It takes just 5 minutes to make this creamy cilantro sauce. This green sauce has big flavors of cilantro.
This summer sauce needs handful of mostly fresh summer produce to make a kick-ass green sauce, that’s both creamy, fresh with herbs flavors. This sauce will change the way you look at salad dressing.
This sauce is loaded with cilantro rather than cream cheese or sour cream. This cilantro sauce recipe will give you big fresh flavors of the wonderful herb – cilantro. Greek yogurt gives the creaminess to the sauce without suppressing the cilantro flavors too much.
Cilantro sauce is available in some restaurants I think it lacks the fresh cilantro flavors due to the excessive amount of sour cream or cream cheese used in the recipe. The homemade version gives a well-balanced sauce, which brings out the cilantro flavors as well, and does not dominating it.
Summer brings fresh produce of herbs in bountiful. Loads of cilantro growing in your garden? Use it all up to make an amazing sauce. Made using loads of fresh cilantro along with garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, vinegar, cumin powder, pepper-salt to taste along with Greek yogurt and olive oil.
You’ll need –
- Fresh cilantro: The main ingredients of this sauce. Use cilantro with the stem. Cilantro stem bags have loads of nutrients and flavors. Don’t remove the stem away.
- Garlic: Flavors and the taste of garlic along with cilantro are wonderful. Do not use too much garlic. Too much raw garlic flavor will offset the taste of the sauce. For 2 packed cups of cilantro use about 2 to 4 cloves of garlic.
- Jalapeno: Adds mild heat to the sauce. Remove seeds of jalapenos if you like milk heat(we like the heat, so seeds on it are for us). The recipe uses 2 jalapenos. Adjust the number of jalapenos in the recipe to your taste. If you like more heat, add about 4 jalapenos.
- Lime juice: It adds a bit of a tang to balance other flavors in the cilantro lime sauce recipe.
- Greek yogurt: Adds perfect creaminess in cilantro cream sauce. A healthy alternative to other cream ingredients like sour cream or cream cheese.
- Salt & pepper: Season, always season your sauce well. There is nothing worse than under-seasoned food. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning as per taste.
- Cumin powder: Enhances the flavors in the sauce. This is an optional ingredient. But we highly recommend you don’t skip it.
- Olive oil: The oil emulsifies the sauce and gives wonderful texture and consistency. Use extra virgin olive oil for best taste.
- White vinegar: You don’t need vinegar if using lime juice. But we added vinegar along with lime juice. You can skip this. Use one of them – either lime juice or vinegar. For 2 packed cups of cilantro, use either ¼ cup lime juice (or) 2 tablespoon white vinegar.
How to make cilantro sauce
Keep those tender stems on cilantro as the stem bags a whole lot of flavor and nutrition. Rinse cilantro with stem to get rid of any dirt.
Add cilantro, garlic cloves, jalapenos, salt, ground pepper, cumin powder, lime juice, and Greek yogurt into the blender. (You can add all ingredients at a time too). Blend until smooth.
Then pour in vinegar (optional) and olive oil in slow streams. Continue to blend until it reaches smooth and creamy sauce. Taste and adjust the season (salt and pepper) to taste.
Transfer cilantro lime sauce into an airtight glass jar. You can store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Use it on salads, burgers, sandwiches, roasted chicken, grilled meat, for fries for dipping – literally everything.
Use this creamy wonderful sauce as –
- salad dressing,
- to drizzle over tacos, quesadillas,
- burritos, nachos,
- spreads for burgers, sandwich,
- drizzle it over grilled meat or fish,
- stir it with roasted potato or roast chicken,
- use it as dipping sauce with your fries, vegetables.
and I could go on and on with the list.
Below are some ideas –
Cilantro – There are two categories – cilantro lovers and cilantro haters. I LOVE cilantro and it doesn’t taste medicinal to me. But I am very well aware of the fact that not everybody agrees to that!
If you belong to the cilantro hater group, you can replace cilantro with parsley or even fresh basil. I don’t know for sure if you could still call it cilantro sauce then. Haha.
Greek yogurt – The creaminess in the sauce is from Greek yogurt. Healthy substitution for Greek yogurt – avocados. Adding avocado to the sauce makes it creamy and super delicious!
Other substitutions for Greek yogurt – Cream cheese or sour cream and milk together.
Jalapenos – Jalapenos are used in cilantro garlic sauce for heat. You can use red chili flakes in place of jalapenos.
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📋Creamy Cilantro Sauce
- food processor or blender
- 1 huge bunch fresh cilantro with stem (2 cups fully packed)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 jalapenos
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (optional)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse cilantro with the stem in water to get rid of any dirt.
- Add cilantro, garlic cloves, jalapenos, salt, ground pepper, cumin powder, lime juice and Greek yogurt into the blender. (You can add all ingredients at a time too).
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour in vinegar (optional) and olive oil in slow streams. Continue to blend
until it reaches smooth and creamy sauce.
- Taste and adjust the season (salt and pepper) to taste.
- Transfer cilantro lime sauce into air tight glass jar. You can store it in fridge for up to a week.
- Use it on salads, burgers, sandwiches, roasted chicken, grilled meat, for fries for dipping – literally everything.
- Use cilantro leaves with stem. Stem has max flavors.
- You will not need water since olive oil is used to blend the sauce. Add few tablespoons water if needed in case blender gets stuck.
- White vinegar can be replace with red wine vinegar. A mix of vinegar and lime juice adds beautiful tang to the sauce. Use either vinegar or lime juice if you want to cut down the tang.
- For diary free cilantro cream sauce use avocado in place of diary. Avocado’s gives the sauce creaminess and thickness.
- In place of Greek yogurt, use sour cream or cream cheese.
- If you are allergic to cilantro or don’t like it’s taste, replace cilantro with parsley or fresh basil.
- Adjust jalapenos as per your taste. Use more for added heat.
- Replace jalapenos with red chili flakes.
Created by Jyothi Rajesh
Jyothi Rajesh is the founder of the food blog, Curry Trail. She lives in Bangalore, India and is the mom of two beautiful kids. Her passion is creating and sharing delicious and easy recipes for the home cook. She’s been blogging since 2007 and many of her recipes have appeared in both online and print publications over the years. Learn more about Jyothi Rajesh.