Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (2024)

Home / Recipes / Lunch / Salads / Homemade Chili Lime Vinaigrette

Published on March 5, 2020 · Updated on May 11, 2023 · By Aysegul Sanford

This Chili Lime Vinaigrette is a sweet and spicy dressing perfect for drizzling on salads or marinating meat. It is ready in 5 minutes, can be multiplied and made ahead. Add this simple yet delicious to your homemade salad dressing recipes collection. I promise it won’t disappoint.

Yields: 4 servings (1/2 cup)

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Total: 5 minutes mins

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Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (1)

I’ll be the first one to admit. I was once that person who took advantage of the convenience of storebought premade salad dressings. I totally get the fact that it is much easier to grab the bottle from the fridge and use it right there and then.

However, I also know that it is now more important than ever to know what goes into your food, especially when it is so easy and quick to put it together. I think a salad dressing made with only 7 everyday ingredients that you can whip up in 5 minutes totally fits in this category.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (2)

The good thing is that even if you are new to whipping up your own salad dressings I have so many recipes to help you get started. Yogurt Salad Dressing, Lemon Dijon Dressing, Tzatziki Sauce, Soy Ginger Dressing, Pesto Vinaigrette, and Tahini Yogurt Dressing are a few to name.

If you feel the same way join me as I break it down and make my go-to sweet and spicy lime salad dressing recipe.

Table of Contents show


As I mentioned earlier, you only need 7 ingredients to make this chili lime dressing. They are:

  • Olive Oil – Use a fruity and mild olive oil, such as Extra Virgin. The dressing is not cooked, so we want the best tasting olive oil available. If you happen to have a Spanish olive oil lingering in your pantry, bonus points! By all means, use it! If you need a national brand, my favorite olive oil brand isCalifornia Olive Ranch (affiliate link.)
  • Lime Zest – To get 1 Tablespoon of lime zest, you will need about 2 limes. Zest the entire surface of the limes with a Microplane (affiliate link), making sure not to get the white, bitter pith underneath.
  • Lime Juice – Each lime contains about 2 Tablespoons juice, so use the 2 limes you just zested to reach the perfect amount of juice you need for the dressing.

PRO TIP: Limes not juicy enough? Pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, roll them on your countertop with a bit of gentle pressure, slice and squeeze. Prepare to be amazed!

  • Garlic: Finely minced or chopped, fresh garlic adds that slight savory edge and infuses into the dressing quite nicely.
  • Chili Powder: Nowadays, you can easily find all kinds of chili powder in your local supermarket. Some super spicy, some on the mild side, some made with a combination of chilis, some made only with ancho chili, etc. I think the most important thing to do is to use one that you like. My recommendation is to try a few and use the one that feels the best for your taste buds. And if you prefer a less spicy version of this dressing, try making our Honey Lime Salad Dressing instead.
  • Ground cumin: Cumin is my favorite spice and a teaspoon of it truly elevates this vinaigrette recipe.
  • Kosher salt: I used only ¾ teaspoons of salt but feel free to adjust it to your liking.
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional): A pinch of red pepper flakes should suffice.

How to make chili lime vinaigrette?

The process of this making this chili vinaigrette cannot be easier. Simply put all the ingredients in a small jar, put the lid on, and shake vigorously until everything is fully combined.

Can I Make This Recipe In Advance? How long will it keep fresh?

You sure can. I usually make a batch and keep it in the fridge. As long as it is kept in an airtight container, it will keep fresh up to 5 days.

Can I multiply this salad dressing recipe?

You certainly can. Simply double, triple or multiply it to make it work for your recipe.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (4)

Ways To Use This Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe:

I am glad you asked because I think this spicy lime vinaigrette is one of those recipes that you can use over and over. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Southwest or Mexican Cuisine Inspired Salads: I sometimes use some of my basic salad recipes and instead of using the salad dressing listed in the recipe, I use this one. This dressing takes basic corn and bean salads to the next level. A few of my favorite ones are Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Five Bean Salad, Black Bean Corn Salad, Mexican Corn Salad, Southwest Quinoa Salad, Mango and Avocado Salad, and Texas Caviar Salad.
  • Simple Green Salads: If you are a lover of simple green salads, even if it is a simple green salad with spring mix, you can easily dress those fresh salad greens with this chili lime salad dressing for a delicious side dish.
  • Use it to marinate chicken: Simply make a batch and use it to marinate the chicken in it.
  • Drizzle over grilled salmon or any other flaky fish
  • Plant-Based Bowl Recipes: I sometimes use it in this Vegan Burrito Bowl recipe in place of the cashew cream chipotle sauce.
Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (5)


The below recipe makes a little less than half a cup of chile-lime vinaigrette, which I think is ideal for a recipe that serves for 4 people. If we base it on that it would 162 calories per serving. You can get more nutrition information in the recipe card below.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

By Aysegul Sanford

Yields: 4 servings (1/2 cup)

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Total Time: 5 minutes mins

Love making salad dressings at home? If so you are in the right place. This chili lime vinaigrette is deliciously tangy and spicy. It comes together in inly 5 minutes and can be multipled. Make a batch, drizzle on salads, or mariande your favorite meets.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (6)

5 from 5 votes

Print Recipe


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon honey


  • Place all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on, and give it a good shake.


  • This vinaigrette recipe will keep fresh in an airtight container (such as mason jar with a lid) in the fridge upto 5 days.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Salad Dressing

Cuisine: Mexican

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @FoolproofLiving or tag #foolproofeats!

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About Aysegul Sanford

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (10)

Hello Friend! I’m Aysegul but you can call me “Ice.” I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

If you’re looking for approachable yet creative recipes made with everyday ingredients, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re all about recipes that have been meticulously tested to provide you with a truly foolproof cooking experience regardless of your level of cooking.

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Reader Interactions

    Leave a Reply

  1. Diane

    Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (13)
    Just made this for a Mexican bean salad and it was so good. The lime zest really makes this dressing so delicious. I will make it again.


    • Aysegul Sanford

      I am thrilled to hear that you liked it Diane. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.


Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Foolproof Living (2024)


What is the formula for vinaigrette dressing? ›

The French have decided that the perfect ratio for a vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. For my personal taste, that's a little too oily — but it's totally up to you. My simple system is: In a small screw-top jar, place vinegar and a pinch of salt; cover and shake (this helps to dissolve the salt).

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making vinaigrette? ›

12 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Making Homemade Vinaigrette
  • Estimating measurements for all ingredients. inspiredbyart/Shutterstock. ...
  • Using the wrong oil. ...
  • Using the wrong vinegar. ...
  • Leaving out the emulsifier. ...
  • Skipping the mustard. ...
  • Forgetting to check expiration dates. ...
  • Not using fresh herbs. ...
  • Using vinaigrette only on salad.
Aug 18, 2022

What is the standard recipe for a basic vinaigrette group of answer choices? ›

For a traditional vinaigrette, you'll need to mix about 3 tablespoons of oil to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. You'll also want to add some salt and pepper to taste. Of course, for all four ingredients, the better the quality you use, the better your vinaigrette will taste.

What is the standard proportion of oil to vinegar in a vinaigrette and why? ›

This is a standard vinaigrette recipe, so we use the traditional oil to vinegar ratio: three parts oil to one part vinegar/acid, but this ratio can vary depending on your choice of vinegar/acid and personal taste. The less acidic the vinegar/acid, the less oil you need.

What is the stabilizer in a vinaigrette? ›

An emulsifier is used in a vinaigrette to stabilize the oil and vinegar. Common emulsifiers include egg yolks, soy lecithin, and mustard. These ingredients all include lecithin--the stabilizing compound. In many vinaigrettes, mustard is the go-to stabilizer.

What should you avoid when dressing a salad? ›

Avoid dressings that use refined, damaged oils like soybean, corn, cottonseed, vegetable, or canola oil. Unfortunately, these oils are inflammatory and have lost most of their nutrients in the processing.

How do you cut the bitterness out of a vinaigrette? ›

Sweetness balances out acidity, spice, and bitterness. A salad composed of bitter greens may benefit from a sweeter dressing. But sweetness can come from sources other than one-note white sugar; consider honey, pureed dates, maple syrup, jam, or molasses as sweeteners that also add flavor and mouth-feel.

What type of vinegar is most commonly used in vinaigrette? ›

In addition to white wine vinegar, red wine, sherry, balsamic and cider vinegars can all be used in the same quantities as above. It's really down to personal taste and it's great to have a selection of vinegars in your cupboard to give variety to even the simplest salads.

What is classic vinaigrette made of? ›

Put the mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a jar and season. Shake vigorously to mix. Store in a cool place (not the fridge) until ready to use. Use for all your salads or try one of our recipes, right.

What are the two fundamental ingredients used to make a vinaigrette? ›

A vinaigrette is made of two basic ingredients - olive oil and balsamic.

What ingredients in a vinaigrette help the vinegar stay suspended in the oil longer? ›

However, in the absence of emulsifiers, this unstable emulsion breaks down within minutes, and the oil forms a layer on top of the vinegar. For centuries, cooks have added natural emulsifiers, such as egg yolk, mustard, or honey, to help prevent this separation.

What is the secret to preparing a good vinaigrette is balance between fat acid and other seasonings? ›

In short, the only real secret to preparing a good vinaigrette is to achieve a balance in fat, acid, and other seasonings. Proportion In most cases, the ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar by volume achieves the desired balance for a vinaigrette.

Why don't you mix oil and vinegar? ›

A polar substance will not dissolve a nonpolar substance. In the case of oil and vinegar, the vinegar is polar and more dense than the oil, so it settles on the bottom of the container. The oil is nonpolar and less dense, so it doesn't dissolve in the vinegar, and it floats on top.

What is vinaigrette dressing made of? ›

In general, vinaigrette consists of 3 parts of oil to 1 part of vinegar whisked into an emulsion. Salt and pepper are often added. Herbs and shallots, too, are often added, especially when it is used for cooked vegetables or grains. Sometimes mustard is used as an emulsifier and to add flavour.

Which of the following ingredients is used in making basic vinaigrette? ›

Basic Vinaigrette Ratio & Ingredients
  • Olive oil for your base.
  • Vinegar of choice.
  • Dijon mustard for some flavor complexity and creaminess.
  • Maple syrup or honey for a little sweetness that balances the vinegar.
  • Garlic for oomph.
  • Salt and pepper.

What are the ingredients in specially selected vinaigrette? ›


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