This simple cilantro sauce is delicious drizzled on top of your favorite tacos, added to your favorite plate of nachos, or served as a salad dressing for a taco salad!

cilantro sauce
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I should warn you; you may want to put this sauce on everything. The fresh cilantro, tangy lime, and creamy mayonnaise make this cilantro sauce incredibly delicious. I used to be hesitant to use mayonnaise in anything because it doesn’t have a reputation for being the healthiest ingredient. But this recipe only requires a little mayo to make a super flavorful and creamy sauce. Trust me, a little goes a long way! The cilantro is the flavor that really shines here. If you’re looking for a similarly delicious creamy sauce, try my quesadilla sauce, too!

How to Store Cilantro

To make fresh cilantro last longer, store the bundle of herbs in a glass, loosely covered with a plastic bag, in the fridge. It should last at least a week when properly stored. Just like fresh flowers, you may need to change the water every few days.

Ingredients for Cilantro Sauce

For this simple sauce you’ll need:

  • Fresh cilantro– There’s really no substitute for fresh cilantro. It’s necessary for this recipe!
  • Lime juice– Fresh lime juice is great but I often buy a jar of fresh lime juice to keep in the fridge so I always have some on hand.
  • Mayonnaise– There are plenty of vegan options available, if you want to keep this recipe vegan.
  • Salt– A pinch of salt enhances the flavors.
cilantro and limes

How to Make Cilantro Sauce

Rinse the cilantro under cold water and gently pat dry. Try to remove as much moisture as possible.

Add the cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise, and salt to a food processor. Blend until smooth.

cilantro sauce

Add salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Tips for Blending the Sauce

If you don’t have a small food processor like the one pictured above, try it in a small bullet-style blender or make a double batch. It can be hard to blend a small quantity of sauce in a larger food processor. (Need more help? Check out my tips for getting the most out of your blender!) Another option is to whisk together the mayonnaise and lime juice and finely chop the cilantro, then mix in the cilantro by hand. The sauce won’t be as smooth, but the flavor is the same!

Substitution Ideas

  • You can use vegan mayonnaise to make this recipe vegan. I like the Just Mayo or Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo.
  • You can use 2% plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise if you want a lower fat recipe. It will have more of a tangy flavor, but it’s still delicious! You could also try this avocado dressing, if you want something creamy but lower in calories.
  • If you don’t frequently have limes on hand, consider buying a container of organic lime juice, like this one from Santa Cruz. It lasts a long time and tastes just like fresh!

Ways to Use Cilantro Sauce

I love drizzling this sauce on tacos or nachos. You can also use it as a salad dressing. Try it on these broccoli tacos or vegan potato tacos!

broccoli tacos
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cilantro sauce

Cilantro Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 59 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 1/3 cup sauce 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Sauce
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This simple cilantro sauce is delicious drizzled on top of your favorite tacos, added to your favorite plate of nachos, or served as a salad dressing for a taco salad!


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves


  1. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, water, and cilantro into a small food processor or blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.
  3. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Looking for more tasty sauce recipes? Here are a few of my favorites!

  • 5 Ingredient Peanut Sauce– This simple peanut sauce is perfect for a stir fry or as a dip for spring rolls!
  • Romesco Sauce– This cream sauce is made with roasted red peppers and almonds for a hearty, flavorful sauce!
  • Burrito Sauce– This spicy sauce is perfect for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas!