Ross and I went to school and met and fell in love in the land of Cafe Rio. Pretty much planned our future over sweet pork salads.  I pretended I was eating salads to get into wedding shape even though a Cafe Rio salad is just a giant burrito with extra lettuce and dressing.  So it just makes you fatter than a burrito. But fat and happy. SO GOOD.

Lightened Up Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch- SOOO macro friendly... you can pile it on!

Like so many other Utah love birds… anything resembling Cafe Rio will always have my heart.  And I have to admit, I was actually one of the few cilantro vinaigrette lovers… BUT with my new lease on life through macro-counting… I’ve learned it’s actually a lot easier to make a light creamy dressing than a light vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes with no olive oil are the pits.

Lightened Up Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch- SOOO macro friendly... you can pile it on!

But this creamy cilantro ranch is an AMAZING replica of the classic rich liquid gold from Cafe Rio.  I know logically it can’t be as good… because fat taste super good!  And I’m constantly checking myself to make sure I don’t ruin my pallet and tell people food is good when it’s actually gross rabbit food …   but honestly this blew me away the first time I made it…. that it could be SO CRAZY LOW IN MACROS and still SO good!  We put it on everything and I don’t miss a thing! And while I’m grateful to Bolthouse Cilantro Avocado when I’m in a pinch… to me this FOR SURE wins.

And it takes five minutes so…. GO

Lightened Up Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch- SOOO macro friendly... you can pile it on!

Lightened Up Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch- SOOO macro friendly... you can pile it on!

Lightened Up Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch

The macros turned out SO low on this! And we love it and put it on everything. Tacos, nachos, rice bowls, mexican salads, taquitos…. all things Mexican.. you get it.
5 from 9 votes
Author Lillie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 23
Calories 21 kcal


  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix 1 oz
  • 1 cup light mayo I used best foods only 1 gram fat per serving I’m sure you could use greek yogurt if you feel better about that.
  • 1 cup fat free milk fairlife has lowest carbs (add more if it’s too thick)
  • ¼ cup salsa verde
  • 1-2 jalapenos seeded depending on how spicy you like it!
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 whole lime juiced about 2 tbs
  • ½ cup packed cilantro


  • Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Place in fridge for an hour if you have time. No big deal if not. 


This makes a huge batch.  Feel free to cut in half. Or we like to make a big batch and freeze it in plastic ramekins from Smart and Final for constant replenishing since we fly through it!


Serving: 2tbs (30 g)Calories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 2.8gProtein: 0.8gFat: 0.7g

Tried this recipe?

Tag @LillieEatsAndTells on Instagram with #LillieEatsandTells! We’d love to see your creations!

You might also like

Share this recipe



Shop my Cookbooks

Available in Hardcopy and Digital

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...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    THIS IS INCREDIBLE! I am in disbelief over how delish this is for the calorie count! Yum! Now currently looking up all your other sauce recipes to make them!! I added an extra handful of cilantro bc I love it!

  2. 5 stars
    I could put this on cardboard and I would devour it. Love this healthy delicious dressing. So good in so many ways. Thanks Lillie!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! This stuff is amazing. We put it on pork burritos and it was so good. My whole family liked it. I followed the recipe to a t.

  4. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and is delicious! I substituted low fat plain greek yogurt for the mayo and it turned out perfectly!

    1. Oh man I’m sorry I’m so late to this! Any brand works! Like Herdez… or Trader Joe’s has one I get often.

    1. I’m sorry I haven’t experimented with that! I’d just google homemade versions of the dry packet. Good luck!

  5. I so appreciate your work! The concept of Macro counting really makes sense to me, and I’m excited to try it…but I particularly love that you share my love of dessert and are honest about the flavors of food…and finally someone that uses mayo instead of greek yogurt. thanks so much!

    1. You’re welcome! And thanks for leaving this note! And I love that you said that about the mayo. I always feel like I need to apologize for not using greek yogurt as the go-to for everything but I it’s just not always the best vehicle! So thick. ha. Good luck if you try the counting! I really hope these recipes help. Let me know if I can help!