Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing with Mexican Salad

Making the dressing. I used frozen buttermilk and frozen pre-chopped onions. I do that to save time. And sorry, I cheated and I used store bought lime instead of the fresh kind. I gradually added more mayo as needed. And what I do to freeze some of the dressing.

I adore this salad. It’s super simple, plus it’s such a feast to look at with so many varieties of colors. Every time I eat it I feel my vitamin count being replenished from the inside.

I love to make it the day after we make tri tip or even with some shredded beef or chicken that has previously cooked. Aka leftovers.

To make the salad all we do is combine the following ingredients:

  1. Small head of romaine lettuce
  2. A handful of small carrots chopped
  3. 1 Tomato chopped
  4. 1 Tbsp of Greek yogurt
  5. Salsa
  6. Sliced left over tritip. I buy the pre-seasoned meat from Costco. We cook it first, but always reheat it the next day and make this salad with it.
  7. Tortilla chips on the side
  8. Season with the creamy tomatillo dressing


I like to freeze this dressing into ice tray cubes. I then remove them once frozen and place them in freezer ziploc bags.

I love to use it as a topping on my corn. I warm them together in the microwave for a few minutes. Or sauté them in a pan. Mix and ready to serve. It’s delish


Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing

I have created a skinnier version of this recipe that is less fatty and low on dairy.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword caferio, Cilantro, dressing, lime
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute


  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 1/8 cup rice or coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/4 cup of onion for an easy substitute
  • 1 large tomatillo green tomatoes at the store
  • 1 small jalapenño We are whimps so we omit this step


  • In a blender or food processor add all ingredients and half of the rice or coconut milk. You'll want to add it gradually and until you obtain your desired consistency. You may add up to 1/4 of a cup if prefereed. Blend ingredients starting from low to medium speed until dressing has become smooth and well incorporated. You will still see some small pieces of cilanto, but consistency should be creamy and smooth.
    Chill at least one hour before use and store in fridge in airtight container. Makes a little bit over 2 cups.


This recipe makes a lot of dressing. I like to pour at least half of it once done  in an ice cube tray and freeze it. Whenever I  need some of this delicious dressing I defrost  1 to 3 cubes for a few seconds in the microwave, and voila!  Instant homemade dressing ready. You can see how I do it in my video above. 

Love, M. Serena Essuman

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