This Cilantro Lime Dressing is a fresh and zesty dressing for all kinds of salads. The perfect Cafe Rio and Costa Vida copycat recipe!
Cilantro Lime Dressing
This Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe is so fresh and tasty, you’ll want to put it on every salad you eat! Our copycat version uses fresh cilantro, lime and tomatillos blended together to taste JUST like the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette at Cafe Rio and Costa Vida. I have tried time and again to get this recipe just right, and I can happily report that after years of trying to figure out this recipe, I finally did it! Plus it’s a healthy, fresh alternative to bottled salad dressings. Try it and see for yourself how spot on this copycat recipe is!
What are Tomatillos?
One of the most important ingredients in this Cilantro Lime Dressing is tomatillos. They may look like unripe tomatoes, but these small, green fruits have a slightly more acidic, less sweet flavor than tomatoes and the texture is much thicker than tomatoes. You can find them in the produce section at your regular grocery store. To prepare, remove the tough outer husk, give them a quick rinse, then toss them in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth with the rest of the ingredients listed below. Tomatillos can be eaten raw or roasted, and their fresh flavor is perfect for a light, zesty dressing. If you love tomatillos (I know I do!) try our Homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde next time you make Mexican food.
Tips for Making Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Using the freshest ingredients available will make all the difference in how this dressing turns out. I can usually find good tomatillos in most grocery stores but you could venture out to a farmer’s market or try growing your own!
- Look for fresh cilantro as well. You can find fresh bunches of cilantro in the produce section of your grocery store, but I love growing it in my garden. It’s easy to grow and it can be used in a million different recipes.
- When you blend this dressing, make sure you mix it REALLY well to get rid of any chunks. This dressing is best served super smooth.
- This recipe makes a huge batch of cilantro lime dressing. You can store it in a bottle or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use it for salads, a dip for veggies, or as a marinade for chicken, fish, or beef. It’s so delicious!
More Delicious Copycat Recipes
We love a good copycat recipe, and we absolutely adore anything from Cafe Rio and Costa Vida! As much as we love going out to eat, there’s something so comforting about creating a homemade meal in your very own kitchen so are a bunch of our most scrumptious recipes straight from our favorite restaurant.
- The Complete Cafe Rio Pork Salad Recipe
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Copycat
- Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo)
- Cafe Rio’s Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Homemade Flour Tortillas
- Best Guacamole EVER
How to Make Cilantro Lime Dressing (Cafe Rio Copycat)
- In a food processor or blender, combine tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, sugar, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).