Cilantro Lime Sauce (Vegan!) – Conscious Eaters

Loaded with fresh cilantro and zesty lime juice, this creamy, dairy-free cilantro lime sauce is the perfect condiment to drizzle over tacos, burrito bowls, and Buddha bowls!

A burrito bowl with walnut meat, pineapple salsa, roasted cauliflower and white rice drizzled with cilantro lime sauce.

I’ll eat anything if it’s coated in a good sauce. “Crack” sauce appears on our table most weeks. For Mediterranean cuisine, we love any type of lemon tahini dressing. If I ever need a dairy-free cheese alternative, I make this vegan nacho cheese sauce. Lastly, when it comes to burritos or tacos, this cilantro lime sauce is a must! Let me show you how to make it


Why you’ll love this recipe!

  • This recipe really is one Dump and mix recipes. Made right 5 ingredientsIt turns out amazing every time!
  • Fresh cilantro and lime juice make it most lively. A zesty dressing that everyone will love!
  • Here is the recipe adapted, depends on what you have on hand and your taste preferences. If you like spice, add some jalapeños too. If you don’t have fresh garlic, use ground garlic. If you forget lime at the store, opt for lemon juice.


Coriander, lime, cashews, garlic and salt spread on a wooden cutting board.
  • cashew nuts – I like to buy my cashews in bulk online to save money and make sure I always have cashews on hand for creamy, dairy-free sauces like this Cilantro Lime Sauce.
  • cilantro – You’ll want a big bunch of cilantro, so pick a big one or buy two bunches!
  • the lime – I recommend using fresh lime juice in this recipe. Nothing beats it!
  • garlic – I like to use fresh garlic, but garlic powder also works in a pinch.
  • salt – Do not jump on the salt! It brings out all the amazing flavors of cilantro and lime. But also, remember, you can always add more salt. You can’t take it away! I’ve also found that iodized or table salt is much saltier than sea salt, so keep that in mind.
  • jalapenos, optional – Whenever the kids aren’t going to enjoy this cilantro lime dressing, I like to add some fresh or pickled jalapeños. The added kick takes this recipe to the next level!

See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.

Substitutions and Alterations

  • cashew nuts – Cashews form the base of this recipe and add a lot of creaminess to the sauce. If you don’t have them on hand, you can try vegan sour cream, vegan mayo, or hemp seeds instead. I haven’t personally tried this though.
  • the lime – I love the cilantro and lime combo, but feel free to use a pinch of lemon juice!
  • cilantro – Obviously, if you substitute cilantro for a different herb, you’ll end up with a completely different sauce. That said, a mix of herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil can be delicious. Or try all basil and lemon juice. Get creative and use whatever herbs you enjoy!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Sauce

Cashews, cilantro, garlic and water in a blender.

Step 1: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

A smooth green cilantro lime sauce inside the blender right after the blender.

Step 2: Taste and add more salt for saltiness, lime juice for zest, or jalapeños for spice.

A mason jar full of vibrant green cilantro lime sauce.


Thanks to lots of lime juice, this sauce should last 3-4 days in the fridge. As it sits in the fridge, it may thicken a bit, so thin it with a little water and stir well.

Expert tips

  1. If I can plan ahead, I like to soak my cashews overnight or in boiling water for 30 minutes. This allows the sauce to get extra smooth and creamy.
  2. Do you wash your fresh herbs? Sometimes I forget to do this, but cilantro often has a lot of grit and dirt in it, so be sure to wash your cilantro thoroughly before adding it to your blender.
  3. Don’t just use the cilantro tops. Add stems as well! They add a lot of flavor and, if you have a good blender, they blend right into the sauce.

Recipe FAQs

What is another name for cilantro?

If you’re from America and hear someone cooking with cilantro, you might be confused. What is cilantro? Well, cilantro is another name for cilantro!

What kind of smell does cilantro have?

People seem to either love or hate cilantro. Those who hate it often describe the taste as soapy. Those who like cilantro may describe it as tasting like parsley and citrus. Cilantro tastes amazing in Mexican and Indian inspired dishes!

What is cilantro lime sauce made of?

This cilantro lime sauce starts with cashew nuts mixed with plenty of fresh cilantro and lime juice. Raw garlic adds more depth of flavor and jalapeños add some kick. Finally, salt is essential to bring out all the flavors!

Does cilantro lime dressing contain sugar?

There is no sugar in this cilantro lime dressing. However, if you buy store-bought cilantro lime dressing, it will likely contain some form of sugar, as many store-bought dressings have added sugar.

Is there dairy in Cilantro Lime Dressing?

It depends on which recipe you use or which store-bought dressing you buy. This homemade, vegan cilantro lime dressing contains no dairy, as the sauce base is made from raw cashews. Raw cashews blend into a thick, creamy sauce that you’ll want to drizzle over everything.

Can I substitute lime juice?

I love the combination of cilantro and lime juice, but if you don’t have any limes or forget to get them at the store, use lemon juice instead! If you don’t have lemon either, you can try adding a splash of vinegar, such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Use whatever you have on hand to add some tang!

Recipe to pair with cilantro lime sauce!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating on the recipe card below and a review in the comments section further down the page

📖 Recipe

Cilantro Lime Sauce

Faith Vandermolen

A fun, fresh sauce you’ll want to drizzle over everything!

Q. Time 30 minutes

total time 30 minutes

course the sauce

cuisine mexican

serving 8

calories 91 kcal


  • 1 the cup cashew nuts Raw, unsalted
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic Peel and roughly chop
  • 2 the bunch cilantro Wash and cut the roots
  • 1-3 jalapenos deseeded
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾-1 the cup the water


  • If you don’t have a high speed blender, soak your cashews overnight or in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain them and discard the water.

  • Place the soaked cashews, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeños and salt in your blender if using.

  • Add water just below the ingredients. You can always add more if needed.

  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth, scraping down the side of your blender as needed.

  • Taste and add more salt for saltiness, lime juice for tartness and/or jalapeños for kick!

  • Drizzling rain!


– This recipe is super adaptable! Use more or less lime juice depending on how zesty you want your sauce. Place the seeds in your jalapeños for extra kick. Add less water for a thicker dip or more for a runnier sauce. Add salt to suit your taste buds!


Worship: 0.25the cupCalories: 91kcalSugars: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fats: 1gMonounsaturated fats: 4gSodium: 149mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 135IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg

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