Chipotle lime ranch dressing is smoky, tangy, and as spicy as you want it to be! This versatile southwest salad dressing is the ultimate topping for salads, tacos, wraps, and so much more.
Looking for regular ranch dressing without the heat? Try my homemade ranch salad dressing.
Chipotle ranch dressing
This twist on ranch dressing is everything, you guys. The way you can achieve this level of flavor in under 10 minutes is a little mind-blowing, honestly! Boring salads are definitely a thing of the past. If you're a fan of Mexican inspired recipes, I think that you'll like this dressing a whole lot.
This creamy, spicy, and irresistible ranch cilantro lime dressing works with SO many dishes, from salads to tacos to grilled vegetables. It's ranch dressing with a kick that you didn't know you needed in your life!
What you'll need to make it
- Sour cream - this gives a little bit of tang and a cooling sensation
- Mayo - it's the rich creamy base. Paired with the sour cream, it creates that signature ranch flavor.
- Cilantro - make sure it's as fresh as possible for this vibrant dressing
- Chili pepper in adobo sauce - I like things on the milder side, so I started with just one chili, but you can add in way more heat if you prefer
- Lime juice - adds a bold, fresh note and perfectly complements the chili and cilantro
- Worcestershire sauce - you could skip it, but I adore the savory, umami flavor it adds to dressings and sauces and wouldn't recommend leaving it out
- Garlic powder and onion powder - this classic duo takes the savory element over the top
- Smoked paprika - my not-so-secret ingredient that I use all the time! It just adds a subtle smokiness
What is adobo sauce?
- It's the sauce that comes in those little cans of chipotle chili peppers. It's tangy, smoky, a tiny bit sweet, and typically includes vinegar, garlic, and various fragrant spices. Canned chipotles in adobo sauce are normally readily available in the Mexican/international aisle of most major grocery stores, so you shouldn't have trouble finding them!
How to make it
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Put all the ingredients in your food processor, and blend until it's the desired consistency! Easy peasy.
- It's tasty right after you whip it up, or you can chill it for a bit and it'll thicken up. I prefer to chill it for an hour or so.
- Chilling it will give it more of a dip consistency, so it'll be perfect for dipping vegetables.
Substitutions and variations
- If you're not a fan of sour cream, feel free to substitute with Greek yogurt. I tested with 2% plain Greek yogurt, and it still tasted great.
- I used one smallish chipotle chili pepper and a teaspoon of the adobo sauce. That was enough kick for me, but I know that others may want it much hotter! Feel free to add in more to suit your tastes.
- You could add some chipotle chili pepper powder too while you're at it if you want to set your mouth on fire 😉
What to serve with it
- Make a simple green salad, toss it with this dressing, and serve it as a side dish to pair with my Santa Fe Chicken Skillet, this Beef Taco Skillet, or Skillet Salsa Chicken!
- It's also wonderful on nachos, burritos, steak, as a dipping sauce for vegetables or chicken tenders... the list goes on! Seriously, the possibilities are endless, and you'll want to drizzle it over just about everything. Basically, it makes any Tex-Mex recipe better.
- You can also just make it the star of a taco salad as a main meal. Jazz it up with your favorite toppings like tortilla strips and avocado.
Leftovers and storage
- This dressing will keep in an airtight container for 5-7 days in the fridge. Our kitchen likes to use mason jars.
- If you need to make ahead your salad, just store the components individually until you're ready to assemble and eat it.
Let me know if you've tried this southwest ranch dressing! Questions or comments? Let's chat below.
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup (lightly packed) cilantro
- 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (or to taste)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high for about 30 seconds.
- Serve immediately or chill for an hour (or longer) prior to serving. It will keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.
- I realize that the size of the chipotle chili peppers vary depending on the brand you buy. I would suggest using a SMALL pepper unless you want this recipe really spicy.
- Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitute for sour cream if you want to be more mindful of calories.
- The recipe makes about a cup of dressing.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This post was originally published on May 4, 2016. I am going through and updating some of my old posts with new photos, better info, and more clearly written recipes!