Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing

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This is good stuff! Creamy avocado dressing with a little zing from the jalapeño pepper.

Make a boring grilled chicken salad exciting, use it over greens, on a sandwich, and it even makes a great dip if you use a little less buttermilk! This keeps refrigerated a few days without turning brown. Low-carb, gluten-free, egg-free, vegetarian and delicious!


This is good stuff! Creamy avocado dressing with a little zing from the jalapeño pepper.
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4.96 from 21 votes
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Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing

50 Cals 2 Protein 5 Carbs 3 Fats
Total Time: 15 mins
Yield: 6 servings
CUISINE: American
This is good stuff! Creamy avocado dressing with a little zing from the jalapeño pepper.


  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium haas avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • For a thinner dressing add more buttermilk, for a thicker dip use less.


Serving: 31/2 Tablespoons, Calories: 50kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 128mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 2g
WW Points Plus: 2
Keywords: Gluten Free, low carb, Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian Meals

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  1. When put into MyFitnessPal 6 servings equals 96 calories per serving. Is the serving size possibly off??

  2. I love this dressing!

  3. This is so good –  hard to believe that it is only 50 cal for 3 1/2 Tbls.  Going to add more buttermilk to the leftovers for salad dressing.  Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. I love this dressing! I made it for the crockpot chicken and bean salad (which was delicious), but then I used the dressing over an egg/egg white scramble for the next week—so so good!! I have a hard time with plain scrambled eggs, but this dressing just upped the whole thing. 

  5. Absolutely amazing! Great easy and tasty dressing. I drizzled it over a boneless chicken breast. YUM!

  6. I don’t have any milk on hand and would love to make this. Could I use non fat Greek yogurt instead?

  7. This is my second time making this and I did not have any buttermilk this time so I subbed sour cream and a little bit of water. It came out great both ways. Thanks so much for this recipe, Gina! I love it on taco salad.

  8. Do you ever make buttermilk from scratch using regular milk? When ever we make a recipe that involves buttermilk we end up throwing away a good amount of the buttermilk. I’m trying to figure out how to not waste so much of the the buttermilk.

    • I have used a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of milk to create buttermilk for cornbread I haven’t tried it in a dressing….i despaired for years at waste of buttermilk until I decided just to freeze leftover in increments that made sense like one cup. It looks separated when you thaw it So you may only want to use this in a baked good….i hope others post their ideas.

  9. Good stuff! I bought a slimcado at Target?anykne use those? Has 50% the fat & 35% the calories, although it’s a good fat in the original I know.  I used half of one, they’re big, and followed it.  Realized the reason I don’t own cumin is because I hate it lol.  I don’t like chili powder either and they’re similar? Any ideas as to what to substitute for cumin?  I’ll definitely be making this again.  Whirred it all up in mini-cuisinart.  

  10. How long will this last?

  11. Made this as suggested with the salmon cakes – so good!! And would go good with salad, chicken tacos, enchiladas!!! I want more and have no willpower….but will since it’s Skinnytaste! Thanks GINA!

  12. Must have made this a dozen times. It is so simple, and so delicious. Lends itself to substitutions, depending on what’s in the pantry, today it’s a veggie dip, tomorrow it’s a salad dressing, maybe tomorrow it’s a bowl topping. Awesome!

  13. Made this probably 20 times (cilantro-free) and I still can’t get over how delicious it is. Using it drizzled on quinoa stuffed poblano peppers tonight for a veggie meal! To make it diary free, try coconut milk. I also sometimes add parsley to get that fun green color without the cilantro, or plenty of chives or extra scallions. I sometimes thin it out to toss easier in salads, using some nonfat milk or even water. Or, add extra avocado to make it a thicker dip for veggies and chips and fish sticks!

  14. This sauce was a big hit!  No, seriously, there was LICKING OF PLATES.  My family loved it. It was rich-tasting, but not overwhelming. I made this sauce with salmon cakes, and will be making it again with other dishes!

  15. Oh my goodness! This is delicious, it’s hard not to just grab a spoon!

  16. Such a delicious dressing! I initially made this for the Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps and put the leftovers on rice with chicken, drizzled it on omelettes and used it in salads. Definitely will become a repeat recipe.

  17. Great dressing! I use this when I need to pair a salad with a Mexican dish. Toss is with romaine with diced bell pepper, cucumber, and cilantro and it will be devoured by the whole family. My kids especially love it because it is an exact replica from their favorite dressing at El Pollo Loco and I agree.

  18. I whipped this up a day early because I was worried about my perfect avocado going bad. One taste and I switched dinner to a salad tonight! So good!

  19. This dressing is awesome! I’m putting it on burrito bowls tonight. I’m sure it will be yummy!

  20. I made a skinny taste salad that called for this dressing. I want to say it was a mexican type salad but now I can find it in my monstrous book of favorite skinny taste recipes. Help! Any ideas??!!

  21. I think I love you! Gosh this stuff is great. Can’t wait to buy more greens and veggies just so I can eat this!!!

  22. Just made another batch of this amazing dressing! 
    Use it on everything. So ?.

  23. my mom made it.can’t wait to eat it. I am 8 years old and my m
    name is Jasmine.

  24. I am someone who makes in batches and freezes. Do you think I would be able to freeze in ice cube trays and use then thaw to use? Has anyone done this? I normally buy my cilantro/yogurt dressing, but I would love to have a homemade one already ready to go. Thank you!

  25. I did not have an avocado. Used less buttermilk, in loved the taste.

  26. I made this tonight. I used an extra large avocado, so a couple of extra tablespoons of buttermilk went in. I like spice, so I didn’t take out the seeds of the jalapeno. Whipped it up in no time with my immersion blender. Tastes wonderful, smooth and creamy, and screams freshness! I LOVE it! I used it as a dip with a few tortilla chips, can’t wait to put it on a salad, or in a wrap with chicken!

  27. I cannot even believe how good this is!! I’m on my 3rd time making it!

  28. Loved this dressing!! Used on Santa Fe Turkey lettuce wraps and egg rolls. Its so good you will want to drink it. Thank you!!

  29. I can’t have dairy. What would be an acceptable alternative?

  30. This stuff is so good that when my daughter when back to college after Christmas break, she took the jar of it I had just made with her!

  31. Pingback: My Weekly Game Plan // Week Two | Stephanie Howell

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  33. Pingback: Spicy Avocado Dressing | The Bewitchin' Kitchen

  34. OMGGGG I looooove this salad dressing! I’ve made it a few times. Every time I make this dressing I bring it to work and share with my coworkers that also LOVE it! You can use this as a dip as well. Amazing!

  35. Made tonight.  Used it as a dip for some roasted spiralized sweet potatoes and it was fantastic!  Amazing as always, Gina!

  36. This stuff is amazing….addictive! For years I have been making a Peruvian green sauce that I serve with marinated grilled chicken and rice; this recipe tastes just like it but is much easier to make and much healthier!  I found that it lasted over a week without turning brown.  We also like it over rice, in burritos, rice bowls, tacos…..everything, really!  Thank you Gina!  You do the work so we don’t have to…..and I really appreciate it!

  37. Going to try this today and make a Mexican Pasta salad. 

  38. How long will this dressing keep?

  39. Just made this and it is amazing!  So fresh and tangy! I will use any leftovers as a veggie dip.

  40. what can be used in place of milk and buttermilk to make it dairy free?

  41. JUST WOW!!! This is just plain DELICIOUS! I made it and put it on tossed salad – wonderful – then put it on FISH TACOS instead of salsa – AMAZING! I am going to do some chicken breasts with it today -can hardly wait! I made it just like the directions but did wind up using a bit more salt and pepper – lovely!

  42. Oh….. my….. goodness….. this is amazing. …. I wish I would have discovered earlier. I am going to put it on everything. … especially my eggs in the morning.

  43. Got it. Thanks!

  44. This is so delicious. I was thinking about using it as an enchilada sauce. Any reason you think that wouldn't work? Thank you so much for all that you do!

  45. I keep making this too!!! It is easy and great with salmon or chicken and so fresh and healthy

  46. I make this CONSTANTLY! I skip the cilantro because…ew. But add a fistful of fresh chives. I always double the recipe & freeze half – it's a little thinner once it's thawed, but otherwise great. Thanks for this recipe – I'll keep it forever!!

  47. I made this last night to use for grilled chicken poblano pepper wraps and it was so delicious! Spicy, tasty and healthy and light! Love it

  48. I just made this for dinner this evening and it is very, very good. unfortunately my kids will not eat it this spicy – any ideas/suggestions on how to cut the spiciness down? thanks so much!!

  49. Just have to say how great this one is. I made it thicker for dipping my gazpacho salad spring rolls, but ended with a lot left over. Today I used it in place of sour cream to top a can of lentil soup (pumped up with extra veg). It made an ok bowl awesome! Thanks for the great recipes!

  50. I just made this to go with Chicken Taco Salad Bowls for dinner tonight. It is delicious! I am not a big fan of spicy food so I was cautious and only used 1/2 the Jalapeño. It still has a good kick but I am very glad I didn't throw it all in as it would have been way too spicy for me! I used Fat Free Buttermilk and kept adding more than the recipe to get the consistency I wanted… unfortunately I am now sitting with my fingers coated in Sour Cream in a desperate attempt to get the jalapeño burn to stop!! I am a novice when it comes to spicy food and didn't know to wear gloves before deseeding it 🙁

  51. I just made the dressing to go with the crock pot Mexican chicken salad. I cannot yet attest the deliciousness of the chicken since it's still cooking, (smells amazing though!) but the dressing is fantastic! I used a bit more cumin, cilantro, and buttermilk than called for because I like more flavor and I wanted it a bit thinner, but this is some seriously amazing salad dressing! Thank you for the recipe!

  52. I wonder how you could make this dairy free…..?

  53. If I wanted to make this dish dairy-free, is there anything you would recommend swapping the buttermilk with?

  54. What is the best way to store this in the fridge? In Tupperware with a lid? sounds silly but just want to be sure to make it last as long as possible. Thanks!

  55. Absolutely YUMMERS! Seriously, I love avocado and this right here was awesome! Thanks for the recipe! This will definitely be my go to dressing.

  56. I made the buttermilk using 1 tbsp white vinegar and added skim milk to make one cup…came out great!

  57. Help, I don't have buttermilk. Can I make it from bisquik?

  58. This is amazing! Yum

  59. Made this tonight and it is addictive, good thing it's a healthier version. Now my focus will be making recipes I can use with this dressing until it's gone and repeat!

  60. This was delicious! And super easy with the nutri bullet. Thanks!

  61. Zesty is right! It has the perfect amount of flavor and zing. I made a yummy salad and topped it off with this delicious dressing. Thank you!

  62. Could I sub heavy cream for buttermilk? Not that skinny, but I do have it in my fridge (leftover from Easter whipped cream).

  63. This is good! I've been dipping pretzels in it and I dipped my turkey wrap for lunch in it. I substituted plain greek yogurt for the buttermilk and thinned it out with skim milk. Turned out awesome.

  64. Looks amazing! How long does it last in the frig?

  65. I am addicted to this dressing! I made it for the first time less than a week ago and I am already making it again. I added more cilantro than it called for a added a few jalapeno seeds to add more heat. It goes will so much, and it is great just with a few chips as a quick snack. Love it!!

  66. This is delicious, however I found that I just did not enjoy it on a green salad. I can imagine it on all kinds of Mexican inspired meals though! I'm thinking of a quesadilla for lunch tomorrow with this as a dipping sauce! Yum. I could sit and eat this right out of a bowl with a spoon!

  67. Cannot wait to try this. I'm thinking with your Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps as suggested. YUM!

  68. OMG… AMAZING! This is the second time I have made this, I just love it as a salad dressing and we ate it with veggies and pita chips for lunch this week with your Southwestern Black Bean and Quoina salad. It was as good on day 6 when we finished off the double batch from last week, as it was day 1 made fresh… maybe better. I just love your recipes!

  69. Can this dressing be frozen?

  70. I cant wait to try this recipe. Im wondering if you have tried it with pita chips as a dip? Thanks

  71. Gina, how long can you store this dressing in the fridge?


  72. To keep the avocado from turning brown, keep the pit and place in the dressing. It will keep the avocado fairly green for about a week.

  73. Gina , this dressing is fantastic! I not only used it as a salad dressing, but I used it for a topper on my tostadas!It was great! Thanks!!!!!!!!

  74. I LOVE this dressing. I have made it twice in the past two weeks! I use it for salads, chicken, fish, and we also put it on turkey tacos. This is definitely a winner.

  75. Made this for the 1st time and used Saco powder buttermilk mix. Excellent flavors and will make it again.

    BTW, love the Recipe Box so I can store and find it later when I can prepare it.

  76. This is amazing! i did add a teaspoon of ranch dressing powder.

  77. This dressing is DELICIOUS! I made it to go with the Mexican Cobb Salad to take to a picnic tomorrow. I will be making this dressing regularly. YUM!

  78. This dressing has been pretty much life-changing for me. Had a really miserable time trying to eat more salad in an attempt to be healthier. Now I eat a salad every night and love it!

  79. In answer to all the questions about how long it lasts, I currently have a dish I made almost 2 weeks ago for Cinco de Mayo, and it is STILL green and fresh and tastes incredible! We believe it is the lime juice keeping it that way. I also blend this up in my Ninja, and that may help some. I have now made this dressing 3 times and served as a dip, and it is a HUGE hit! Having never made anything with avocado before (not a big fan of it), I am surprised at how often I go back to it… awesome sauce!

  80. Hi Gina! I was thinking of making this to serve on a side salad next to your skinny chicken enchiladas…do you think they would complement each other well?

  81. For those of you wondering, I just made my own buttermilk with coconut milk and vinegar and it turned out pretty good! It might have a slight sweet taste from the coconut milk but this was the first time I have made it so I am not certain what it taste like with regular buttermilk. Can't wait to put it on our taco salads tonight! Thanks so much for your many delicious recipes!!

  82. This tastes so much like the cilantro ginger aioli that you can get a Brasa. I added grated ginger to mine. We loved this on fish tacos!

  83. This recipe is amazing! If you have ever been to Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant, Casa Ole', or Los Cucos, this tastes exactly like their green sauce they give you with chips. I have been looking for this recipe for forever! Who would have known I would find it on a skinny recipe website?! That's awesome! I put this dressing in your recipe for the BLT lettuce wraps and it was absolute heaven!! I recommend everyone try that at least once! With two of those lettuce wraps with this dressing inside, it is relatively no carbs and will fill you up! Absolute perfection! 🙂

  84. I made this last night and served it on a taco salad. I layered baked tortilla chips, lettuce, turkey taco meat, tomato, onion, cheese, and avocado. I used this recipe for the dressing and it was so good. Today I made a wrap and used the dressing as a spread on lavash bread. It was wonderful!!! Thanks for all your recipes!

  85. This creamy avocado dressing is always perfect to any salad!Since my children love salads, I always serves the creamy avocado salad dressing individually using Seagreen Square Incline Cup, because if not, I am sure my 3rd child Andrew will consume everything. 😀

  86. Just made this tonight…it's fantastic! I think I'll be using it as a dip, on sandwiches…and of course on salads. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  87. Gina — Made this for a simple salad (fantastic) and put some of leftover on roast beef paninis today. (fantastic). Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe. Deborah

  88. This is absolutely amazing!!! Great as a dip for fresh veggies, spread on whole wheat tortillas for fajitas, the possibilities are endless. I used 3/4 buttermilk and it was still perfect as a dip. Thank you!!

  89. Would adding "Fruit Fresh" extend the life?

  90. Finally had a chance to try this tonight. It was WONDERFUL! Used it on a simple cabbage and carrot salad – heavenly! The only changes I made were to leave out the jalapenos (yes, I am a wimp!) and add extra cilantro, since we love that. Another great recipe – love your site!

  91. I made this last night, exactly as you posted. I poached a couple of chicken breasts and cut them into cubes…blanched then chopped some organic broccoli and mixed it all up with this dressing. Served it on a bed of organic baby arugula and red oak lettuce. My family LOVED it! I'm going to make another batch tonight to use as a dressing for a green salad. Thank you so much this one is definitely a keeper.

  92. I made this dressing for our salad this evening…wonderful! I will make this again. Today is day number 3 of making all making all Skinnytaste recipes for a whole week for my husband and myself.

  93. Made this today, used lemon juice coz that's what I had and made my own "buttermilk" from fat free milk. Put that s–t on everything – salad, fish, sweet potato, etc. A winner! One question, would using the skim milk change the points or still 2? In answer to Matt above, this doesn't turn brown, the lemon or lime juice keeps it a gorgeous shade of green!

  94. Hey Gina, my girlfriend and I were just wondering if you could make this and then store it in the refrigerator to use for a later date and, if so, how long it lasts. I know avocado has a tendency to turn brown once out of the skin.

  95. This looks so fresh and satisfying. Any ideas for what to do with the buttermilk leftover? Besides buttermilk pancakes?

  96. Seems easy enough! This recipe does look good and good thing I have an avocado that needs to get used up. Could I do the whole "swap in milk and vinegar" for the buttermilk?

  97. Yum! Great recipe!!! This would be so perfect on Tacos!!!! Yum!

  98. I made this tonight… Loved it! It's delicious! Next time I'll add more jalapeno seeds to give it more of a kick. Great recipe! Thanks!

  99. What is in the background? It looks like some sort of black bean salad, which I think this would be delicious on! Excellent recipe as always, Gina 🙂

  100. Think there would be a good sub for cilantro, I think its a spice you either like or dont and its not one on my like list! Think basil would be good?

  101. Wonder if you can substitute plain greek yogurt for the buttermilk? I don't ever have buttermilk but always have yogurt in my fridge. Any thoughts on that?

    • Sure but it will be thick so you'll need to water it down a little.

    • For your tomatillo cilantro dressing, I always use the old vinegar in milk substitution for buttermilk and it tastes delicious. Just a splash of vinegar (apple cider is the best, imo) into the milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

  102. We aren't very big on cilantro in my house. Is there something I could substitute for the cilantro or do you think it would be just as good (although different) if I just leave it out?

  103. I cannot wait to go home and make this. As luck would have it, I have EVERYTHING at home to make it!

  104. 3-4 days?

  105. This sounds delicious! How long would this dressing last?

  106. I have your tomatillo cilantro dressing in my fridge right now, and I LOVE it. This sounds pretty good, too.

  107. Gina, this has my name all over it!

  108. This looks great! I just made your Shrimp Cobb Salad with the Buttermilk cilantro dressing and took it to a church dinner…it was a big hit … I'm having the little bit that was left for my lunch today..Thanks for the wonderful recipes..

  109. What can you substitute for the buttermilk to make it dairy free? Would coconut milk or almond milk work?

  110. I've been looking for a salad dressing recipe to have when I make fajitas or burritos. This is perfect!

  111. I can't wait to try this! I've been looking for a new go-to salad dressing for awhile and this sounds delicious.

  112. I love you. ha ha Mmmm mmmm good. This will be perfect to eat on my salads in a couple months when my cilantro, green onions and jalapenos are ripe in my garden. Thanks so much for all your awesome recipes. YOU ROCK!!!