Quick, no-cook sauces are one of the easiest ways to elevate simple meals, and this versatile cilantro yogurt sauce is one of my favorites. It gets creaminess from Greek yogurt, a hint of heat from jalapeño and brightness from cilantro and lime. A touch of honey balances all the flavors.

Grain bowl with salmon, cabbage and avocado, drizzled with cilantro yogurt sauce.

Greek yogurt cilantro lime sauce

The sauce gets blitzed up in minutes right in a food processor (or you can use a Vitamix). There’s no need to even chop the garlic, jalapeño or cilantro—the food processor will do all the work for you! 

Cilantro lime yogurt sauce in a food processor.

Cilantro yogurt sauce ingredients:

  • Greek Yogurt: For the best flavor, use a Greek yogurt with a 2% fat content or higher. Nonfat yogurt tends to taste chalky, but it will still work if that’s what you have (if needed, drizzle in a touch of olive oil to balance the flavors). 
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro gives this sauce flavor and color. If you don’t like cilantro, use a mix of half parsley and half mint. 
  • Garlic: A garlic clove lends depth of flavor. If you’re sensitive to raw garlic, soak a lightly smashed clove in the lime juice for 5-10 minutes (or longer!). Discard the garlic then use the juice. 
  • Jalapeño: Half of a jalapeño gives the sauce a subtle kick. For a mild sauce, remove the jalapeño ribs and seeds (for a spicy sauce, leave them in!). 
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice brightens the sauce. 
  • Honey: A touch of honey rounds out the sauce and balances the flavors. 
All of the ingredients for the cilantro sauce arranged on a work surface.

How to make a 5 minute cilantro yogurt sauce:

  • In a food processor with the blade running, drop a garlic clove and half a jalapeño through the feed tube and chop (or you can pop them into a Vitamix and blend until chopped). 
Process shot showing chopped garlic and jalapeno in a food processor.
  • Pile in the cilantro and process until chopped. 
Process shot showing the cilantro in the food processor for the cilantro yogurt sauce.
  • Add Greek yogurt, lime juice and honey, and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. For a thinner sauce, blend in a few splashes of water. 
Process shot showing all of the ingredients for the yogurt sauce in a food processor.

How to serve cilantro lime yogurt sauce:

  • On fish (like this slow cooker salmon)
  • On grain bowls or veggie bowls
  • On tacos
  • With chicken
  • With lamb kebabs and on lamb burgers
  • As a dressing for salads
  • As a dip for sweet potato fries
A serving bowl of yogurt sauce with a spoon.

Cilantro yogurt sauce for salmon

The sauce is AMAZING with slow cooker salmon, either in bowls or tacos! 

Close up of the cilantro yogurt sauce drizzled over a power bowl featuring salmon, avocado and shaved red cabbage.
Salmon tacos with a bowl of the cilantro yogurt sauce alongside.

Yogurt lime dressing

The sauce also works as a fantastic salad dressing. If needed, thin it with a splash of water. 

For more easy, no-cook sauce recipes, check out my book, Build-a-Bowl

Build-a-Bowl book cover.

FAQ

What kind of yogurt should I use for cilantro yogurt sauce?

Use Greek yogurt for the sauce. For the best flavor, use a yogurt with a 2% fat content or higher.

Can you other herbs instead of cilantro?

Yes! Feel free to swap out the cilantro for a mix of half parsley and half mint.

What if the sauce is too thick?

If you prefer a thinner, more pourable sauce, simply blend in a few tablespoons of water, until you get the consistency you like.

Close up of the yogurt sauce drizzled over salmon tacos.

Other sauces and dressings to try:

Healthy desserts you might like:

Get the recipe!

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

This versatile sauce is creamy and bright, with a touch of heat from jalapeño and brightness from lime and cilantro. A smidge of honey balances all the flavors. Serve the sauce over fish (it’s awesome on this slow cooker salmon), on grain or veggie bowls, over tacos, with chicken and lamb, as a salad dressing, or as a dip for sweet potato fries. I prefer to use Greek yogurt with a 2% fat content or higher, as non-fat yogurt is rather chalky (however, it’s a personal preference!). If you don’t have a large food processor, you can make the sauce in a mini food processor or a Vitamix.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cilantro lime yogurt sauce, cilantro yogurt dressing, Cilantro yogurt sauce
Servings: 1 1/2 cups

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño, seeds and inner stems removed
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (2% fat content or higher)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a food processor with the blade running, drop the garlic clove and jalapeño through the feed tube to finely chop. Add the cilantro and process until chopped.
  • Scrape the sides, and add the Greek yogurt, lime juice and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, stopping and scraping the sides as needed. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. If the sauce is quite thick (depending on the brand of yogurt you used) feel free to thin it with a splash of water.

Notes

Do Ahead: The cilantro yogurt sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Tips:
  • You’ll need a food processor or Vitamix for this recipe.
  • You can swap out the cilantro for a mix of half parsley and half mint.
  • If you prefer a thinner, more pourable sauce, simply blend in a few tablespoons of water until you get the consistency you like.
  • The sauce is fantastic with this slow cooker salmon!
  • For more no-cook, easy sauces, check out my book, Build-a-Bowl.

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