Cilantro-Lime-Jalapeno-Garlic Dressing/Dip

March 30, 2022

By Anna Varriano

I first tried this dressing at a family celebration in Nova Scotia this summer. It was served on the side, to be drizzled over a roasted vegetable salad. I love roasted veggie salads and I LOVE cilantro, so this sounded like a winning combination to me … and it certainly was!

The hostess was kind enough to contact her friend who brought the salad and dressing and got the dressing recipe for me (if you are reading this, thanks Roxanne!).

I have made it several times. The first time, I made it exactly as it was written. Since then, I’ve experimented a bit by adding chickpeas and/or using an avocado instead of the mayo to make it a thicker dip rather than a dressing.  I’ve also added more or less garlic, and/or jalapeno, and/or lime juice, and/or salt. It has been delish every single time. Suit your taste!

I’ve used it as a veggie dip, as a salad dressing, and as a condiment with grilled chicken and fish. It would also be great as a taco or nacho topper! 

If you like cilantro, you’ll love this dressing/dip. The recipe makes a very generous cup, and it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week … as long as you don’t add any avocado. Avocado can taste a bit funky after a few days of being mixed into anything. 

By the way, cilantro isn’t just delicious – it also delivers significant  health-boosting actions. Cilantro is touted as having potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also has significant chelating properties, which means it can bind to heavy metals that can then be eliminated through the body’s regular excretory channels. Cilantro is often used in heavy metal detox protocols and has been cited to have a particularly strong affinity for mercury.

You Will Need:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro. Cut off roots, wash thoroughly, dry thoroughly (I put it in a salad spinner to dry it)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of mayo – look for ones made with healthy oils (e.g. not canola/vegetable oils) 
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar – use Braggs – the good stuff!
  • Fresh squeezed  juice from 1 lime
  • 1 -2  jalapeno peppers. Cut lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, then coarsely chop the pepper. Wash your hands afterwards! Those seeds are hot! I don’t like things very spicy, so I’ve only ever used one jalapeno pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • If you want a thicker dip, add 4 or 5 heaping TBSP of chickpeas or some ripe avocado. You can even completely replace the mayo with a small ripe avocado.

Step 1: Blend

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend away! You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure a nice smooth texture.

Step 2: Serve or Store

Serve as a salad dressing, veggie dip, or condiment to grilled chicken, fish, tacos … and on anything else you think it would go good with! In the above photo, I used it as a veggie dip. The cilantro and the veggies were all from my garden. Love harvest time!

I find it gets tastier as the ingredients have a chance to mingle, so make it a few hours – or even a day – in advance! Here’s a batch I made today to use for tomorrow. Such a gorgeous colour!



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