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Tomatillo Ranch Dressing in a jar with a spoon. Jalapeño, lime, and cilantro garnish.

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing (Paleo or Vegan!)

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups 1x


Cafe Rio Copycat Tomatillo Ranch Dressing (Paleo or Vegan!) – This creamy tomatillo ranch is perfect with tacos, salads, chicken, and more. Dairy free, gluten free, and delicious!


  • 1 cup mayonnaise or veganaise (homemade or store-bought–see notes)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 tomatillos, husked and diced (can substitute canned)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • juice from 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a jar and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients in a traditional blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. If a thinner texture is desired, add a few tablespoons of coconut milk or water.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and store ranch in the refrigerator up to 1 week.


My Top Tool of the Trade. This is a really good job for an immersion blender. It’s my favorite tool for making salad dressings, since the batches are so small. I also use an immersion blender for things like pasta sauce, salad dressings, dips. If you don’t have one or don’t want one, a traditional blender also works!

How Much Does it Make? You’ll end up with about around 1 1/4 cups of ranch with this recipe, which is about 10 (2 Tbsp) servings. It’ll keep for about a week in the refrigerator, but if you’re thinking “how would I ever use that much ranch?,” don’t worry. You can make a half batch if you want, but I find it goes quicker than you’d think, especially if you make it for a family dinner or set it out for a casual dinner party (think taco salad bar).

Mayo or Veganaise. You can absolutely use your choice of mayo or vegannaise for this recipe, depending on your dietary needs and preferences. Our favorite store-bought mayo is Primal Kitchen (made with avocado oil) and our favorite vegannaise is Just Mayo brand (I get it at Kroger or Sprouts). Both work really well in this recipe.

Tips on Tomatillos. You can use fresh or canned tomatillos for this recipe. If you’re buying fresh, look for them next to tomatoes, peppers, avocados, etc. Look for a tight-fitting, green papery husk (rather than a loose, wilted, or grey/brown husk). Otherwise, you can keep canned ones on hand. If you can’t find them, you could swap in 1-2 Tbsp of green salsa, or you can leave them out for a cilantro-lime ranch, which will still be very, very good.

  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: salad dressing, salad, condiments
  • Method: no-cook, blender
  • Cuisine: tex-mex, mexican, american

Keywords: salad dressing, ranch dressing, tomatillo ranch, paleo ranch, vegan ranch, paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, cafe rio ranch, cafe rio tomatillo ranch