This Creamy Lime Cilantro ranch dressing is a great Cafe Rio Copycat for their Creamy Tomatillo Dressing. There are a lot of recipes out there for this type of thing and a lot of the good ones call for fresh tomatillos. However, after experimenting quite a bit, I decided, in this instance, I didn’t like the fresh tomatillos. For one thing it’s not something I have laying around my kitchen on a regular basis, so I have to plan in advance to buy them. Then I didn’t like the weird, watery texture they added to the dressing. So I started using a much easier substitution: green salsa. This dressing takes just minutes to buzz up in a blender and it’s perfect on salads, drizzled on nachos, as a dip for veggies or taquitos, or Latin-themed grain bowls.
- Ranch Seasoning: I only use Hidden Valley brand, personally. That’s not to say another brand might be just great, but that’s the brand I always use! Grab the buttermilk recipe packet if you can, but the regular will work just fine as well.
- Lime Juice: I suggest using juice from fresh limes here, as opposed to pre-bottled lime juice, which tends to be bitter. If you don’t have access to fresh limes, I suggest using one of my pantry staples- True Lime. It’s granulated fresh lime and absolutely wonderful. You’ll notice it in my photo below.
- Mayonnaise: I personally use Best Foods/Hellmans. I suggest using a mayo that you like the flavor of otherwise. I’m not a fan of most light mayo so I don’t think the flavor is optimal, but as long as you like the flavor on its own, it will work just fine here.
- Green Salsa: Look for one that has tomatillos listed in the top ingredients.
How to Make Creamy Lime-Cilantro Ranch
This isn’t difficult, you literally just blitz everything up in a blender! It’s so simple, and so fast. Feel free to adjust liquid for consistency and remember that dressing usually thickens a bit after standing. This copycat Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing will be your favorite condiment!
It’s obviously awesome on salads, and also as a dip for things like chicken fingers, veggies and steak fries. If you’re making our Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos, this is pretty much required to go along with them.
If you love Cafe Rio/Costa Vida-type salads, you’ve got all of the ingredients to make an Our Best Bites version right here. Start with a fresh homemade tortilla, layer on some lime-cilantro rice (pineapple optional) and black beans, then some crispy romaine lettuce. Top with either taco chicken or lime-chili steak, some fresh Pico de Gallo and guacamole and quickly fried tortilla strips for the big finish. Smother it in this salad dressing or this vinaigrette and you’ve got a salad ready to send you to food heaven!
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This Lime Cilantro Ranch is a tangy, flavorful must-have for all sorts of Latin food! From salads to taquitos to everything in between, this dressing (made from fridge and pantry staples) will become a favorite!
1-ounce package ranch dressing mix (ignore directions on package
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk (plus more if necessary to thin out the dressing)
1–2 limes (enough for 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green salsa
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Hot sauce, to taste
Place buttermilk, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and ranch mix in a blender. Add the garlic and green salsa and blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse until the cilantro is well combined. Add hot sauce to taste. Chill for several hours before serving (if possible.)
Keywords: Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing