Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
This bright cilantro lime vinaigrette recipe, infused with fresh jalapeño and cumin, is delicious tossed with salads, grain bowls, and other dishes!
I love a versatile salad vinaigrette and dressing recipe, and this is cilantro lime vinaigrette is one of my all-time summer favorites!
It is packed with lots of fresh cilantro, infused with jalapeño pepper and cumin, and bright and acidic from lots of freshly squeezed lime juice.
One of the key ingredients in this cilantro lime vinaigrette is fresh cilantro.
I prefer to just grab the cilantro leaves for this recipe, but cilantro stems are just as flavorful and great to reserve for other uses, such as infusing soups (such as Mexican tortilla soup or vegetarian chili) or cooked grains or legumes.
Since we want the cilantro to be well integrated into the vinaigrette, I prefer to use my favorite high-powered blender (affiliate link), small food processor, or immersion blender to prepare this dressing.
Note: If you own a blender with a wide-mouthed base, I recommend doubling the recipe to ensure that the volume is large enough to blend properly.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
We’ll need just a few basic ingredients to make this cilantro lime vinaigrette.
- Lime Juice – the only acidic component in this vinaigrette is freshly squeezed lime juice! You’ll need at least one juicy lime for this recipe.
- Cilantro Leaves – you’ll want to try to pick the cilantro leaves for this recipe, for the most ideal texture, but reserve the stems for other uses. They are packed with flavor.
- Jalapeño – this recipe calls for a strip of fresh jalapeño pepper. If you’re sensitive to heat, remove the seeds and ribs. If you love heat, feel free to leave them in!
- Avocado Oil – to allow the other ingredients in this cilantro lime vinaigrette to shine, I prefer to use a neutral-flavored oil for this vinaigrette. Avocado oil is a great healthy choice. If you don’t have any on hand, I recommend a mild-flavored olive oil.
- Ground Cumin – cumin provides a delicate, earthy, and warm note to this vinaigrette.
- Salt and Black Pepper – don’t forget to season your vinaigrette generously with salt (my favorite cooking salt is Diamond Crystal kosher salt, affiliate link) and pepper. If it tastes at all flat, it mostly likely needs another pinch or two of salt.
Ways to Use Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Toss with salads, grain bowls, or even drizzle on roasted vegetables or grilled seafood and meat!
As you can guess, it pairs extremely well with ripe avocado as well.
How to Prep Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
While I prefer making this vinaigrette just before using, you can make it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, the color will oxidize slightly.
If you are prepping it ahead, I recommend adding an additional squeeze or two of lime juice to brighten it up slightly before serving.
Don’t forget to shake it before serving!
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice plus more to taste
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small strip of jalapeño pepper seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- Combine the ingredients in a high-powered blender or small food prcessor (note: if your blender has a wide-mouthed base, I recommend doubling the recipe to ensure that the volume is large enough to blend properly). Puree or pulse ingredients together, until mixture just begins to come together and the cilantro is still finely chopped. It will be a slightly broken emulsion.
- Set aside in a small container with a lid. Give it a good shake before using!
- How to Prep Ahead: While I prefer making this vinaigrette just before using, you can make it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days. However, the color will oxidize slightly.
- If you are prepping it ahead, I recommend adding an additional squeeze or two of lime juice to brighten it up slightly before serving.