Copycat Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Ranch is the creamiest ranch dressing seasoned with fresh cilantro, zesty lime and, of course, tomatillos!
Serve up this copycat Cafe Rio dressing with my Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, Sweet Pork Enchilada Stacks (enchilada casserole), Tomatillo Ranch Chicken, Sweet Pork Enchiladas, and Easy Mexican Rice. Looking for more delicious dressing recipes? Check out my popular posts for Olive Garden Salad and Dressing, Cilantro Avocado Dressing and Creamy Honey Mustard.
Why This Recipe Works
It’s a Cafe Rio specialty — It’s no secret that I adore Mexican food. Both the truly authentic and the American-ized. But my favorite is Cafe Rio. And, I’m obsessed with their Creamy Tomatillo Ranch dressing. Make this once and you’ll be obsessed too!
Easy — This Cafe Rio copycat recipe is so simple and quick to make. Truly, it’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients in the blender, giving it a few good pulses, and popping it into the fridge. Just like that, you have the most amazing dressing.
Great on more than just salads — I especially love to pour this Creamy Tomatillo Ranch on tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and our favorite copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork!
Time and money saver — No need to leave your house to get your fill of this creamy ranch dressing seasoned with fresh cilantro, zesty lime and tomatillos! Plus, when you make it yourself you can make as much as you want, and for much less.
- Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix — Use the dry mix. You can find it in packets and also in larger shakers.
- Buttermilk — Responsible for making the dressing creamy and thick, you’ll not want to skip on this step. Purchase a smaller container of buttermilk if you don’t think you’ll use the whole thing or want any leftovers. You can use the store brand, it works just fine.
- Mayo — I use reduced fat mayo to lighten it a little bit. You can also use regular mayo or even the avocado oil mayo.
- Water — Helps to thin out the dressing. I use the water from my fridge or tap.
- Tomatillos — You can’t have this tomatillo ranch dressing without the tomatillos. Take the husks off first and then rough chop them tomatillos before putting into the blender.
- Cilantro — Just the leaves, give them a rough chop as well before blending.
- Minced garlic — Mince your own garlic or use the minced garlic from a jar.
- Jalapeño — I de-seed mine and chop it up a bit before blending with the other ingredients.
- Lime juice — Fresh lime juice is always best but you can use bottled if that’s all you have.
Here’s How You Make It
I almost feel as though there should be zero directions for making this Cafe Rio copycat dressing. It’s so easy! Are you ready for it? Here goes:
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and pulse 2-3 minutes or until the tomatillo ranch is smooth and creamy. Stir in any extra water you may need 1 tablespoon at to reach desired consistency.
- Chill at least one hour before use and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- This Cafe Rio creamy tomatillo ranch dressing recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing. To make more, double or even quadruple.
- If you’ve purchased too many tomatillos, don’t worry. Tomatillos are easy to keep. Simply put any you have not husked in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or keep ones that still have the husks on in the fridge for up to a month.
- If you’d like to add a little spice to this dressing, leave the seeds in the jalapeno, or add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- This Cafe Rio creamy tomatillo ranch dressing will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. It will not freeze well as ingredients can separate.
If you don’t live in the Utah area or in the more western states, I’m so so so so sorry. Because that means you probably haven’t gotten to experience Mexican restaurant Cafe Rio’s anything, muchless their delicious creamy tomatillo ranch dressing.
The good news is, by making this dressing, you’ll get one step closer to enjoying one of my favorite restaurant’s best condiments!
Although raw tomatillos will taste sour, and have a dry, firm texture, it’s okay to eat them. Cooking them helps to eliminate that sourness. Most tomatillos are imported from Mexico. They’re easy to grow in warmer climates though if you want to try growing your own.
Because homemade ranch dressing doesn’t contain any of the preservatives of store-bought ranch (especially the kind that’s shelf-stable in the dressing aisle and not the dressing that’s already in the fridge), it definitely goes bad a lot sooner than the bottled ranch dressing.
If you notice a sour smell, this dairy product is most likely spoiled. A couple weeks in the fridge is about as long as these types of dairy dressings will last.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Best Easy Enchilada Sauce
- Chipotle Chicken
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Mexican Salsa (great for canning!)
Did you make this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo of your CDLC creation – I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
Cafe Rio Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix - (dry)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup mayo - I used reduced fat
- 2 medium-sized tomatillos - husked and chopped
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves - roughly chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 small jalapeño - seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
- ½ cup water - as needed
- Add all ingredients to your blender and pulse 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add water a little at a time if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Chill at least one hour before use and store in fridge in airtight container.
- Makes about 2 cups of prepared dressing.
- For added heat, use a second jalapeno and include a few seeds.