Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette {Cafe Rio Copycat}

Before Cafe Rio came to my little corner of Wyoming, it seems like I was the only person in existence who hadn’t tried something from their menu. Copycat recipes were flooding the internet and I have to say my curiosity peaked. I wanted to know what all the hype about!!! So when they opened their doors in my hometown, my husband and I treated our family to dinner. I understand now. I too fell in love with the fresh tastes, most of all in this salad dressings. Their Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is to die for. So I went back to the internet to see if I would be Pinspired with a copycat version of Cafe Rio’s Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette and found myself disappointed. Many of the recipes contained store-bought dressings and I simply can’t do that. The thought of mimicking what tasted so fresh and homemade with something so processed just doesn’t work out in this brain of mine. Sorry, I guess sometimes I have to do things the hard way, although making your own salad dressing from scratch really isn’t that difficult. I found a couple other recipes but none of them were right for me. So I made my own version and I looovvveee it! It pairs perfectly with Mexican salads, or this salad that I shared a few weeks ago, or really just about any salad out there. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette {Cafe Rio Copycat}
  1. juice of 3 limes
  2. 1/2 cups seasoned rice vinegar or white whine vinegar, I prefer rice though
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
  5. 4 teaspoons sugar
  6. 1/4 cup oil
  7. heaping 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, I use about 1/2 bunch.
  8. jalapeno, seeded and chopped (totally optional, usually I leave it out, but sometimes I add one to change it up. It doesn't really make it spicy, it just adds that peppery flavor if you know what I mean.)
  1. You can make this one of two ways, combine everything except cilantro in blender, and give a whirl. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro is the way you like it, into bigger or smaller pieces. If you make it in the blender, you don't have to worry about mincing the garlic too much.
  2. Or you can mix everything together in a jar or a bowl and just stir really well before you pour it. Obviously you would want to mince/chop things a bit more. I've done it both ways and I suppose it comes down to whether you want to chop and mince, or clean your blender.
  1. This dressing is very tangy, I like it this way and most everyone I have served it to has as well. I know it breaks the usual vinaigrette oil to vinegar rule of 3:1, but I find once added to the salad the flavor of the dressing lightens up quite a bit. If you find yourself questioning the vinegar you could start by adding only 1/4 of a cup and then adding the extra as desired or by adding 1/3 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup water.
Jasey's Crazy Daisy

11 thoughts on “Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette {Cafe Rio Copycat}

    1. Jasey McBurnett

      Robert, I have no clue why you removed your comment 🙂 I’m so glad I had the chance to read it first! I was thrilled to learn that you love the dressing as much was we do! Thanks for your kind words!

  1. Leighann

    I too absolutely luv the dressing from Cafe Rio. I can never get enough. I just tried the recipie above and it is perfect! I added a Serrano chili because I had some in my garden. I also added some ground black pepper and more like an entire bunch of cilantro. Thank you so much for the recipie!!!


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