Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing Recipe -
Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing

Recipe by  

"This is my best take on the dressing that is used in the El Torito restaurants in southern California. Be sure to toss some roasted pepitas and crumbled Cotija or Manchengo cheese on top of your salad for the full effect!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins

    1 hr 15 mins


  1. Blend mayonnaise, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, water, vinegar, Cotija cheese, roasted chile peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth, about 1 minutes. Add cilantro in batches, blending each to incorporate completely before adding the next, 30 to 60 seconds per batch.
  2. Pour dressing into an air-tight container and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

May 31, 2014

Delicious! I also added a little squeeze of lime juice and coarsely chopped cilantro to a quick steak salad (made from leftover steak) - it transformed it into a summery fresh dish my family loved! Thank you for sharing!

May 04, 2014

Oh my gosh! This recipe is a stroke of genius! I don't know how Jim M. did this but I am so glad he did. I used to only buy the bottled El Torito dressing once in a while on a splurge and then use it sparingly ... on fish tacos which is our favorite use of it. I like making foods from scratch and especially "copy cat" recipes. Maybe I will post my "copy" of Chevy's Restaurant (Southern Calif. again) with my own twists. I also roast the tomatoes and onions on our patio "chimenea" with a little grill place on top like I did for the Anaheim pepper for this dressing recipe. The dressing already was tasting heavenly even before I put the cilantro it. It is so much better than the bottled; you can taste the little crunchy pepitas much better. I cut the recipe in half as we are empty nesters now and it still made a little more than 12 oz. plus what I ate off the spatula! I used my 4 or 5 cup food processor for this half recipe and it was perfect. ( I don't like my blender.) Oh, I am one happy camper. Thank YOU! I wanted to post my photo of the dressing in a large canning jar, but the pixels were too big. :-(


5 Ratings

May 01, 2015

I love this dressing. When we still lived in Ca. Our favorite Sun. brunch was El Torito, and i always ate more than one salad just to get the dressing. And topped with pepitas and cotija, yummy. So thanks for this recipe,

Mar 18, 2015

Just finished eating a southwest style salad with this dressing. This dressing is awesome.

Jan 24, 2015

I have been looking for this dressing forever! I made it and it turned out even better than the El Torito one! Thank you!!


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  • Calories
  • 1079 kcal
  • 54%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 9.7 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 40 mg
  • 13%
  • Fat
  • 115.5 g
  • 178%
  • Fiber
  • 1.6 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 6.5 g
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 870 mg
  • 35%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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