Creamy Cotija Cilantro Chile Dressing for Taco Salad


Want a dressing that’s perfect over taco salad? Leave your Ranch and Blue Cheese behind and try this Creamy Cilantro Chile Dressing- the flavours complement any Mexican food you care to eat it with. 

Creamy Cotija Cilantro Chile Dressing

  • 2 Pasilla  or other fairly mild large chile peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded
  • 1 small bunch cilantro washed and stemmed
  • 1/4 of a small wheel of Cotija Cheese (an aged Mexican cow’s milk cheese) about 1/4 cup packed.
  • 1/4 cup Pepitas (roasted salted pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 Canola or mild tasting olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or Best Foods/Hellman’s
  • a little water to thin if necessary

Roast the chiles over a gas flame until charred and then wrap in a damp dish towel to steam for a few minutes. Remove the skin, stems and seeds. Place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, cheese, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and the pepitas. Pulse off and on for about 15 seconds until smooth. Add the leaves from a bunch of cilantro that has been washed, dried and stems removed. Pulse off and on and then let run until everything is  smooth. Add the Mayonnaise and mix in until incorporated and creamy. Place in a jar in the fridge- will keep about 3-5 days. You may need to add a few Tablespoons of water to thin for drizzling if it sets up. Serve over all kinds of salad -it’s really good over grilled chicken or pork.




My sweet Mom brought us some home made Chalupas this weekend (slow cooked pork, pink beans and chiles) and we made Taco Salads with corn chips, Chalupas, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa and  with the dressing drizzled over it all. Sprinkle with a few left over Pepitas. It was SO good! If Mom will let me share her recipe -I’ll post the Chalupas recipe later. 🙂



  1. Gabi says:

    Thanks Deborah! I’m cooking Chalupas with Mom’s recipe this weekend and she’s letting me post the recipe.
    See ya!

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