Zesty Citrus-Cilantro Vinaigrette


Transport your senses to the lush citrus groves with this sunny and verdant cilantro vinaigrette. Bursting with vibrant, fresh flavors, this easy make-ahead dressing comes together in just 10 minutes. We start by squeezing fresh, tangy orange and lime juices which provide a tart and thirst-quenching base. 

Then we whisk in extra virgin olive oil to create a smooth, lush emulsion. The lively herbs and spices inject a punch of flavor and complexity into each drop - minced garlic, salt, pepper and most importantly - lots of bright, fragrant cilantro.

Every component melds together beautifully to create a dressing that dances across your palate with the perfect balance of citrusy brightness, grassy herbs, spicy heat and just a touch of sweetness from honey. 

Drizzle it over your favorite greens, grains, proteins and more. With a flavor profile as dynamic as this vinaigrette, the possibilities are endless! The burst of acidity and verdant finish lend so much vibrancy, making this easy homemade dressing a surefire way to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Zesty Citrus-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: Makes about 250 ml (about 1 cup)
  • Serving Size: 30 ml (2 tablespoons)

Nutritional Profile per 30ml (2 Tbsp) serving

  • Calories: 163
  • Fat: 18g (Saturated 2g)
  • Carbs: 5g (Sugar 4g)
  • Protein: 0g
This tangy dressing gets the majority of its calories from olive oil, classifying it as a high fat food. However the small amounts of carbs, sugar and absence of protein make this a lighter choice compared to cream or oil-based dressings. The serving size is modest, allowing the big, bold flavors to go far.


  • Freshly squeezed orange juice: 120 ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup) [113 grams / 4 ounces]
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice: 60 ml (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup) [57 grams / 2 ounces]
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 120 ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup) [108 grams / 3.8 ounces]
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped: 30 grams (1 oz / 1/4 cup)
  • Honey: 15 ml (1 tablespoon) [21 grams / 0.75 ounce]
  • Garlic clove, minced: 5 grams (0.18 oz / 1 clove)
  • Salt: 5 grams (0.18 oz / 1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper, freshly ground: 2 grams (0.07 oz / 1/2 teaspoon)

Method of Preparation

  1. Combine Juices: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the orange and lime juices.
  2. Add Flavors: Stir in the finely chopped cilantro and minced garlic.
  3. Emulsify: Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuously whisking to create an emulsion.
  4. Season: Add honey, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until well combined and the honey is fully dissolved.
  5. Taste and Adjust: Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. For a spicier kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  6. Store: Transfer to a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate. Shake well before each use.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Freshness is Key: Use freshly squeezed citrus juices for the best flavor.
  • Adjust Consistency: For a thinner dressing, add a little water or more citrus juice. For a creamier texture, blend in a small amount of avocado or Greek yogurt.
  • Herb Variations: While cilantro is the star, feel free to experiment with other herbs like parsley or basil.
  • Sweetness Balance: Depending on the tartness of your citrus, you may need to adjust the amount of honey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I use bottled citrus juice? While fresh is preferred for optimal flavor, bottled juice can be used in a pinch.
  • How long can this dressing be stored? Properly refrigerated, it can last up to a week.
  • Is this dressing vegan? Yes, if you replace honey with agave syrup or maple syrup, it becomes a vegan-friendly dressing.
  • Can I omit the cilantro? Yes, although cilantro provides a unique flavor, it can be substituted with other fresh herbs.