Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing is an essential component to any Cafe Rio style meal!

What’s a Cafe Rio salad without the dressing? While other copycat recipes use dried or bottled Ranch dressing, this recipe is all home made.
Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing  is creamy, tangy and a little bit spicy. Made with fresh tomatillos, and a fresh jalapeño, the amount of heat will depend on the amount of seeds you leave in the dressing. If spicy dressing is not to your liking, make sure to remove most of the seeds from the jalapeño before adding to the dressing. Also, it is good to know that any spice added to the dressing is likely to increase in intensity the longer it sits! I always use food handlers gloves when cutting up jalapeños they leave juices and oils on hands long after washing, and can cause a lot of irritation to your eyes when touched even hours after cutting up. If you don’t have food handler’s gloves, you can use a plastic grocery sack on each hand!

Tomatillos are found in the refrigerated section of the produce department.   They look like small green tomatoes when peeled and are covered in a paper like skin. When purchasing fresh tomatillos, look for fruit that is firm to the touch, the squishy tomatillos are most likely overripe or damaged! Make sure to thoroughly wash the tomatillo after peeling as stated in the recipe as they usually have a bit of dirt and oily film on the skin.

I like to use a blender or an immersion blender when making Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing. Throw all of the ingredients in a large jar or the blender and whirl until smooth. So simple and fresh. If your family loves dressing, you may want to make a double batch!

Interested in making more copycat Cafe Rio recipes?

Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

5 from 5 votes
Author: Si Foster
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 20


  • 2 cups mayonnaise, not light
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, washed, stems removed
  • 3 tomatillos,  washed thoroughly, dried and quartered (remove outer paper-like skin)
  • 2 stems green onion, green parts only
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, about 2 limes
  • sea salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or use a hand immersion blender and blend until smooth.
  • Store in refrigerator.
  • Yield, about 20 servings.
  • Keeps in fridge for about 10 days.

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. I’d love to see a photo, tag @abountifulkitchen on Instagram!