Copycat Tomatillo Ranch Dressing is a creamy salad dressing that is made with fresh ingredients! Blended tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and seasonings make this a tangy and smooth dressing with a touch of heat.Jump to Recipe
Café Rio and Costa Vida are fresh made-to-order Mexican Restaurants that are super popular in Utah. They are known for their fresh salads, burritos, tacos and enchiladas. But the best thing is the Tomatillo Dressing! There are hundreds of copycat recipes online and I have tried so many of them. Some are simple some more involved and I think I found the perfect balance of easy without giving up the flavor!
I will not claim this is exactly what you get at the restaurant, but we love it at my house and it is pretty darn close and is a really tasty Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing you can make at home!
Making Copycat Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing
You will need a blender to make this Cafe Rio dressing. I love my Ninja Blender (see below for a link).
As for the ingredients, you will need buttermilk, mayonnaise, a packet of dry Ranch Dressing mix, 2-3 fresh tomatillos, fresh cilantro, 2 limes, a medium jalapeño , minced garlic and a splash of your favorite hot sauce or sriracha sauce.
Rough chop your cilantro, rough chop your jalapeño (if you like heat in your dressing add the seeds, if not remove the seeds), peel and cut each tomatillo in half. If you have large tomatillos use 2, smaller use 3. (I forgot to take a pic of the tomatillos…ugh)!
Throw all of your ingredients into the blender, and blend until smooth.
If you are worried about the heat, add half of the jalapeno to begin with.
Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed adding more lime juice, cilantro or jalapeno as needed. Squeeze/squirt a bit of hot sauce in the dressing and blend again, adjusting the heat level to your liking. The flavor will develop as this sits in the fridge.
I like to make this Cafe Rio Ranch dressing the day before or the morning of the day we are eating it so the dressing has time to set up and the flavors can develop. It is so yummy….just like Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing!
What to eat with your Copycat Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
We love to make this dressing on have it on Chicken Salads that are also a copycat (not nearly as good but pretty darn close). It is also good as a chip dip or smothered on a burrito!
Copycat Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing is a creamy salad dressing that is made with fresh ingredients! Blended tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and seasonings make this a tangy and smooth dressing with a touch of heat.
For my Copycat Chicken that you see in the salad photo above click HERE! For my Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice click HERE! For another dressing that is just as good try my Green Salsa Ranch Dressing or my delicious fresh Avocado Salsa!
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I love my Ninja Blender and it is amazing for dressings, smoothies and salsas. It crushes ice, blends fruit and veggies and you will love it too!
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Copycat Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
- 1 packet (1 oz.) Dry Ranch Dressing Mix *not Buttermilk mix, just regular
- 1 cup mayo
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 2 to 3 tomatillos, husked and cut in half *2 tomatillos if they are larger, 3 if smaller
- 1 medium jalapeno, rough chopped, seeds removed *leave seeds if you want more heat
- 1 lime juiced *or more to taste
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chopped *more to taste as needed
- 1 tsp minced garlic (bottled) or 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- hot sauce or sriracha to taste *optional *add at the end after you have blended everything
- In a blender add all of the ingredients except the hot sauce/sriracha. Blend until smooth and fully mixed. If you are worried about the heat, start out with half the jalapeno.
- Taste the dressing after it is blended and adjust the lime juice, cilantro, or jalapeno heat as needed. Squirt in a touch of hot sauce or sriracha (optional) and blend again. Taste and adjust as needed. NOTE: The flavor will develop in the fridge as this dressing sits so I suggest making it ahead of time and you can adjust the flavors before serving as needed.