When we moved to Minnesota I quickly began tinkering with Cafe Rio copycat recipes to avert my strong cravings for their delicious fresh Mex. There is nothing like Cafe Rio here. Even the places that attempt fresh Mex just don’t get it right. Oh it is sad. I miss it. But I have found some amazing recipes and made some substitutions that make the food taste just like Cafe Rio and can be done really easily! The first I’ll be posting is the Cilantro Lime Ranch dressing. This dressing is just plain delicious. We sit and eat it with tortilla chips dunking each one in to get tons of dressing. It’s that good. I might dream of drinking it. Just kidding. But really it’s delicious on everything, not just Cafe Rio salads. We marinate chicken in it, put it on regular salads, use it as a dip, and more.
The original recipe I found calls for a packet of Ranch powder (MSG!), buttermilk, and mayonnaise. Not only are these things not on hand in my house, but they aren’t super healthy and they are expensive (Ranch packets are a rip off! Hidden Valley charges like $2 for 1 pack!). So I’ve substituted and found you can easily replace these with a bottle of your favorite ranch (I love Briana’s ranch!).
Ingredients, 6 Ingredient Cilantro Lime Ranch / Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing:
- 1 bottle, ranch dressing
- 3 tomatillos, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped + deseeded
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
Dump ingredients into a food processor or high power blender and puree! That’s it! And then you don’t have to fuss with mayonnaise. You’re welcome.