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Cilantro Lime Sauce (Creamy Dressing In Minutes)

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This Cilantro lime sauce is the best creamy sauce for fish tacos and taco night! The fresh cilantro paired with the plain Greek yogurt creates a delicious sauce that everyone is going to love.

Cilantro lime sauce on a shredded chicken.

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The first time you taste these simple ingredients, you will want to add them to all the spicy meats! The best part about making this creamy cilantro lime dressing recipe is that it’s a delicious dressing with a yummy lime flavor.

Want more delicious homemade sauce recipes to try out? If you love the idea of making your own sauces, another Mexican inspired one to try is homemade red enchilada sauce. Or for something a little fruitier, make this spiced pear sauce with cranberries.

If you love this recipe, then you’d like this Cilantro-Lime Rice and you may also like these Cilantro Lime Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos as well!

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s perfect for a taco salad, a simple taco recipe, or a great dipping sauce as well
  • You can make this easy cilantro lime sauce in a few moments
  • It’s a great way to complement spicy flavors

What’s In This  Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe

Ingredients for cilantro lime sauce including plain Greek yogurt, fajita seasonings, and fresh cilantro on a white countertop.
  • Full-fat Greek Yogurt: The backbone of this sauce, full-fat Greek yogurt, provides a rich, creamy texture that balances the tanginess of the lime and the freshness of the cilantro. Fat-free sour cream is a suitable alternative for those watching their calorie intake.
  • Fajita Seasoning: Adding a depth of flavor, fajita seasoning mixes salt, chili powder, and other spices to introduce a mild heat and complexity to the sauce. Homemade taco seasoning can be used as a substitute for a slightly different spice profile.
  • Garlic Clove: The inclusion of fresh garlic clove introduces a pungent, aromatic quality that grounds the sauce’s flavors. If fresh garlic isn’t available, garlic powder can serve as a quick and easy replacement.
  • Fresh Cilantro: The star ingredient, fresh cilantro, lends a vibrant, herbaceous note that is unmistakably the heart of this sauce. Its fresh leaves are essential for achieving the signature flavor profile.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: The zest and tang provided by fresh lime juice brighten the overall taste of the sauce, adding a necessary acidity that complements the creamy and spicy elements. Lemon juice can be used for a slightly different but equally delicious citrus twist.
  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning, salt, and pepper are added to the taste to enhance the natural cilantro flavor of the sauce, balancing the tangy and herbal notes for a perfectly rounded taste.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Vegan Version: For a dairy-free alternative, substitute full-fat Greek yogurt with a plant-based yogurt. Coconut yogurt is a great option as it maintains a creamy texture and complements the tanginess of lime and cilantro.
  • Add Heat: If you enjoy a bit of spice, consider adding finely chopped jalapeños or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce to introduce a warm, spicy kick that pairs well with the cool, creamy base.
  • Extra Citrusy: For an even brighter citrus flavor, add the zest of one lime to the juice. This will enhance the sauce’s tangy profile, making it even more refreshing.
  • Herb Variations: While cilantro is the star of this sauce, feel free to experiment with other herbs. A combination of cilantro and fresh mint or basil can offer a unique twist on the original recipe.
  • Creamier Texture: Add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or sour cream to the Greek yogurt for a thicker, more luxurious sauce. This version is especially good as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables.
  • Avocado Addition: Blend in one ripe avocado for an even creamier texture and a boost of healthy fats. The avocado’s subtle flavor pairs wonderfully with the lime and cilantro, making for a richer sauce.

How To Make Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce (Step By Step Directions)

  • Mix all ingredients for the cilantro-lime sauce in a medium-sized glass or non-reactive bowl until well combined.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the sauce is needed.

Recipe Tips

  • Chop Cilantro Finely: Before adding it to the bowl, chop the cilantro as finely as possible to ensure it integrates well into the sauce and releases its full flavor.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: For the best taste, use fresh lime juice and cilantro. Bottled lime juice and dried cilantro will not provide the same fresh, vibrant flavors.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of water or more lime juice to thin it out. Start with a small amount and add gradually until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Taste and Season: After mixing the sauce, taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. Sometimes a little more salt or an extra squeeze of lime juice can greatly enhance the flavors.
  • Allow Flavors to Blend: For the best flavor, cover and refrigerate the sauce for at least an hour before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.
A white plate of rice with shredded chicken and topped with cilantro lime sauce.

Storing Tips 

Leftovers of this easy recipe just need to be stored in an airtight container. For best results, eat the leftover creamy cilantro sauce within 4-5 days of storage.

The good news is that it’s really easy to freeze this sauce if you don’t use it all within a few days. All you need to do is make it and then add it to an ice cube tray. You can freeze it in small quantities and then use what you want when the time comes.

Serving Suggestions

This versatile cilantro lime yogurt sauce can elevate a wide array of dishes with its vibrant and refreshing flavors. Consider pairing it with some scrumptious recipe ideas like the crunchy and satisfying Air Fryer Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza, the richly flavored Chorizo-Stuffed Poblano Peppers, or the comforting Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole. Each of these dishes is enhanced by the sauce’s creamy texture and bold cilantro-lime taste, making them irresistible options for any meal.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to chop up cilantro leaves?

Adding cilantro to a food processor makes it fast and simple. Alternatively, you can use a sharp blade and chop the cilantro by hand.

Why is my leftover cilantro lime sauce runny?

Once you’ve stored the lime sauce in the fridge, you may need to stir it before using it again. It can settle, causing some liquid to be on top. Just stir, and you should be good to go!

Can I use this sauce as a marinade for meats or vegetables?

Yes, this easy cilantro lime dressing works wonderfully as a marinade for both meats and vegetables. The fresh lime juice and cilantro impart a bright, herby flavor that enhances the taste of chicken, fish, or even tofu. Marinate your chosen protein or vegetables for at least an hour or overnight for more flavor depth before cooking.

Is there a way to make this sauce without dairy for those with allergies or dietary restrictions?

Absolutely. You can substitute the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free yogurt alternative such as almond, soy, or oat yogurt for a dairy-free version. These alternatives will maintain the creamy texture while making the sauce suitable for those with dairy allergies or dietary restrictions. Just be sure to choose an unsweetened and unflavored version to keep the intended flavor profile.

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Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce on shredded chicken and rice.
5 from 1 vote

Cilantro Lime Sauce (Creamy Dressing in Minutes)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Basics
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This Cilantro lime sauce is the best creamy sauce for fish tacos and taco night! The fresh cilantro paired with the Greek yogurt is so good!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (236 ⅗ ml) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbs (1 Tbs) homemade fajita seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 2 Tbs fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients for the cilantro-lime sauce in a medium-sized glass or non-reactive bowl until well combined.
    1 cup plain,1-2 Tbs homemade fajita seasoning,1 clove garlic,2 Tbs fresh cilantro,2 Tbs fresh lime juice,Salt and black pepper
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the sauce is needed.

Notes

  • Chop Cilantro Finely: Before adding it to the bowl, chop the cilantro as finely as possible to ensure it integrates well into the sauce and releases its full flavor.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: For the best taste, use fresh lime juice and cilantro. Bottled lime juice and dried cilantro will not provide the same fresh, vibrant flavors.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of water or more lime juice to thin it out. Start with a small amount and add gradually until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Taste and Season: After mixing the sauce, taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. Sometimes a little more salt or an extra squeeze of lime juice can greatly enhance the flavors.
  • Allow Flavors to Blend: For the best flavor, cover and refrigerate the sauce for at least an hour before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4 Calories: 155kcal (8%) Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 2g (3%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 1267mg (55%) Potassium: 280mg (8%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 3214IU (64%) Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) Calcium: 56mg (6%) Iron: 4mg (22%)

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