Cilantro Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

Southwest flavors in a healthy and delicious homemade ranch dressing… Cilantro Jalapeño Ranch Dressing uses fresh, healthy ingredients to complement your fresh salad ingredients.

Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Dressing  being poured over a lettue, tomato, and black bean salad on a yellow plate.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

~~ Pablo Picasso

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Homemade Salad Dressings

Recipes are great, and learning to follow a recipe is a necessary first step in becoming an accomplished home cook. One of the main focuses of Beyond Mere Sustenance, however, is to encourage my readers to “learn the rules like a pro,” to facilitate moving beyond a recipe to using flavor profiles and a well-stocked pantry along with seasonal and fresh ingredients to create new and wonderful dishes.

Homemade salad dressings are one of the easiest and most forgiving places to start. Cilantro Jalapeño Ranch Dressing Recipe takes only minutes to prepare, and you can take the basic “recipe” and customize it with different herbs and flavorings to complement whatever seasonal and fresh ingredients find their way into your salad bowl on a given night.

So in reading through this post, and then in looking at the recipe, keep in mind that it is more instructional in nature, and the recipe is more of a template

Given that I’m throwing together a fresh salad dressing with southwest-inspired ingredients like cilantro and jalapeño, my salad calls for ingredients like black beans, pepitas, avocado, and tomatoes. Don’t limit yourself to the list in my recipe. 😉 Other potential ingredients might include grilled corn, chopped zucchini, jicama, red or orange bell pepper, radishes, cotija cheese, etc.

Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Dressing tossed with butter lettuce, tiny tomatoes, black beans, and corn in a large salad bowl with tongs.

🎥 Video

  • buttermilk
  • olive oil mayonnaise
  • plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • lime juice
  • minced garlic
  • jalapeño
  • cilantro
  • fresh chives or shallot
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

So. Simple. Put the ingredients in a blender until smooth. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long)!

  • A small food processor or personal blender! I love my Ninja.
  • As seen in my (not great) photos, a glass cruet is useful. I have this one, but really want this one.
  • Keep ingredients on hand for making great homemade salad dressings… things like plain Greek yogurt, low fat buttermilk, olive oil, olive oil mayonnaise, and a couple of different vinegars. I keep sherry, apple cider, and wine vinegar to name a few.

Cool? Have you made your own homemade salad dressings? If not, go look at the back of a bottle of dressing in your fridge. The list of ingredients may convince you!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes.
Yield: 16 servings

Cilantro-Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Dressing - dressing being poured on to a plate of salad.

Southwest flavors in a healthy and delicious homemade ranch dressing... Use fresh, healthy ingredients to complement your fresh salad ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes



  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil mayonnaise, (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • several snips of fresh chives or 1 minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • several grinds pepper


  1. Add all dressing ingredients to the bowl of your blender.
  2. Pulse 2-3 times. Give it a good shake. Repeat until smooth.
  3. Either toss with the salad, or serve in a cruet alongside the salad.


I love to make my own olive oil mayonnaise, but I certainly keep a good commercially prepared one in my refrigerator. Salad dressings need a little bit of fat; fats aid in the absorption of some nutrients, and make the ingredients taste better too!

Frozen and thawed corn is fine, but grilled corn cut off the cob is better.

Creamy dressings will keep in your refrigerator for several days - if they last that long!

The recipe includes the salad ingredients for reference only.

Calories are for the dressing only.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

16 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15

Did you make this recipe?

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    1. Thanks for including my recipe in your roundup! I do keep a bottle of commercial dressing on hand for when I’m extra short on time, but making dressings is so quick and easy, I rarely rely on it. Instead, I rely on a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!