A delicious vegan Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe made with creamy avocado! It's easy to make and an amazing pairing with southwestern-style salads. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free option.)
I've wanted to make my own creamy cilantro lime dressing ever since we tried the one from Trader Joe's last year.
Store-bought dressings are convenient, but making your own brings a whole new level of flavor and freshness that's hard to beat.
Plus you can control the ingredients and adjust the flavors exactly how you want!
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Dressing
For this recipe you will blend in a blender or food processor:
- Fresh cilantro: If you're not a fan of cilantro, readers have reported success with substituting fresh parsley instead. (And some people who normally don't care for cilantro say they actually enjoy it in this dressing!)
- Avocado: Or substitute plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt, vegan sour cream, or mayonnaise. This helps create the creamy texture.
- Fresh lime juice: You will need about one lime for this recipe, or more to taste if desired.
- Garlic cloves: I like fresh garlic best, but you can try substituting with garlic powder if needed.
- Olive oil: For an oil-free version, simply use water to thin the dressing.
- White wine vinegar: Or you can use apple cider vinegar instead.
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe.
- Agave and ground cumin: These are optional additions, but recommended for best flavor.
This dressing is great on salads, wraps, drizzled on tacos like a flavorful sauce, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, taco salad, and also as a vegetable dip.
My personal favorite: Try it on this Southwestern Chopped Salad (pictured above).
This recipe is very versatile depending on your favorite flavors:
- Make it spicy: Add a dash of cayenne pepper or jalapeno pepper.
- More flavor: Add ground cumin, tomatillos, or more garlic to taste.
- Acidity: Squeeze in more lime juice or even a little lime zest.
- Sweetness: Add a half teaspoon or more of agave nectar or pure maple syrup to sweeten. This helps to help balance the flavors and tone down the tartness.
Either serve this dressing right away or save it in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for later. We find it keeps for about 3-4 days.
Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (stems removed and roughly chopped)
- 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime or more to taste)
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil (can omit or replace with water as needed)
- 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
Optional (but recommended):
- Agave to sweeten, ground cumin to taste
- Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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