. Don't have one of those? Use a mortar and pestle to get the cilantro ground up as best as possible, and then use a mason jar to mix the other ingredients together. Don't overblend the sauce if using a blender.
- Use fresh ingredients. Use only the freshest ingredients you can find, specifically cilantro (or coriander) and fresh garlic.
- Chill the sauce.This is a great sauce to make ahead, as it tastes better cold and becomes more flavorful as it sits.
- Remove lime piths. Make sure to remove all the lime piths in your lime juice as they can add a bitter taste.
- Add a few pinches of sugar to balance the flavors of the cilantro and lime. Honey or maple syrup will taste great too.
- Adjust the texture and consistency. If you want a creamy sauce, add a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or avocado. To make a thinner sauce, add a splash of water or broth.
👩🏽🍳 Troubleshooting FAQs
Yes! Cilantro lime sauce can be made up to 3-4 days in advance. It keeps well the the refrigerator and will becomes more creamy and delicious as it chills.
The blend of cilantro and lime creates a bright and refreshing flavor - herby, zesty, and a little salty and sweet.
Yes, absolutely! While this recipe only makes one cup, you can definitely double or triple the measurements if you need to make a bigger serving.
Yes, you can freeze this healthy cilantro lime sauce. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two months. To serve, simply remove from the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator until thawed completely.
🍴 What to serve with cilantro lime sauce
This cilantro lime dressing recipe can be served with a variety of dishes. Use it as a salad dressing, dipping sauce, and even as a marinade and slaw.
- Tacos: Drizzle these fried avocado tacos or gochujang cauliflower tacos with sauce and top with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, and avocado.
- Burrito bowls: Start with a base of rice or quinoa and add your favorite vegetarian fillings. Add refried beans, pickled onions, and top with cilantro lime sauce and your favorite toppings, such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, or avocados.
- Grilled vegetables: Grill your favorite vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Or make a roasted vegetable salad and drizzle with cilantro lime dressing and serve as a side dish or main course.
Interesting variations to try
- Make it creamy: Add ½ of an avocado or ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (regular or vegan) for a creamy and flavorful sauce. Perfect for tacos, burritos, bowls, and more.
- Make it tangy: Add ½ cup of mango chunks for a sweet and tangy sauce. Perfect for salads and bowls.
- Give it a kick with jalapeño: Add 1 jalapeño, seeded and ribbed, for a spicy and flavorful sauce. You can also make it a chipotle cilantro lime dressing with a splash of chipotle hot sauce. Perfect for tacos, burritos, and bowls.
How to store cilantro lime sauce
Store this sauce in an airtight container, like a mason jar, and keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze, I suggest portioning it into single-serve cubes, or use a Souper Cube. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe bags and keep in the freezer for up to two months.
More Healthy Sauce Recipes
Check out some of these other delicious and healthy sauces:
And don't forget to check out some of these delicious salads to pair with cilantro lime sauce (or other healthy dressings!)
Did you make this recipe?! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Cilantro Lime Sauce
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
- Use a food processor or, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and minced garlic until well combined. Don't overblend if using a food processor or blender.
- Season the dressing with salt and black pepper and adjust to taste.
- Use fresh, high quality ingredients wherever possible.
- To make it creamy, add a dollop of sour cream, yogurt and/or an avocado.
- Add a spicy kick. For a spicier sauce, add a jalapeño pepper, seeded and ribbed, or a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can also add a dash of hot sauce or sriracha.