This light Mexican Caesar salad is a new weekly addition in my home. So easy and SO GOOD! Everyone loves it. So easy to love.

I can’t get enough of the creamy Jalapeño Avocado dressing and manage to put it on everything and anything. Not just this light Mexican Caesar salad. Even if it sounds like the wrong flavor profile. It’s not. It’s always right. Trust me.

Creamy Jalapeño Avocado Dressing

Ok it’s not really caesar at all. No, there’s no anchovies. Don’t test my Caesar knowledge. The truth is, I set out to experiment with a lighter homemade buttermilk ranch, but was disappointed. So I added avocado, much better… then the cotija and herbs, and died. Heaven. DO NOT skip the cotija. Or avocado. Or herbs. Ok just follow the recipe mmkay? And then once it was tossed all cheesy and simple it just FELT Caesar. Go with it.

What’s in the creamy Jalapeño Avocado dressing?

  • Avocado
  • Reduced fat buttermilk
  • Non fat greek yogurt
  •  Cotija cheese
  • Garlic and spices
  • Lemon
  • Jalapeño (but no it’s not spicy!)
  • Cilantro (or parsley if cilantro tastes like soap to you!)
  • Green onions

You just throw it all in the blender and give it a whirl! Those recipes are my FAVE. I use my Ninja IQ because you know I’m obsessed with it. (Amazon affiliate link.) Ever since I bought it for my nightly shake, I haven’t pulled my Vitamix out ONCE. Not once.

Ok maybe once for the kids if I needed a huge smoothie. MAYBE. But I’d almost rather have to make two smoothies… IT’S TRUE. Obsessed. Just so much smaller and cleaner… and it blends so fast and smooth. It’s super loud (that’s true).. but now that I’ve gotten used to the consistency of things in there, I can’t go back. Rambling on about a blender ONLY because that’s the only blender I’ve used for this dressing so that’s the one I can assure you will recreate this heavenly concoction that costs you like NO MACROS.

Ok but I’m sure it’ll be great in your blender too!

How to make the Light Mexican Caesar Salad

Ok so once the dressing is done, this is the world’s easiest salad. Toss in with a huge bowl of chopped romaine, some pepitas, and more cotija. DONE. Even kids like this one.

What to Serve with a Light Mexican Caesar Salad

Obviously this is one of our favorite combos though. Blackened salmon on a huge bowl of Mexican Caesar. Perfect and so light, healthy, and satisfying. Plenty of room for the good fat in salmon since there’s so LITTLE in the dressing.

Pouring creamy jalapaño avocado dressing on a Mexican caesar salad

Mexican Caesar Salad

The easiest crowd-pleasing side salad to pair with all things Mexican.  Make a big one, (tossed and all!), and you can weigh and log your own portion if you’re a macro counter. No need to build your own bowl in the corner this time.
5 from 14 votes
Author Lillie
Course Salad
Cuisine Fresh, Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Calories 158 kcal

Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!

Ingredients

  • For the Family Sized Mexican Caesar
  • 4-5 cups of chopped romaine lettuce (590 g)
  • About ¾ cup Jalapeño Avocado Caesar dressing 180 g *Recipe Below
  • 1 oz 30 g roasted pepitas
  • 1 oz 28 g cotija cheese
  • Cilantro

For the Jalapeño Avocado Dressing: Macros for ¼ cup or 60 g: 41 calories/2.4c/2.4f/3.3p

  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • Half an avocado 40 g
  • 1 oz 28 g cotija cheese
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 frozen garlic cubes or 2 minced cloves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice 30 g
  • ½ -1 fresh jalapeño 30 g
  • Handful of cilantro 20 g- If you hate cilantro, sub parsley- still good!
  • 2 green onions 10 g

Instructions

  • Blend all dressing ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
  • Toss romaine in big bowl with dressing, pepitas, and extra cotija cheese (in addition to what’s already in the dressing.)  Garnish with some extra cilantro.

Notes

  1. I love how simple this salad is because it’s quick and so easy to throw on the side of any Mexican (ish) meal. BUT it’s wonderful with additions like avocado, cherry tomatoes, pico, roasted corn, and mango. 
  2. The dressing is my new FAVORITE. And is so good on any salad, bowl, or taco! The avocado and cotija are KEY, and the avocado does NOT make it go brown quickly… I’ve used mine out of my fridge for at least 3-5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it yet, just because we keep eating it all! But I bet it freezes great!
  3. Cotija is a delicious, sharp, crumbly cheese that makes Mexican foods taste HOW THEY SHOULD. In my humble opinion. If you can’t find it, sub feta or parmesan. 
  4. The nutrition below is for the designated portion of dressed “Lillie Eats and Tells Mexican Caesar Salad” (you can find that in MFP), because I love to be able to toss one big salad for the family and log a portion from it! But you can find the dressing in My Fitness Pal alone as well, so you can log as much as you like on all of your meals forever and every thereafter.  Ha.  Just search “Lillie Eats and Tells Jalapeño Avocado Dressing.”
  5. This recipe only makes 3 servings of this 270 g size, but I’m saying that it makes 3-4 servings since some of my kids will only take a little etc. Although I probably prefer to eat about 300-350 grams topped with a protein!

Nutrition

Serving: 270gSodium: 169mgSugar: 4.2gFiber: 5.7gCalories: 158kcalSaturated Fat: 2.4gFat: 8.4gProtein: 10.8gCarbohydrates: 9.7g
Keywords avocado, Caesar, cotija, jalapeño, mexican, salad

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this with a Mexican spiced grilled chicken….amazing! The dressing was so good, great twist on a traditional caesar.

  2. 5 stars
    tHis was the first reCipe i tried from lillie and its still a Fave iN my house. The salad is perfection but also don’t be afraid to slather the dressing on basically any veggies or protein or even a crunchwrap. I Totally RECOMMEND!

  3. 5 stars
    I love this salad and dressing! It’s PERFECT paired with one of Lillie’s enchiladA recipes. The dressing is so delicious on its own as weLl. i love putting it on all my bowls throughout the week. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    Incredible. Took A giant bowl to a potluck luncheon and it was the only salad that was COMPLETELY Gone!

  5. 5 stars
    This dressing is delicious. I’ve added it to sandwiches, nachos and even use it as a marinade on shrimp. I’ve made it dairy free and it’s just as good.

    1. What did you substitute the buttermilk with to make it dairy free? This dressing sounds amazing but buttermilk is not my friend!

  6. 5 stars
    This dressing is just delicious on everything! I’m not a salad person and this one is so different and refreshing!

  7. 5 stars
    So delicious and so easy!! Just had this for dinner tonight and will probably repeat throughout the week because I cannot have any of that go to waste. Sooooo good!

  8. 5 stars
    I could seriously just drink this dressing straight! I made it for a meal prep club meal and everyone was asking for the recipe that same day! I never go without now. I make a big batch and freeze in smaller portions so I never risk running out.

  9. I have been trying for a couple of days to click “print recipe” but the page will not open. I can see the ingredients listed on the the blog portion, but not the amounts because I can’t pull up the actual recipe. I’m dying to make this dressing.
    Can you help?! Thanks!

  10. For the dressing is the Greek yogurt nonfat or full fat? Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! I heard about you through Madeline moves and you rock!

  11. This was so good! It tastes like restaurant Mexican Caesar dressing, probably even better! I can feel great about eating it since I know exactly what’s in it! Thanks, Lillie!