Mexican Dish | September 22, 2011

Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

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?

5 from 3 votes

Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cafe rio dressing, Creamy Tomatillo dressing, salad dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 30
Author A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 2 cups mayonnaise not light
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro washed, stems removed
  • 3 to matillos  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


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

31 thoughts on “Family Favorite Chicken Enchiladas

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Recipe Rating

  1. Made this for my family of 7, doubled it of course, but it was a hit! Super yummy! Tip: I used the ready made hot whole chickens from the store which saved time and kept hungry hubby and 1 teenager busy while I prepared other ingredients.

  2. chicken enchiladas, made by a mormon mama, with no condensed soup…yippee!! we didn't have green chilis on hand (sacrilege, i know), so i used my father in law's salsa (well he made it, and gave it to us that is…don't want you to think i was out of green chilis AND salsa…how sad:( ) and with stars aligned and fingers crossed, it still tasted really great. thanks for sharing and getting me out of the "chicken enchiladas made with a can of hoo-ha" rut i was in.

    1. 5 stars
      LINDSAY KJAR You are one hilariously funny writer! That comment had me laughing and is now officially one of the BEST comments around. (Seriously, though…NO GREEN CHILIES?) 😄

    2. 4 stars
      Lindsay, you’re so funny you should start your own blog if you don’t have one already!
      I loved this recipe and loved your comment!

  3. Soooo excited to see this recipe! I made this prob 20+ yrs ago and I’ve never forgotten this recipe or how delicious it is and different thanks to the coriander! It was out of my bhg cookbook and it has always been my favorite with the white sauce! This recipe hooked me on ground coriander. Thx so much for posting!!, I’ll be making this again soon !

    1. Lori,
      It’s an oldie but a good one! Im making this tomorrow for my son’s birthday. This is one of my most requested recipes from our kids!
      Have a great day,

  4. I made this for my husband and I. It was so yummy!! I was missing tortillas so I made some from scratch, I added Sriracha hot chili sauce over the enchiladas totally made them awesome!! I haven’t eaten anything that tasted so good to me in a long time!

    1. Brittany,
      Look in the Mexican Foods section of your local grocery store – Walmart, Smiths Harmons all have it here. Green Chili Salsa is also known as Salsa Verde. I also found it on Amazon.
      I hope you enjoy that recipe. Thanks for reading ABK.

        1. Karen,
          I’ve tried several different brands. Some I like more than others. Oddly, I have found the salsa’s sold in a glass jar seem to better quality than salsa sold in cans!
          Thanks for reading ABK,

    1. Hi Pat,
      I haven’t tried this with corn tortillas, but im sure it would work. Just make sure to grill the tortillas ahead of time on a griddle with a title oil and don’t make them ahead of time. Corn tortillas tend to get soft when left to sit in sauce. Thanks for reading ABK,

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was fantastic! Usually making a recipe for the first time you need make notes on what to do next time but this recipe nails it! Such good enchiladas, the whole pan was gone at the end of the night!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! So glad you loved this recipe. It’s been a favorite in our home for years.
      Thanks for reading ABK,

  6. 5 stars
    So delicious! My entire family loved these and I loved making some chicken enchiladas without canned cream of chicken soup! I fell in love with coriander in a spice rub and when I saw it in these…I knew it would be delicious! So yummy!!

    1. Thanks Bethany! We agree, homemade is so much better than a can. And the coriander is definitely what sets this recipe apart. Such a small addition but big flavor change. Thanks for reading Abk,

  7. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Thank you! My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook. Whenever she comes to dinner, I make something from your website and she always raves about it, and she always goes home with the recipe. I also made your cilantro lime rice to go with the enchiladas and she took seconds! Thank you so much for the rave reviews I get by making your recipes. But, of course, I always let them know it’s your recipe and I refer them to your website. Thank you so much for making my life easier and more delicious! 😊

    1. You’re very welcome, Nancy, and thank you so much for reading ABK! There’s nothing better than making homemade food for your loved ones.

  8. 5 stars
    Let me first say that I am not a cook. However, that being said, these enchiladas made me look like a rock star! I made them for our family Sunday dinner that included 7 adults and 2 littles. EVERYONE loved it! It was amazing! I left out the onion and added onion powder. It was divine! Thank you for making me look good! My family thinks I can cook!

  9. 5 stars
    These are now my Families Favorite Enchiladas! I have made these multiple times and they always turn out beautifully! I make them for luncheons or dinners and they are always a hit!

  10. 5 stars
    A new family favorite! So easy to double and make for a large crowd! We prefer this recipe to one we have used for years!

  11. 5 stars
    Every time I make these I have to stop my husband from eating the entire pan. He says without fail, “Is this a new recipe? These are AMAZING!” We are a big fan of the coriander and that there’s no cream of anything soup in the base. Delicious, delicious.

  12. INCREDIBLE!! Hats off to Si @abountifulkitchen. You make this cooking/ baking thing easy for a beginner. Can’t wait to try more recipes ❤️