This cilantro sauce, which can be blitzed together in less than 10 minutes, is our new go-to for dunking roasted cauliflower and other vegetables, dolloping on chicken or steak, schmearing on crostini, and just about any other last-minute, weeknight-emergency, godsend-of-a-sauce sorta situation.Angie Zoobkoff

Several jars of cilantro sauce and a few toasted bread rounds topped with the cilantro sauce on a wooden board.

Cilantro Sauce

5 / 3 votes
This cilantro sauce, made with oil, cilantro, garlic, lemon and lime juice, and honey, is a spectacular embellishment for roasted vegetables or schmear for crostini.
David Leite
Servings8 tablespoons
Calories65 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or less to taste
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a blender, combine the oil, lime and lemon juices, cilantro, garlic, and honey. Blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
The Messy Baker Cookbook

Adapted From

The Messy Baker

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Serving: 1 tablespoonCalories: 65 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 1 gFat: 7 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gSodium: 1 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Charmian Christie. Photo © 2014 Karaidel. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This cilantro sauce worked beautifully as a dip for the spicy roasted cauliflower recipe on the site. It’s vibrant, tangy, and incredibly easy to make. I think it would work well with any roasted vegetable but it pairs especially well with spicier ones as the sauce is a little sweet on its own.

I really love this cilantro sauce recipe for its simplicity and versatility. With a quick whirl of 6 ingredients in the trusty blender or food processor, you’ve created a vibrant green sauce that would pair beautifully with a number of dishes: roasted veggies, pan-seared fish, grilled meats, mixed greens, eggs, even toasted pita bread with hummus. This is a wonderful staple sauce to make and keep in the fridge to brighten up a number of dishes throughout the week! I used the sauce at dinner last night drizzled over pan-seared red snapper fillets (yum), and plan to use the rest over some roasted root vegetables later this week.

Hands-on time was minimal, right at about 5 minutes, so I would say total time comes in around 10 minutes. I think the slight sweetness of the sauce from the honey really gives a nice balance of flavors to this fresh herb sauce!

A wonderful sauce to add to your repertoire! I had the ingredients on hand and this came together in a flash. I used an immersion blender instead of a full size blender. I would also caution about the addition of honey. Next time, I would make the sauce, then taste, and then consider adding the honey. I thought the 1 teaspoon of honey made the sauce too sweet, but we ate it!!

We enjoyed this with spicy roasted cauliflower (on this site) which was divine. But I also used it on grilled tri-tip, an omelet, and as a dip for fresh veggies.

This cilantro sauce is incredibly vibrant tasting and completely balanced. The recipe pairs perfectly with the spicy roasted cauliflower.

I served it with the veggies and a roasted chicken and we ended up dipping the chicken in the sauce as well. I’m going to venture a guess that this sauce would make cardboard taste good.

What a great recipe–totally delicious with the roasted cauliflower. I served both at room temperature as an appetizer and people went wild for it. Be sure to squeeze a bit of lime over the cauliflower (or other roasted veggies) before serving–it was the fresh lime that popped it up from a 9 to a 10.

This is an easy recipe with lots of zing that can be made year-round and matches well with a wide range of dishes. You should use it! But consider multiplying the recipe unless your guest list is small.

I fixed a modified version of the spicy roasted cauliflower (I replaced the peppers with cumin and curry powder to accommodate my wife’s dietary restrictions) and it was an excellent pairing! I also added it to pan-fried salmon fillet and to steamed sushi rice—also excellent.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. i was wondering has anyone tried freezing this, and if so, is it even tasty and good upon thawing?

    1. elenor, it should be fine. It’s possible to freeze pesto with no ill effects, and this recipe is close. (All that’s missing is cheese and nuts.)