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A bowl of green dressing with a wooden spoon inside of it. Lime pieces and cilantro pieces off to the side.

The Best Cafe Rio Dressing

The best Cafe Rio Dressing is a copycat recipe from the popular Mexian food restaurant. A creamy dressing with tomatillos, ranch seasoning, cilantro, jalapeño, mayonnaise, and buttermilk. This tastes exactly like the real thing and you'll be drizzling it over everything!
Course condiments
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cafe rio dressing, copycat recipe for cafe rio ranch dressing, tomatillo ranch dressing recipe
Servings 10 servings (1/4 cup each)
Calories 175kcal
Author Jessica - Together as Family


  • 1 cup mayonnaise (full-fat is best)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
  • 2 tomatillos (husks removed and cut in half)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds removed for mild heat, roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • Add ingredients into the blender, in order as listed above. Blend on high for at least 1 minute, or until everything is combined and blended up really smooth.
  • Pour into a covered container, like Tupperware, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • This can also be made the day before and refrigerated overnight. 
    If you prefer a thinner sauce try adding a little more buttermilk. I think this recipe is the perfect texture (not too thick and not too thin). Don't exceed 1 cup of buttermilk.


Servings : Recipe makes about 2.5 cups of dressing. The nutrition information is per 1/4 cup of dressing, which makes this recipe able to serve 10 people. 
Tomatillos : Found in the produce section, usually by the cilantro and jalapeños. They look like small green tomatoes and have this rough, paper-like husk on the outside. Remove the husk and chop the tomatoes in half, or fourths, before adding to the blender. 
Jalapeño : Don't leave it out! If you want mild heat then take out the seeds and white membrane part before adding it into the blender. You could also try using half a jalapeño. 
Mayonnaise : Full-fat tastes regular mayo tastes the best in this recipe. I highly suggest using it. I don't love mayo but when I do use it, my favorite is Hellman's or Best Foods. 
Refrigerate : It needs the fridge time for best flavor! Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving or more. You can also make it the day before and let it refrigerate overnight.


Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg