This fresh and citrusy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is a delicious way to add a ton of flavor to your salads. This easy salad dressing recipe has a short list of ingredients and takes just 5 minutes to make!
I discovered the pure goodness of Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette the first time I ordered a Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad at Nordstrom Café. At first bite I knew I needed the ingredient list so I could recreate it at home. I just love the fresh Southwest flavor it adds to salads.
Thankfully, I was able to locate the recipe, made a few small tweaks (as always!) and I’m so happy to share this easy salad dressing recipe with you!
Table of contents
- Cilantro – Pull the leaves from the stems. A few thin stems are okay but try to remove and discard the thicker stems.
- Seasoned rice vinegar – As the name implies, seasoned rice vinegar is plain rice vinegar with a little sugar and seasoning added for flavor. It adds mild acidity and a hint of sweetness to the dressing.
- Fresh lime juice – From a couple of limes.
- Honey – Just enough to balance the acidity from the vinegar and lime juice.
- Minced garlic – Fresh garlic is best for recipes that aren’t cooked, like salad dressings.
- Sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
How to Make Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Add the cilantro, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until well combined.
- With the machine running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube and continue to process until smooth and well combined. Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
The right container: Glass containers like mason jars or BPA-free plastic containers with tight-fitting lids are the best choice for storing homemade vinaigrettes. Avoid using metal containers, as the citric acid in this recipe may react with metal and affect the taste. I love my colorful plastic mason jar lids that I use when storing sauces and dressings.
Refrigerate promptly: Fresh ingredients like cilantro and lime juice are perishable so refrigerate the dressing promptly after making it to maintain its flavor and freshness.
Label and date: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette will stay fresh and tasty for up 1 week or more if stored properly. Label the container with the date it was prepared to help you keep track of its freshness. Before using, inspect the vinaigrette for any changes in color, texture, or smell. If it appears or smells off, discard it immediately.
Shake before use: Before each use, shake the vinaigrette well to ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed and emulsified.
How to Use Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Salad dressing: It adds BIG flavor to my Nordstrom Café copycat Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad. You can drizzle it over other mixed green salads, grain salads, or bean salads for a burst of fresh and tangy flavors.
Grilled vegetables: Brush the vinaigrette on grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or asparagus to enhance their taste with a zesty kick.
Marinade for meats: Use the vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken or shrimp to infuse them with great flavor.
Seafood drizzle: Enhance the flavor of grilled or baked fish, such as salmon or tilapia, by spooning the vinaigrette over the top just before serving.
Roasted potatoes: Toss roasted potatoes in the vinaigrette to give them a zingy twist and turn them into a standout side dish.
Cold pasta salads: Use the vinaigrette as the dressing for cold pasta salads, incorporating fresh vegetables and protein like grilled chicken or shrimp.
More Salad Dressing Recipes
- Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Homemade Italian Dressing
- Basil Buttermilk Dressing
- Classic Cobb Salad Dressing
- Check out my entire collection of salad dressing recipes.
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, thick stems removed
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice, from 1 ½ to 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add the cilantro, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until well combined. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube and continue to process until smooth and well combined.
- Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.