Cilantro Jalapeño (or Poblano) Sauce
Great way to use the rest of the bunch of cilantro that I always seem to end up with! Good use of jalapeños that we plant in the garden. A touch of honey is just enough to balance the bright flavors of cilantro, lime, and jalapeño. Quick to whip up, this healthy dressing adds bright flavor to salads--beyond basic greens and vine-ripened tomatoes, think black beans, red bell pepper, corn, avocado, and rice. It also ratchets up the flavors of sandwiches and burgers--turkey or beef--and makes a delightful dip for roasted sweet potatoes.

Yields 1 1/3+ cups


  • 4 jalapeño peppers or 2 poblano peppers (poblanos are bigger–used about 6 ounces/ 170 grams)
  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro (it’s okay to include some stems)
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) plain Greek yogurt (non-fat is fine; I’ve also used regular sour cream with great results)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped (optional–I have skipped it and the dressing is still wonderful)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Remove the stems from the peppers and roughly chop. When using jalapeños, remove some or all of the seeds depending on preferred level of spiciness. (Tip: you can reserve the seeds and add back in at the end, as desired. Also be careful not to touch your eyes when working with hot peppers; wear rubber gloves if desired.) You may leave the seeds in poblanos as these peppers are not very spicy.
  2. Combine the peppers, cilantro, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. If using a food processor, add olive oil in a slow stream with the motor running until the sauce is well blended and emulsified. (This will prevent the oil from settling under the blade.) If using a blender, you may add directly to the blender and then mix until creamy or drizzle the oil through the feed chute while while blending. Scrape down the sides, as needed, until the cilantro is well pureed. The dressing will be somewhat this but will thicken as it sits in the refrigerator. The flavors will also meld and improve over time.
  3. Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for approximately one week. Use as a dressing, sauce, sandwich spread, or dip for roasted potatoes (sweet or regular).


  • When using jalapeños, I remove most but not all of the seeds. Removing all of the seeds will result in very little spiciness. I do like to reserve some of the seeds to add back if I want to increase the level of spice at the end. When the jalapeños seem smaller than average, I increase the number to 5 or 6. Poblano peppers are larger, hence the smaller amount called for in the recipe. They are also quite mild, so I do not remove any of the seeds or veins when using them.

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