Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing is my homemade copycat version of Cafe Rio’s famous creamy house dressing. Using local, seasonal ingredients, this from scratch dressing is lick-the-spoon worthy. If you’re a fan of Cafe Rio or not, you’re going to love this super easy recipe!
We don’t eat out a ton but when we do, we stick to the same few places. Creatures of habit I guess. Cafe Rio, a regional Mexican joint (think super fresh fast food) is definitely on the list of favorites on those busy nights when we need a quick meal asap. While my husband always gets a Cafe Rio Salad with pulled pork, I switch it up and order either an enchilada with side salad or a tostada with shredded chicken. One thing we both always get no matter what we order is the house dressing. It’s a creamy tomatillo based ranch dressing with lots of garlic, cilantro and fresh lime. I could slather this on just about anything and be a happy girl. Salads, tacos, as a dip….I’m telling you this dressing is the bomb.
This dressing came about because week before last I bought way too much produce at the farmers market. With our move just two days out, I had a bin full of produce that I really wanted to use up or at least prep to take with us so it wouldn’t go to waste. I washed the greens, washed and cut some carrots and radishes and packed the cherry tomatoes in a glass jar so they wouldn’t get smooshed in transport. Seeing that I still had tomatillos, a few jalapeños and some fresh cilantro left, I had my hand at trying to replicate this extremely addictive dressing. While I’ve seen copycat versions of Cafe Rio’s dressing all over the internet, I put my own spin on it and used more mindful ingredients.
While you could easily use a Hidden Valley ranch packet, I prefer the Simply Organic brand. I also used organic buttermilk, Veganaise (that’s what I always have on hand), local ingredients and double up the tomatillos. Dare I say this is better than the original? You be the judge.
A homemade organic version of Cafe Rio's Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing.
- 1 (1 oz) oz package dry ranch dressing mix (I used Simply Organic)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup Veganaise or mayonnaise
- 4 medium-sized or 3 large tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 medium or 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded if you want a more mild dressing
- juice of 2 small or 1 large lime
- Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy and all ingredients are fully incorporated. You could serve dressing straight away but it's way better if you can chill it for a few hours in the fridge before serving.
September Eat Seasonal Recipes and Guide:
With so much amazing produce to choose from, September might be the best yet. It’s the month where summer meets fall and the farmers market is chocked full of natures best. A huge thanks to our fearless leader, Becky from the Vintage Mixer, as she brings a talented group of bloggers together each month to share recipes inspired by seasonal eating. Be sure to check out what my blogging friends are bringing to the table this month. If you make something with any of the ingredients from the September guide, make sure to tag it with the #eatseasonal hashtag so we can see spread the love!
Shredded Hoisin-Blackberry Chicken Tacos with Crunchy Slaw by Floating Kitchen
Raspberry Peach Hand Pies by Foodie Crush
Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup by Cafe Johnsonia
Pumpkin Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce by Climbing Grier Mountain
Zucchini Banana Brownies by Kitchen Confidante
Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash by Cookin’ Canuck
Classic Carrot Cake by Vintage Mixer
Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti by Simple Bites
Peach and Arugula Pizza by Letty’s Kitchen
Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing by Flavor the Moments
Slow Cooker Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry by Well Plated
Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing by Mountain Mama Cooks