Jan 31, 2011

Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing




This seriously addicting light dressing is the perfect topping on any salad or even great as a dip. Not a fan of cilantro? No worries, this dressing has so much flavor without, leave it out and add some fresh parsley instead.

The base of this recipe is a homemade ranch, with light buttermilk, Greek yogurt, low fat mayonnaise. Cilantro, lime, jalapeƱos, tomatillos scallions and spices give this dressing a Mexican flair, perfect served over cilantro lime rice, black beans and sweet slow cooked pork barbacoa to create your very own homemade Cafe Rio salad! Also fabulous over shrimp or chicken!

Use your leftover buttermilk to make buttermilk pancakes, strawberry scones, Irish soda bread muffins, skinny ranch dip and more!


Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 43.3 • Fat: 2.4 g • Protein: 2.1 g • Carb: 3.7 g • Fiber: 0.3 g  
 
  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 tomatillo, husks removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 scallion
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 1-3/4 cup. 

135 comments :

  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds fantastic! I will definitely try it!

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  2. Would it be a big change to omit the buttermilk and go a little heavier on the Greek yogurt? I'm just wondering if you add it in for flavor and/or consistency? thanks!

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  3. This looks absolutely delicious!!! I'm going to have to make it this week. How long do you think it'll keep before it goes bad?

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  4. Is there a simple way to chop up cilantro to get it smaller pieces? I have tried cutting it with scissors, but its still a pain! Advice??
    Thanks!

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    1. Use a pizza cutter. Roll over until it's small enough to your taste.

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    2. That is a great idea. Thanks

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  5. I just found your blog. It's really great!
    I’ll try this soon :)

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  6. I love your website. I will for sure give this a try. I have made the pumpkin shake and the pumpkin butter. Both were delicous. Thanks for listing all of the nutritional info. Also, your pictures make everything look so good!

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  7. Oh this is so perfect! I love making my own dressings, bottled dressings are so icky!
    This one is sooo right up my ally (except for the mayo ;)
    Can't wait to give this a try!
    I'm getting ready to do a post on home made dressings on my blog, Simply Healthy Family, so stop by soon! I'd love for you to join my site if you'd like!

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  8. Looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. One little question.. for servings, did you mean 7 since it makes 1 3/4 cups??

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  9. Hooray, thank you!!!!! I am so happy to have this! I adore your recipes. And I have to say a HUGE thank you for continuing to add the old points. I am still following the old program and it is beyond helpful of you - I appreciate it so much!

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  10. Yum! I'm going to try this on a taco salad it sounds awesome!

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  11. I just made this and it's perfect! Thanks for posting this.

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  12. We make a chutney almost with the same ingredients in Indian cuisine as well. We just don;t use mayo and buttermilk. But this looks perfect for salads and even as a spread on breads for sandwiches.

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  13. You could probably replace the buttermilk with more yogurt and mayonnaise, it's hard tell you how much without tasting it myself.

    This recipe is easy, just put everything in the blender, no need to chop the cilantro!

    Healthy Mama, I agree, I don't like store bought dressings.

    Loni, yes I just fixed that, thanks!

    Prerna, sounds delicious!

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  14. Looks great! Can't wait to try it :)

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  15. Oh my goodness-thank you SOOO much for this! A local cafe does a FABULOUS salad with a tomatillo lime vinagarette that is absolutely addicting and I haven't been able to find anything even close to it but this looks perfect! I may do a grocery store run tomorrow just to make this! Yummy!

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  16. I am so excited you recreated my FAVE dressing!!

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  17. I love a good vinaigrette! I will make one soon, gotta buy more tomatillos, my daughter ate them all!

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  18. We have a place here in Houston called Chuy's that has a similar sauce/dressing like this that we love but it clearly is not ww friendly. My hubby will be delighted to see it made over. We are HUGE fans of regional Mexican/South American cuisine and produce, so it would be great to see more recipes that call for tomatillo's. Especially this vinaigrette!

    Oh PS - we made the spinach tortellini soup last night and it was a huge hit.

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  19. I am in Canada (about to get hit with a huge snow storm) and this looks like summer to me. Finding one tomatillo in a small Ontario town in the middle of the winter is impossible. Any thoughts?

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  20. I think this would be a great sauce for fish tacos. Thanks Gina

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  21. I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! My husband and I both loved it. I can't remember the last time I ate a creamy dressing without feeling guilty! Your recipes are amazing Gina. This dressing will definitely become a staple in our fridge.

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  22. where do you buy a tomatillo?

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  23. Yay! Excited to try your version of this dressing. For those that hate mayo, you really can't even tell it's in there. My husband is a true blue mayo hater and he loves this stuff.

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  24. Tomatillos were in my local supermarket, next to the tomatoes and peppers. I live in the suburbs of NY and had no problem locating them. If you can't find them, why not just use a red tomato, I'm sure the color won't be the same but the flavor should still be fresh and yummy! Or you could use a cucumber, seeds and skin removed.

    And as Jen stated, doesn't taste like mayo at all!

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  25. Yum. Will make this soon. You can find bottled tomatillos on the Mexican or ethnic food aisles. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

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  26. Thanks for the help.

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  27. Hi Gina, I just wanted to let you know that I gave you a Stylish Blogger award on my blog!

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  28. Oh hi. I just made a batch of this and devoured it with some carrots as a snack. It's so bright and fresh and delicious. Mine came out a little bit thin so I might do more yogurt next time. Anyway, thanks! So glad I came across your blog.

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  29. How long will this keep in the refrigerator?

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  30. Alese, great! Yes, for a thicker sauce for dipping, add a little more yogurt, a little less buttermilk.

    Jessica, if all your ingredients are fresh, I'm sure it would last a week in the fridge.

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  31. Made this last night - my fiance doesn't like cilantro, so I followed the recipe exactly except left that out. It was GREAT!!!
    Had it on a salad last night and will be adding it to some chicken tacos!

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  32. Gina
    What is in that salad that you took a pic of, are those dihydrate blue berrys? It looks yummy!

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  33. Super bowl weekend coming up & I just found a great dip for my chips! Thanks Gina, you're such a life saver :)

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  34. No it's tomatoes, avocados and black beans.

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  35. when I don't have any tomatillos, I substitute with some canned salsa verde (green salsa), which have tomatillos in it. If you can find green tomatoes, that would also work, but add a little lime juice for tartness.

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  36. This was delicious!!! I was planning on making your Barbacoa recipe and tried a new food (to me) quinoa. I put it all together with 2% Mexican cheese and sliced avocado with the Tomatillo dressing and it was SO GOOD! I just wish my dressing was a little thicker. Plan on eating it tomorrow with a Mexican salad!! Thanks for sharing!

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  37. I cannot believe that this is 1 point for 1/4 cup! I thought for sure it was a typo. I am making it today! You are amazing.

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  38. Made this when you posted it. I used a good size Jalepeno and it was "spicy"...but my husband loved it! I think I'll tone it down for myself next time...there will be a next time..delish!

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  39. Gina - made this last night. A-MAZ-ING. Very much like the dip/sauce at Chuy's that another person said. It is perfect! I only make items off your blog now. You ARE my only cook book and I've loved every minute of it!

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  40. I totally love this dressing! I bet i would go great drizzled in a lot of things!

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  41. this sounds so good! and I really want to put it on top of the chicken taco chili from your site! can you make it without a blender? I don't have one!

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  42. This dish was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Okay, I just made this (minus the peppers as we don't do spicy stuff at our house), and it is to die for!! I replaced the tomatillo with a tomato. It's simply wonderful!

    I also appreciate that you still list old points for those of us still using them. You are fabulous, Gina!

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  44. I just made this and it is delicious. A definite keeper. I forgot to add the jalapeno and it still tasted great...put it back in the blender and added the jalapeno...even better.

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  45. I made this tonight, and used red tomato instead of the tomatillo (could't find it in my grocery store!!), I used sour cream instead of the yogurt (had it around my house) and I did not put in any cilantro. Absolutely addicting, and full of FLAVOR!!! Thanks again, Gina!!

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  46. love it! i just made it, followed your directions exactly and it tastes sooo good! Do you have any suggestions for asian/ginger vinaigrettes?!

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  47. I just made this and it is spicy and delicious! This will be perfect with salad on taco night. Thanks for the recipe--I was getting pretty tired of homemade vinaigrette!

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  48. Made this yesterday. I had bottled Greek yogurt ranch dressing added all other ingredients. It turned out wonderful. Will do it again

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  49. Just had this over fish taco's and it was out of this world. Such a great combination.

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  50. I made this with the turkey meatballs This so soooo good! Fresh and satisfying the cilantro dip is just lovely. I made extra! It is my new go to salad dressing. I did not have buttermilk and so I just measured out 1/2 cup of milk into the blender, then added the limejuice, and let it sit to sour while I prepared the rest of the ingredients. So easy and everyone loved it.

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  51. OMG, cilantro and jalapeno pepper. What's not to love!! I made this tonight. It's going to be my favorite salad dressing. I thinned it down a bit and mixed it with cole slaw mix. It was wonderful. I'll definitely be keeping the ingredients on hand so I can make this often.
    Thanks for another winner.

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  52. I can't wait to try this!! I have everything but the tomatillo, but living in Southern California, not too difficult to find. LOL! This sounds a lot like the yummy Cilantro dressing at El Torito. We're having tacos tonight, and this will be great on a salad with some leftover taco meat. Yum!! AND 1pt per 1/4 cup?? Um, yes please!

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  53. I saw that you said this was the base for a homemade ranch dressing. What would I add to make it more like a ranch for the kids?

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  54. Gina loved this recipe! Do u have a "Natilla" a la weight watchers?

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  55. had this dip tonight... very yummy!

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  56. 1/4 cup for 1 point - now that's living!

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  57. Thanks for posting that you use green salsa instead of tomatillos- I'm in a part of the world where there seems to be no tomatillos, so yay- now I can make this dressing!

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  58. Ah! Cafe Rio!!!! You must be from UT or NV. I used to live in Salt Lake City, UT and I miss Cafe Rio like mad and crave their salads fortnightly. I can't wait to try this as no dressing compares. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

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    1. I love Cafe Rio, too. Does it taste the same?

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  59. That looks really good. I'm interested in the salad, pictured above. What all is in that?

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  60. Nikki, I'll make a ranch soon!

    Maria, no sorry I don't.

    Smootie- No, I'm in NY, but get soooo many requests that I had someone send me a copycat, which I've adapted to make Skinny.

    Kate- It had Lettuce, Cilantro Lime Rice (on my site) Cuban Black Beans (on my site) tomatoes and avocado topped with dressing :)

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  61. I really don't like mayo at all. In fact I can't even look at it. Do you think I could make this without the mayo using more buttermilk or yogurt?

    Love all your recipes

    Thanks
    Rob

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  62. Just made this so I have it for the week - fish tacos, salad, chili etc. It is killer! you rock!

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  63. This is so good! I had it all last week as a salad dressing and I am making more right now! yummy!

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  64. I'm new to this sight...but i wanna thank you already. I new to ww+ program and i didn't have a clue of what to eat... you make recipes that are not only ww friendly but exciting even if you aren't on ww. thx you!!!

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  65. Rob, sure that would work. Just add more of both.

    Yvette, you're welcome!

    I love the idea of adding this on fish tacos! I can;t wait to try that.

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  66. This was even better the next day! (I think because it was cold and had set a little?)
    I love that it makes a TOTALLY boring mix of lettuce and tomatoes into a very satisfying side dish full of flavor.
    Thanks for making healthy eating SO easy and fun, Gina!

    Oh- and the salad was a nice side for the taco soup, and I think the salad will also go well with your pernil and Cuban sandwiches I'm making tonight.

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  67. This was fabulous!!! I had been craving a creamy salad dressing that didn't taste like poo.
    This was GREAT!!! Just what the taste buds ordered!

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  68. This was so good!!!!! I've been making it every week for my grilled chicken salads that I take to work!

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  69. just an fyi, the spice of the jalapeno is actually in the veins. The seeds hold no spice. The more veins you leave the spicier the taste. This goes for all peppers as well.

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  70. OMG!!! This is my new favourite dressing. I had it tonight with your Southwest Turkey Meatballs and loved it. Can't wait to try it with a salad. I almost want to just eat it on its own! I used sour cream instead of buttermilk (because could only find a 1L carton and didn't want to waste it) and 1/2 a tomato plus some salsa verde instead of the tomatillo (because tomatillos are hard to find here). YUM!!!

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  71. I made this tonight to put on fish tacos and it was stellar! I am covering salads in this all week long.

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  72. This was so good! I made it yesterday and loved it (so did my husband). I used it as a dressing on a taco salad...yum. My husband wants to use it for enchaladas.
    Thank you :~)

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  73. OMG! This sounds delicious! I'm going to make it tomorrow. Talking aabout copycat recipies in a post above...........Could you make a recipe (WW) of the Tequila Lime Sauce served at Chili's? That stuff is awesome.......looks alot like the recipe above and tastes wonderful but I imagine it has a bazillion calories! Tks!

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  74. Thanks for this green gem. I have been working to increase my probiotics use and so I use 1/2c of low fat Kefir instead of buttermilk. It is fabulous.

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  75. It sounds yummy! I will try it thank you!

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  76. If anyone is worried about not being able to use leftover buttermilk, powdered buttermilk can be purchased. It is low fat and it keeps in your fridge for several months! I buy this instead of regular buttermilk because I find I rarely use the leftover buttermilk when I need it for a recipe.

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  77. This is so good! It reminds me of the salad dressing they use at El Torito's. Used on a salad for our meal using your Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken recipe (yummy, too). Will be making this again! Thanks!

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  78. OH MY HECK, this is delish! Super yummy as a dip for baked taquitos! Thanks for the great recipe!

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  79. Made this last week for a bachelorette party and we were all addicted. Everyone requested the recipe! SO good! Making it again tomorrow!

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  80. I just made a batch of this to store in my fridge. I didn't have the tomatillo or jalapeno and I must say it was still super delicious!! Definitely a go to recipe for just about anything. I put it on top of your chicken and white bean enchiladas for lunch!

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  81. Oh goodness!! I am in love with Cafe Rios dressing so I cannot wait to make this ;)

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  82. Totally enjoyed this! I eat it as a dip since I ran out of lettuce :-) This will be a staple in my fridge!

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  83. I just made it for a mexican themed party we are having tonight and YUM! It was hard for me to not lick the left overs out of my food processor after transferring it to a bottle!! So many flavors and the consistency is perfect! Thank you so much.

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  84. I love this dressing but I've found when I put it in the fridge it seperates and gets really thin/watery.

    Is that normal? I always use it within 5 days of preparing but it's still thin and watery.

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  85. I usually just throw it back in my magic bullet again but yes, that's normal.

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  86. Coffee Girl7/4/11, 8:50 PM

    Just made this in my newfound obsession (the magic bullet)! It was So easy and delicious! I have never used tomatillos before but they are so tangy and really add something special to this dressing.

    Gina - Thanks for the amazing healthy recipe!

    Also thought a cool variation might be to try a chipotle pepper in this dressing instead of jalapeno.

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  87. This is my new go-to dressing. I love cilantro and ranch dressing so this is to die for. Simply delicious, thank you!

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  88. I just made this and oh, my, it is delicious!! Thanks Gina!!

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  89. TO DIE FOR! I never liked cilantro but lately, it's been growing on me. So I thought I'd take a chance and try out this dressing. DELICIOUS!!! I followed the recipe as written but didn't have any dried parsley. I doubt that would have made a difference with these bold flavors. This Weight Watcher thanks you very much!!!

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  90. Now that the dressing has been in the fridge for a few hours, I just tasted it and yowza! It is too spicey for my taste so next time I make it, I'll use 1/2 a jalapeno. And there will be a next time!

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  91. Do you have any suggestions to thicken this up a bit? I put it on fish tacos last night and the flavor was perfection, but it was a little too thin to stay in the tacos very well. I did only use half the mayo, because the people I was cooking for don't care for mayo, would that have made a big difference?

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  92. Yeah, I would keep the mayo, you can't even taste it and it's thicker. Or use more yogurt less buttermilk which would make it thicker.

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  93. Made this the other night and dipped your baked onion rings in it! Awesome 3 point snack. It was movie night and I wanted something salty and the combo hit the spot! I was test running the dressing for a girls night Im having. Ill be serving it with the mexican shrimp cobb salad u have on here! Ill comment on that one when I make it! Thanks again for another awesome creation!

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  94. Love that idea Colleen! That's my kind of snack :)

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  95. For any of you that are on the fence about making this, jump off and do it. This was amazing. I forgot the scallion, and it wasn't evident in the slightest. This was incredible!!!! So fresh, so light, so bright and refreshing. I'm making fish tacos tonight, and we're going to top them off with this dressing. Thanks so much for a great recipe. It's a keeper.

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  96. I just made this dressing and it ROCKS however, I took the seeds out of the jalapeno but I guess the veins are really HOT so it just burned my lips and tongue enough to make me cry and swear......any suggestions how to tone it down a lot without making the recipe so large I will not be able to use it up within a week?

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  97. It's hard to tone it down without adding more to the recipe. The membrane can be spicy, sounds like you have a hot one!

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  98. I made this and used it for cole slaw. It was OK, but it got fabulous when I added some Splenda to it and used it as a salad dressing. I like sweet-ish dressings like poppy seed so this one is now a favorite. Thanks for the recipe!

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  99. I FINALLY made this dressing this weekend, and I'm officially in love with it. Have the ingredients for your tomato vinaigrette too, which is my next to try. Thanks for always posting such wonderful and tasty healthy recipes! I appreciate it so much!!!

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  100. I've had my eye on this dressing for quite a while but couldn't find any tomatillos. So when I finally saw them today at the fruit market I was so excited!! I came home and made the dressing right away. Oh man! I am SOO glad I did! It's absolutely delicious! After tasting this dressing, I think I will be eating salad everyday for the next week! Thanks for another perfect recipe, Gina... you rock!

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  101. I made your dressing last night for the shrimp cobb salad but had quite a bit left over. So this morning I made an egg white omelet, with left over reduced fat mexican blend cheese, a chopped tomato and the dressing! It was so good! My BF is raving about how good it is. It was such a nice change from our usual boring breakfasts. The dressing absolutely made the omelet!

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  102. Tried this recipe for the first time tonight . . . Wow!!!!! This is totally packed with amazing flavor!

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  103. Dressing is delicious. Used a couple of canned tomatillos and didn't have any buttermilk so made my own using nonfat milk and white vinegar. The whole family enjoyed it, my 8 year old loved it so much she took the blender to her room and finished the rest of the dressing.

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  104. I just made this tonight.. so good!!!! thank you so much!!

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  105. Another successful recipe. Great combo of flavors!

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  106. Hi Gina! Just made this to go along with the salad I will make tomorrow...I used jarred jalapeno b/c they delivered the groceries tonight and didn't have fresh...will that make a difference? It tastes a bit sour to me...I also used Miracle Whip instead of a light mayo and tomato instead of tomatillo. Does that matter? Thanks!

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  107. Polly, any changes may alter the taste.

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  108. OMG!!!!! Just finished making this dressing to go with the mexican cobb salad! Can I just say I want to drink this!!! Actually maybe I will because it still wouldn't be that bad for me if I did!!!! Okay in all seriousness I love it! The taste is so versatile and can be used for so many healthy dishes! I doubled the cumin (my new favorite spice) and added a touch more cilantro and lime. Perfect for the taste buds!!! Thank you Gina! You're genious!!!!!

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  109. So fresh tasting & delicious! Thank you!

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  110. Just made this and can't believe it is so low in points! Delicious! Thanks so much for all the great recipes!

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  111. I just made this, but I substituted the LIGHT mayo for LOWFAT, and I made my own buttermilk with fat free milk and a few tsp of lemon juice (mainly cuz i didnt wanna buy a whole thing of butter milk, but it also cut the fat down by half to sub out those two ingredients). This recipe is suck a great idea, and it turned out way better than I expected! Thank you!!!

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  112. THIS IS THE BEST! I loved it! It definitely got spicy ( I added whole serano pepper) and it only got spicier sitting in the fridge. MUST TRY! I put left overs on rice (delicious and filling)!

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  113. Yes I also just want to say this is the best dressing ever! I love love love it and I made it for the third time in like 3 weeks.. just can't get enough of it. It's low calorie and delicious on everything. THANK YOU GINA~!! We are waiting for your book to come out =)

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  114. This dressing is so so so so soooooo good!!!! I can't even tell you how many times I've made it and I could seriously sit down and eat it with a spoon. I have made it every time with a cucumber instead of tomatillo bc I wasn't sure if I'd like it and know I LOVE cucumbers. I actually forgot about taking the seeds and skin off the cucumber and always make it as is...I put about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cucumber depending on size because I like the extra pulp it gives. You nailed this one!!!

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  115. I doubled up on greek yogurt to make it a little more thick and used it on top of the spicy southwestern turkey meatballs that I made into burgers...tonight we're making turkey tacos and using this in place of sour cream!

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  116. How long will it keep in the fridge after it's made?

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  117. I made this earlier this evening. I rarely give a review of things, but this -- this was amazing!! Yum! Thank you!

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  118. This was amazing (taste-wise), but way too thin. I doubled the greek-yogurt and the mayo, however, it remained thin and liquid-y. Any extra advice? Perhaps omit the buttermilk? Meatballs were amazin though, congrats!

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  119. I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, but if you can't find tomatillos, you can use a bottled green salsa - just make sure that one of the main ingredients is tomatillos. I got mine at Target, the Archer Farms brand "Salsa Verde." It's just a tomatillo salsa. It works perfect, you can probably freeze it (that's what I'm planning to do with the rest of mine, in 1/4 cup increments), and you don't have to have fresh tomatillos on hand. Try it!

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  120. I made the Mexican Shrimp Cobb salad last night and topped it with this dressing. It was wonderful! This dressing is addictive. I love the idea of putting it on fish tacos. Any thoughts on making a batch (or two) of this dressing and freezing it? Will it keep when I want to use it? I have so many of the ingredients for the dressing on hand and I'd like to use them all before they go bad...?? Thoughts?

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  121. This stuff is incredible!! I have never even bought a tomatillo before, but I am now hooked! I made this last night with the Cilantro Tilapia Tacos and it was the perfect creamy addition I needed. I also poured some of it over the Fiesta Lime Rice, which was out of this world. Thanks for this fantastic healthy dressing!

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  122. Oooh I got tomatillos and jalapenos in my local veggie bin this week! Definitely going to try this out! I am so glad I found your blog today...made your crust-less zucchini pie tonight and it was a hit with my family (and soo easy to make!).

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  123. This is probably a silly question, but can I freeze the dressing?

    Becky

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    1. I'm wondering the same thing...

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  124. Gina, what can i use instead of light mayo (any kind of mayo makes me sick). Thank you! Looking forward to making these but don't want to do it without the dipping sauce :)

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  125. This dressing is amazing!!

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  126. I just made this dressing... sort of. I didn't have buttermilk or tomatillos on hand, but I did have tomatillo salsa. I used this salsa in place of the tomatillos and jalapenos (since the salsa already had jalapenos). The dressing was delicious! My diet has made it so I haven't eaten at Cafe Rio in a very long time, so I can't speak to if this is a close replication, but I do know the dressing was delicious! Thank you so much!

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  127. After cooking salmon, lightly pour this cilantro dressing over the salmon for a really great taste combo.

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  128. Is it possible to freeze the remainder?

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