Southwest Salad Dressing

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Homemade Southwest Salad Dressing is the perfect blend of creamy and spicy. It's easy to make at home and tastes great on salads, tacos, grain bowls, and more.

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This creamy Southwestern Dressing is made with wholesome and flavorful ingredients like Greek yogurt, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and salsa. This creamy and tangy homemade dressing is the perfect way to dress your favorite salads, rice bowls, and tacos.

If you like Tex-Mex cuisine and ranch dressing, you are going to LOVE this Southwest Dressing. It’s basically a combination of the two, with all the amazing flavors of your favorite Tex-Mex dishes and the versatility of ranch dressing. Unlike ranch dressing which is usually made with buttermilk and mayonnaise or sour cream, this recipe calls for more wholesome ingredients like Greek yogurt.

Between the taco seasoning, lime juice, salsa, and fresh cilantro, there are so many phenomenal flavors in this dressing you wouldn’t believe it. This creamy salad dressing takes just a few moments to prepare and can be stored for up to two weeks, which is ideal since you’re going to want to put it on just about everything!

I have served this healthy homemade dressing atop salads (like this Blackened Steak Salad), fish tacos, grilled chicken, turkey burgers, rice bowls, and as a party dip to accompany chips and raw veggies. There are so many different ways to enjoy this dressing because it’s super versatile, which is one of my favorite things about it.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy condiment recipe to brighten up your next family taco night or a homemade salad dressing to pair with all your favorite salads, this Southwest salad dressing is a guaranteed home run for any occasion. It’s bold, creamy, tangy, and downright delicious. What more could you ask for?

Ingredients for southwest dressing including Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, jalapeños, cilantro, and taco seasoning.

Key Ingredients for Southwestern Dressing

To make this delicious homemade dressing, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt: This protein-packed yogurt serves as the base of our dressing. It makes for a consistency that is ultra-rich and oh-so-creamy!
  • Mayonnaise: Feel free to use any kind you like, but I prefer to use the low-fat version for a lighter dish.
  • Taco seasoning: You can find this seasoning in the Mexican section of the International aisle at most grocery stores or you can make your own from scratch.
  • Lime juice: This brightens up the condiment and enhances the flavors of the rest of our ingredients.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a ton of brightness and fantastic flavor to the dressing, but you can omit this if you aren’t a fan of the herb.
  • Salsa: Use any kind of chunky salsa you like! Pico de gallo works too.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some of my top recommendations on how to change up this recipe:

  • Thin it out: If you find that this dressing is too thick for your liking, simply add a tablespoon of water or buttermilk at a time and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  • Bring the heat: Not spicy enough for you? Try doubling up on the number of peppers, leaving the seeds in the peppers, or adding a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Simmer it down: If it sounds too spicy, feel free to swap out the serrano pepper for the more mild jalapeno pepper. Alternatively, you can leave the pepper out altogether.
  • Make it dairy-free: You can leave out the mayo and swap out the Greek yogurt for your favorite dairy-free yogurt alternative to make a dairy-free and vegan version.
  • Get creative with it: You can easily alter the flavor profile of your dressing by trying it out with different types of chunky salsas. Any kind of salsa or diced tomatoes will work, so feel free to use any variety you like; green salsa, chipotle salsa, fire-roasted tomatoes, etc.
  • Add ranch flavor: If you are a big ranch fan, consider adding some store-bought or homemade ranch seasoning to the dressing.

What to Serve With Southwest Salad Dressing

This vibrant condiment can be served with a ton of different dishes. You can use it as a dressing for salads, drizzle it over tacos, use it as a dip for chips and veggies, and so much more. In need of a little inspiration? Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with this tasty homemade dressing:

How to Store Homemade Dressing

Not only is it possible to store homemade dressing for later, but I highly recommend doing so! This rich and tangy dressing is so delectable that it should absolutely be enjoyed for as long as possible and with as many dishes as you see fit.

To store your homemade dressing, simply transfer it into an airtight dressing container or mason jar and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Because this dressing is dairy-based, I do not recommend storing it in the freezer. Freezing and then thawing out this dressing will likely result in a texture that is more clumpy and runny than anyone would like.

Creamy southwest dressing in a glass jar with taco seasoning, jalapenos, and lime juice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy condiment:

What is Southwestern dressing made of?

This homemade Southwest dressing is made with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salsa, onions, garlic, peppers, olive oil, and taco seasoning. It’s a healthier version of most salad dressings you can find at the grocery store, which are often loaded with artificial preservatives, sugars, and fats.

Can you freeze homemade salad dressing?

That depends. While oil and vinegar-based dressings tend to do fine in the freezer, you should avoid freezing dairy-based dressings. Dairy has an annoying tendency to separate when frozen, which means that your once-delicious dressing will likely thaw out into a clumpy, runny mess.

How can I make this dish less spicy?

If you’re not a fan of heat, you can easily make this homemade dressing milder by either swapping out the serrano pepper for a jalapeno pepper or leaving out the pepper altogether. For a totally mild dressing, make sure the salsa you use is mild as well.

Steak salad with creamy southwest salad dressing, peppers, onions, steak, and Romaine lettuce.

More Salad Dressing Recipes

If you liked this recipe, try these next:

The Recipe
Southwest salad dressing in a glass jar with Greek yogurt, lime juice, taco seasoning, and salsa.

Southwest Salad Dressing

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  • 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion (optional, to taste since it's raw)
  • 1/4 cup salsa (or pico de gallo)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced (or jalapeno, more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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Roughly chop cilantro, garlic, red onion, and Serrano peppers. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree for 15 seconds.

Ingredients for southwestern dressing in a food processor with empty bowls on the side.

Place into a dressing container or mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Southwest salad dressing in a glass jar on a wooden surface.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tbsp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 204mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


This dressing will have a kick of spice from the Serrano peppers, I recommend seeding prior to chopping but if you like a little more heat you can keep the seeds.
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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