Loaded with fresh cilantro and zesty lime juice, this creamy, dairy-free Cilantro Lime Sauce is the perfect condiment to drizzle on tacos, burrito bowls and buddha bowls!
I'll eat anything if it's coated in a good sauce. "Crack" sauce makes an appearance on our table most weeks. For Mediterranean dishes, we love any kind of lemon tahini dressing. If I ever need a dairy-free cheese substitute, I prepare this Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce. For a little spice, Chipotle Mayo is my go-to. Lastly, when it comes to burritos or tacos, this Cilantro Lime Sauce is a must! Let me show you how to make it
Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- This recipe truly is a dump and blend recipe. Made with just 5 ingredients, it turns out amazing every time!
- Fresh cilantro and lime juice creates the most vibrant, zesty dressing that everyone will love!
- This recipe is adaptable, depending on what you have on hand and your taste preferences. If you love spice, add in some jalapeños. If you don't have fresh garlic, use ground garlic. If you forgot limes at the store, opt for lemon juice.
- Cashews - I love buying my cashews in bulk online to save money and to ensure that I always have cashews on hand for creamy, dairy-free sauces like this cilantro lime sauce.
- Cilantro - You'll want a big bunch of cilantro, so choose a large one or buy two bunches!
- Limes - I recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice in this recipe. Nothing beats it!
- Garlic - I love to use fresh garlic, but garlic powder also works in a pinch.
- Salt - Don't skimp on the salt! It brings out all the amazing flavors of the cilantro and lime. But also, remember, you can always add more salt. You can't take it away! I've also found that iodized or table salt is a lot saltier than sea salt, so keep that in mind.
- Jalapeños, optional - Whenever kids aren't going to be enjoying this cilantro lime dressing, I love to add in some fresh or pickled jalapeños. The added kick takes this recipe to the next level!
See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Cashews - Cashews make up the base of this recipe and add lots of creaminess to the sauce. If you don't have them on hand, you could try vegan sour cream, vegan mayo or hemp seeds instead. I haven't personally tried this, however.
- Limes - I love the combo of cilantro and lime, but in a pinch, feel free to use lemon juice!
- Cilantro - Obviously, if you substitute the cilantro for a different herb, you will end up with a completely different sauce. That said, a mix of herbs such as parsley, cilantro and basil could be delicious. Or try all basil and lemon juice. Get creative and use the herbs you enjoy best!
How to Make Cilantro Lime Sauce
Step 1: Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Step 2: Taste and add more salt for saltiness, lime juice for zest or jalapeños for spice.
Thanks to lots of lime juice, this sauce should last for 3-4 days in the fridge. As it sits in the fridge, it may thicken a little, so just thin it out with a little bit of water and give it a good stir.
- If I'm able to plan ahead, I love to soak my cashews either overnight or in boiling water for 30 minutes. This allows the sauce to get extra smooth and creamy.
- Do you wash your fresh herbs? Sometimes I forget to do this, but cilantro often has lots of grit and dirt in it, so be sure to give your cilantro a good rinse before adding it to your blender.
- Don't just use the tops of the cilantro. Add in the stems as well! They add lots of flavor and, if you have a good blender, they blend right into the sauce.
If you're from America and hear that someone is cooking with coriander, you might be super confused. What is coriander? Well, coriander is another name for cilantro!
People seem to either love or hate cilantro. The people that hate it often describe the taste as being soapy. People who love cilantro might describe it as having a taste such as parsley and citrus. Cilantro tastes amazing on Mexican and Indian inspired dishes!
This cilantro lime sauce starts with a base of cashews which get blended with lots of fresh cilantro and lime juice. Raw garlic adds more depth of flavor and jalapeños add some kick. Lastly, salt is essential for bringing out all the flavors!
This cilantro lime dressing doesn't have any sugar in it. However, if you purchase a store-bought cilantro lime dressing, it will probably contain some form of sugar, as many store-bought dressings have added sugar.
It depends on which recipe you are using or which store-bought dressing you are purchasing. This homemade, vegan cilantro lime dressing contains no dairy, as the base of this sauce is made from raw cashews. The raw cashews get blended into a thick, creamy sauce that you'll want to drizzle on everything.
I love the combination of cilantro and lime juice, but if you can't get any limes or forgot to get them at the store, use lemon juice instead! If you don't have lemons either, you could try adding in a splash of vinegar, such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Use whatever you have on hand to add some tang!
Recipes to Pair with Cilantro Lime Sauce!
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Cilantro Lime Sauce
- high speed blender
- 1 cup cashews raw, unsalted
- 4 limes, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 bunches cilantro rinsed and roots cut off
- 1-3 jalapeños deseeded
- ½-1 teaspoon salt
- ¾-1 cup water
- If you don't have a high speed blender, soak your cashews overnight or in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain them and discard the water.
- Place the soaked cashews, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeños if using and salt into your blender.
- Add water to just below the ingredients. You can always add more if needed.
- Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth, scraping down the side of your blender as needed.
- Taste and add more salt for saltiness, lime juice for sourness and/or jalapeños for kick!
- Drizzle over all the things!