Shake up your salad routine with this zesty and smoky chipotle lime ranch dressing! All you need is a few inexpensive ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make this homemade salad dressing in a blender or with a whisk.
This chipotle lime ranch dressing is one of my favorite dressings to make at home because it is bursting with flavor thanks to the addition of lime juice and cilantro. You're going to want to pour this on everything!
This is basically a recipe for ranch dressing with the addition of zest from limes and smoky, spicy flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It's great on chef's salads or as a dipping sauce with tofu nuggets or your protein of choice.
Why this recipe works
- Quick & easy: Ready in just 5 minutes using 10 ingredients, a few of which are pantry staples.
- Zesty and smoky: Filled with classic ranch dressing flavors along with smoky, spicy flavor from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Lime zest adds a pop of acidity that takes the dressing to another level.
- Lightened-up: This chipotle ranch dressing is lighter than classic ranch dressing because it uses half Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise. The Greek yogurt also adds a little extra tang to the dressing.
- Versatile: I use this dressing on more than just salads. It's also great on black bean bowls, drizzled onto lentil tacos, or as a dip with air-fried roasted potatoes.
This dressing uses just a few ingredients but it can easily be customized to meet your preferences.
Greek yogurt and mayonnaise make up the base of the dressing. I prefer olive oil mayonnaise, but any kind works for this dressing. If you are looking for a lighter option you can use 100% Greek yogurt by volume. This will yield a tangier dressing.
Cilantro and lime add flavor, zest, and brightness. One small lime yields 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice and ½ teaspoon of lime zest.
Garlic powder, onion powder and salt are added for that true ranch flavor. Adjust these to taste.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add spice, so if you don't love spicy food I would recommend adding adobo sauce to taste. Chipotle peppers are actually just jalapenos that have been smoked and dried, so they are less spicy than raw peppers.
Chipotle chili peppers canned in adobo sauce are usually found in the international aisle or vegetable aisle at grocery stores. If you're unable to find them, use ½ teaspoon of chipotle chili powder instead. Adjust to taste.
- Blender method: This is really as easy as dumping all of the ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth.
- Whisking method: If you're using a whisk, I recommend chopping the chipotle peppers up very finely before adding them to the dressing. Use a whisk to stir the ingredients together until cohesive. Add in an extra tablespoon of water lime juice (depending on your taste preference) to thin as needed.
- Immersion blender: I recommend immersion blending in a sturdy metal mixing bowl. This method works best with double or triple batches of dressing.
Tips and variations
- Consistency: This chipotle lime ranch dressing starts out relatively thick. For control over the consistency of the dressing, add water just one teaspoon at a time.
- Spiciness: This dressing is relatively spicy because of the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce (both ingredients add spice). I recommend starting with the recommended amount of chipotle chili pepper and increasing from there.
- Adjust to taste! Salt, sugar, lime and adobo sauce are the biggest flavor contributors in this recipe. Increase as needed to meet your preferences!
- Chill time: I recommend letting the dressing chill in the fridge for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. You can definitely enjoy it right away if you're like me and can't wait!
- Vegan option: I don't have a vegan version of this recipe but this dairy-free ranch dressing is a good starting point.
Leftovers: Store refrigerated in a closed container for up to a week. The dressing thickens during refrigeration, so you may need to add additional water to thin it before using it.
Freezing: I have not tried freezing ranch dressing, but I do think it should work. I usually freeze dressings in small mason jars for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Have extra chipotle chili peppers? I always keep them on hand for corn chowder, chipotle pasta salads, and even rice and bean casserole. Transfer the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to a pint-sized ball jar or another small freezer-safe container.
Keep frozen for up to 3 months. You can let it thaw overnight in the fridge before using the peppers or just pop it the microwave for a minute to soften when you're ready to use it again.
Chipotle ranch goes well pretty much anywhere that classic ranch dressing goes. Here are my favorite ways to enjoy it:
- Salads: Maybe the most obvious choice, chipotle ranch is great on green salads.
- Bowls: You can keep it as simple as baked tofu, black beans, and rice topped with chipotle ranch dressing. For a full recipe, try adding this dressing to fajita veggie burrito bowls.
- Dip: Served as a dip with tofu nuggets or any kind of nugget. This dressing is also great with raw vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumbers.
More easy salad dressings
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Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing
- 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup olive oil mayonnaise regular will also work
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 finely chopped chipotle chili pepper from a 7 ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
- 1 tablespoon lime from ~½ small lime
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Whisking method: Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. Add additional lime juice as needed to thin. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- If you have time, let chill an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Refrigerate in a closed container, such as a pint ball jar, for up to one week.
- Vegan options: If you're looking to make this recipe dairy-free I recommend starting with this vegan ranch dressing as the base or just using vegan mayonnaise in place of the mayo and yogurt.
- Leftover chipotle chili peppers can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or pop in the microwave for a minute when ready to use.