Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

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This fresh cilantro lime ranch dressing recipe has roasted tomatillos, fresh cilantro, and a chopped jalapeño for added kick. Serve it as a dip for fresh veggies or sweet potato chips or to dress a healthy salad.

A mason jar with creamy homemade ranch dressing has a spoon showing the texture in a drip.

Is your family addicted to ranch dressing like mine is?

It's been one of the long-standing Mom Rules that a picky eater will likely be braver about trying something new if they can dip it in ranch. 

That pro trick definitely got my kids to enjoy raw carrots and simple salads. Sometimes I like to mix things up a little bit and push that standard favorite into new territory.

I am personally obsessed with fresh cilantro.

We love making homemade salsa loaded with it because there is just something to be said for adding fresh herbs to your food. Even if you mix them with jarred staples, the fresh herbs make the whole recipe taste better.

The same is true for this incredible (and easy!) cilantro ranch dressing. Be sure to check out all the serving suggestions at the bottom of the post!

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Why This is the Best Recipe

This cilantro lime ranch dressing has added zip because it includes a fresh jalapeño pepper and roasted tomatillos.

It honestly adds only 15 minutes of time to include those fresh veggies and they are all the difference between a processed-tasting bottled jar of dressing and a fresh-tasting dressing your whole family will be rushing to dunk their veggies in.


The ingredients to make cilantro lime ranch are on the counter.

This easy salad dressing recipe needs a few particular items:

  • Buttermilk: I strongly recommend using actual buttermilk and not a buttermilk substitute for this recipe. Real buttermilk has a very particular texture that is essential.
  • Mayonnaise: You can use a light mayo or a classic mayo here.
  • Fresh Tomatillos: You'll find these small green tomatoes covered in a paper-like coating in the produce section of big grocery stores.
  • Fresh Jalapeño
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Minced Garlic
  • Ranch Seasoning: You can use a packet of ranch seasoning or your favorite bulk ranch seasoning.
  • Olive Oil

Roast the Tomatillos

Get the tomatillos roasting before you work on the rest of the dressing.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

These tiny green tomatoes come in a papery coating. You simply peel off the outside and discard it.

Give them a quick rinse and chop them.

Roast the tomatillos with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper to soften the flesh and make them a little sweeter. The food processor will do the rest of the work. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to completely cool the tomatillos before adding them to the dressing or they'll wilt the cilantro.

The photo collage shows the tomatillos being chopped and roasted.

Prep the Jalapeño

Assuming you don't want your ranch dressing too spicy, you'll want to remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño before adding it to the dressing.

Simply use a paring knife to slice off the top of the pepper. Then, slice the pepper in half length-wise.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out the inside ribs and seeds, that's where all the intense heat is on the pepper. The green flesh is a little spicy but has far less kick.

the Jalapeño has been sliced in half on a cutting board.

How to Control the Spice Level

If you like your dressing just a little spicy, go ahead and leave the jalapeño ribs and seeds inside just ONE of the halves of the pepper.

That is usually the perfect spice level for my family.

If you want it super mild, remove the ribs and seeds from both halves.

If you want it super spicy, leave all the ribs and seeds in tact.

Prep the Dressing

Wash and dry the fresh cilantro. Remove the stems and add the leaves to the bowl of a food processor.

Add the prepared jalapeño. Pulse the ingredients until roughly chopped, about 5 - 10 pulses.

Add the lime juice, minced garlic, and ranch seasoning.

Pulse the ingredients until finely chopped.

The herbs and ranch seasoning are in the food processor.

Add the cooled roasted tomatillas, the buttermilk and mayonnaise.

Pulse until the dressing is smooth.

The dressing has been pulsed until smooth in the food processor.

Make Ahead & Storage Tips

I store the dressing in a mason jar in my fridge and it will keep for 5 days.

Serving Suggestions

A bowl of cilantro lime ranch is on a plate with sweet potato chips.

Use homemade cilantro lime ranch dressing for drizzling over your salads but we also love using it for:

More Salad Dressing Recipes

Looking for more easy salad dressing recipes to make for your family? Don't miss these family favorites:

📖 Recipe

A mason jar with creamy homemade ranch dressing has a spoon showing the texture in a drip.

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

5 from 2 votes
Homemade cilantro lime ranch dressing is made with buttermilk, ranch seasoning, and easy roasted tomatillos. Drizzle this over a taco salad, use a creamy taco sauce, or serve it with spicy sweet potato chips for an appetizer.
TOTAL TIME 25 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
YIELD 2.5 cups dressing


  • 4 small tomatillos paper skin removed, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dried ranch seasoning or 1 ranch seasoning packet
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise


Roast the Tomatillos:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Toss the chopped tomatillos with the olive oil in a small baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes and let cool completely before you add them to the dressing.

Prepare the Dressing:

  • Wash and dry the cilantro. Remove the stems and add the leaves to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Prepare the jalapeño by remove the top and slicing in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the inside ribs and seeds. Roughly chop the pepper into large chunks and add to the food processor bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lime into the food processor bowl. Add the minced garlic and ranch seasoning.
  • Add the cooled tomatillos to the food processor, place the lid on top and pulse the fresh herbs and veggies together until minced.
  • Add the buttermilk and the mayonnaise to the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • Store the ranch dressing an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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The photo collage shows the ranch dressing next to the ingredients used to make it.
Creamy cilantro lime ranch dressing is the freshest tasting veggie dip you've ever had. Mixed with fresh lime, roasted tomatillos, and a jalapeño pepper for kick.

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