Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing

2 Reviews Add a Pic
  • Prep

    15 m
  • Ready In

    1 h 15 m
Jim M
Recipe by  Jim M

“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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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 4 servings



  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 (2)

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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!

Carol West Kennedy

Carol West Kennedy

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. :-(

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Amount Per Serving (4 total)

  • Calories
  • 1079 cal
  • 54%
  • Fat
  • 115.5 g
  • 178%
  • Carbs
  • 9.7 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 6.5 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol
  • 40 mg
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 870 mg
  • 35%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Corn Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing


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Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing