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Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing is SO Good (5-Minute Recipe!)

I love the bright, zesty flavor of a good lime dressing, but the price tag on those little green spheres at the grocery store can be eye-watering. That’s why I was overjoyed a few years ago when my dear friend, Zaina Ahmed, gifted me a lime tree. I planted it in my backyard, and it produces a wonderful harvest of limes year-round.


Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing

Unfortunately, Zaina died soon after, but her generous gift keeps on giving. I always have limes on hand, which is essential for one of my go-to dressings: Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing. You could substitute lemon juice in a pinch, but fresh limes offer a unique, slightly more floral zing that’s wonderful.

Creamy, Zesty, and Versatile

This homemade Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing features the perfect balance of cool, creamy notes and the bright acidity of lime juice. A touch of honey brings a hint of sweetness, making it incredibly versatile. Forget having to fork over serious money at the store for similar dressings!

Not only is it delicious on salads, but I love this as a marinade for shrimp or chicken, or drizzled over grilled seafood with reckless abandon. It’s a fantastic way to elevate simple dishes and add a burst of exciting flavor. If you’re lucky enough to have a lime tree, it’s definitely time to put it to good use with this recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Honey Lime Salad Dressing…

  • Ready in a flash: With just a few simple ingredients tossed into a food processor or blender, you’ll have this tangy honey lime dressing ready in less than 2 minutes. Voila – your salads just got more exciting!
  • Deliciously versatile: This dressing isn’t just for leafy greens. It’s perfect on a variety of salads, complements grilled chicken, and even adds a zing to fresh fruit salad (try it on a Winter Citrus Salad!).
  • Healthier and budget-friendly: Making your own dressing at home is one of the favorite easy ways to save money and ditch the unnecessary calories, additives, and lengthy ingredient list often found in store-bought varieties.
  • Naturally sweet and adaptable: This vinaigrette dressing gets its natural sweetness from honey, making it a delicious choice for a filling lunch bowl like my Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl. For a dairy-free option, try plain Greek yogurt or a non-dairy yogurt alternative – it’s naturally gluten-free too! To make this recipe vegan, use maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.

What is a lime vinaigrette made of?

At its core, a lime vinaigrette is all about combining fresh lime juice (the star ingredient!)  with a good quality oil. I frequently use extra virgin olive oil for its rich flavor, but vegetable oil or canola oil work perfectly well too.

A classic rule of thumb for vinaigrettes is a 3 parts oil to 1-part acid ratio. This means for every tablespoon of lime juice, you’d use three tablespoons of oil. This is your base for any vinaigrette, but the beauty of salad dressings is that you can always adjust them to suit your own taste! To ensure best results, always whisk or blend your vinaigrette for a smooth, emulsified texture.

Nutritional Information

Calories389 kcal
Saturated Fat4g
Sodium2 mg
Potassium23 mg
Vitamin C6.4 mg
Calcium5 mg
Iron0.6 mg

Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing (Yield: about 1 1/2 cups)

This dressing strikes the perfect balance between cool, creamy notes and a tart, citrusy punch. A touch of honey adds a mellow sweetness, making it incredibly versatile. Drizzle it generously over salads, or use it to marinate chicken or seafood before grilling.

Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing Recipe

Recipe by Whisk and NibbleCourse: SaladsCuisine: American

1 1/2

Prep time





Short Recipe Description: A zesty and creamy homemade dressing that perfectly balances sweet, tart, and savory flavors.


  • 1/2 cup creamy base (mayonnaise, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt)

  • 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, or avocado oil)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 4 medium Persian limes)

  • 2 tablespoons natural sweetener (liquid honey, whipped honey or maple syrup)

  • 2 teaspoons lime zest

  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard (yellow or Dijon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Gather your ingredients: Get everything ready – you’ll want those limes pre-squeezed!
  • Whisk it together: Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until completely smooth.
  • Chill out: Store your dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to let the flavors mingle.
  • Shake and enjoy: Before using, give the dressing a good shake. It’s even better if you make it overnight – the flavors really have time to develop!


  • Spice it up: Add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper for a touch of heat.
  • Herby twist: Freshly chopped cilantro or mint add a bright, herbaceous note.

Tips for the Perfect Honey Lime Dressing

  • Customize the Sweetness: Start with the recipe’s suggested amount of honey or maple syrup, then give the dressing a taste. Add a little bit more if you prefer a sweeter flavor profile.
  • Garlic Power: Freshly minced garlic adds a delightful zing. However, if you’re short on time or prefer a milder taste, a pinch of garlic powder works in a pinch.
  • Herb It Up: Chopped fresh herbs make a fantastic addition! Cilantro, mint, or basil all complement the lime beautifully.
  • Spice It Up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a pinch of chili powder or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Double Batch: This dressing keeps well, so consider making a double batch and storing the extra. That way, you’ll have it ready to jazz up salads and meals throughout the week.
  • Beyond Salads: This dressing is magic on grilled chicken or shrimp, fantastic as a veggie dip, or even drizzled over fresh fruit!


Get creative with these easy twists on the classic recipe:

  • Spicy Honey Lime: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, chili powder, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce for a flavor kick.
  • Herby Honey Lime: Stir in a handful of chopped cilantro or mint for a bright, refreshing flavor.
  • Avocado Honey Lime: Blend in half a ripe avocado for an ultra-creamy dressing with a hint of healthy fats.

Serving Suggestions

This dressing goes way beyond salads! Try it on:

  • Grilled Chicken or Fish: Marinate or drizzle on as a finishing touch.
  • Shrimp Tacos: Adds the perfect zesty touch.
  • Grain bowls: Perfect for adding flavor to your favorite grain and protein combinations.
  • Fruit Salad: Drizzle over fresh berries for a delightful sweet-tart combo.

Storage Tips

  • Refrigerator: This dressing keeps well in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Give it a good shake before using.
  • Freezing: While not ideal due to changes in texture, freezing is possible for up to a month in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Once thawed, give it a vigorous whisk.

No Blender? Here’s How to Make Honey Lime Dressing

Don’t have a blender on hand? Don’t worry! Here’s a simple way to make this tasty dressing:

  1. Prep and Combine: Gather your ingredients and place in a small bowl. Take extra care to finely chop your garlic, this will help it blend seamlessly.
  2. Whisk it Up: Using a whisk, vigorously mix the ingredients together until you have a smooth, well-combined dressing.
  3. Store and Enjoy: Pour your dressing into an airtight container (a mason jar works great!) Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. When it’s salad time, shake the dressing, add some to your salad bowl with your favorite greens, and toss to coat.

Tip: For an even smoother dressing, you can use a fork to mash the minced garlic into a paste before combining it with other ingredients.


This Creamy Honey Lime Salad Dressing is as versatile as it is delicious. Whether you’re drizzling it over a vibrant summer salad, using it as a marinade for grilled favorites, or adding a flavor punch to a rice bowl, this dressing is sure to quickly become a staple in your kitchen. The best part? It takes just minutes to prepare and is far healthier and tastier than most store-bought options!

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Frequently Asked Questions

My dressing is too tart. What can I do?

This likely means the lime juice is overpowering the other flavors. Add a bit more honey or maple syrup to balance out the acidity. You can also add a small amount of neutral oil to mellow the flavor.

My dressing separated, what happened?

Emulsions like dressings can sometimes “break.” Don’t worry, it’s fixable! Give the dressing a vigorous whisk or shake in a jar. If that doesn’t help, adding a tiny bit more mustard can help re-emulsify the ingredients.

What is a honey lime dressing made of?

At its core, a honey lime dressing starts with freshly squeezed lime juice, a touch of honey, and some seasonings like mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and maybe a pinch of cumin. To create a smooth texture, these ingredients are combined in a blender. While blending, a steady stream of olive oil or canola oil is added to the mixture until it’s well combined and emulsified.

What is creamy salad dressing made of?

The base of creamy dressings is usually mayo, sour cream, or yogurt. You can even do a 50-50 ratio of two of these, say a few tablespoons of mayo and a few tablespoons of yogurt for a slightly lighter version without sacrificing that creamy richness.

What are the three types of salad dressings?

In Western culture, there are three basic types of salad dressing:

  • Vinaigrettes: Oil and vinegar-based, often with a touch of mustard or other flavors.
  • Creamy dressings: Use mayonnaise, yogurt, or other fermented milk products like sour cream as a base.
  • Cooked dressings: These are thicker and made by adding egg yolks during the preparation.

Can I use lemon juice instead of lime?

Yes, lemon juice will work in this recipe. While the flavor profile will be slightly different, it will still be a delicious and tangy dressing.

Help! My dressing is too thick. How do I thin it out?

Whisk in a small amount of water or extra lime juice a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

What is the best salad dressing to use?

That depends on personal preference! Some healthy and popular choices include:

  • Sesame ginger
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Avocado lime
  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • Honey mustard

What’s the difference between mayonnaise and salad dressing?

While mayonnaise includes the same basic ingredients as many salad dressings (oil, egg yolk, vinegar), it contains a higher proportion of oil by weight. Salad dressings often have more water or other liquids added, and sometimes a bit of sweetness like high fructose corn syrup.

What happens when you mix lime and honey?

This combination creates a delicious and potentially beneficial drink! Adding lime and a drizzle of honey to warm or cold water makes it refreshing and tasty. Both ingredients have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and if made with warm water, this simple mixture may even be effective in suppressing a cough.

What is the formula for salad dressing?

Vinaigrettes, the most basic kind of salad dressing, follow a classic ratio of acid to oil.  Traditionally, 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil is widely used. However, experimentation is key!

Is mayonnaise used for salad dressing?

Yes, mayonnaise is one of the most versatile condiments on the planet! Besides being the star of countless homemade salad dressings, it’s an essential component of many classic sandwiches and wraps, a perfect side for fries, and a must-have on any good BLT.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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