El Torito Cilantro and Pepita Salad Dressing

"I love this dressing at El Torito. I could sit there and just eat it with a spoon. I found this copy-cat recipe and I wanted to post it so I can make it myself, and secretly eat it straight from the jar :-)"
photo by FoodieWife photo by FoodieWife
photo by FoodieWife
Ready In:
1 Quart




  • Place all dressing ingredients except cilantro, mayonnaise and water in a blender of food processor.
  • Blend approximately 10 seconds, and then add cilantro little by little until blended smooth.
  • Depending on size of blender, it may be necessary to do in batches.
  • Place mayonnaise and water in a large stainless steel bowl, and mix with a wire whip until smooth.
  • Add the blended ingredients to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix thoroughly.
  • Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Will keep for three days.

Questions & Replies

  1. What do you mean by salad oil? I've made this with both vegetable oil and olive oil. Both are good, but maybe could be better? Should I be using another kind of oil, if so, what kind?


  1. This dressing is fantastic, but holy moly it is fattening! I replaced the mayo with yogurt and it tastes exactly the same! Delicious!
  2. This is actually really good. It makes A LOT, so next time I would reduce it by half or two-thirds, but the flavor is really good. Thanks so much for sharing this! #Yummy
  3. This was nasty. All I could taste was mayonnaise. I was leary to begin with - mayo is not exactly Mexican cuisine. I tried tweaking it after I made it trying to tone down that mayo taste but nothing work, I added avocado, sour cream & a dash of lime but still the overwhelming taste of mayo. Not for me
  4. I made this dressing and it did taste much like the one at El Torito except mine was very thick. I tried adding more wine vinegar but it changed the flavor too much. The one at El Torito is much thinner, any suggestions, other than water?
  5. This recipe really is good! Thanks for sharing.


  1. First, no reason whatsoever to roast and peel the Anaheims. In fact, I would bet the restaurant doesn't roast them -- the color is different. Secondly, you're blending, so you don't need to thoroughly pull the leaves off the cilantro. Keep the bundle together, chop off the large bottom stem part and your good to go. And remember, cilantro batches and Anaheims vary in size throughout the year in most places. If your Anaheims or cilantro batches look small, use three.
  2. AMAZING! I was so impressed with this recipe. It tastes exactly like the dressing at El Torito! I halved the recipe, and instead of using pumpkin seeds, I used pine nuts because that's what I had. Delicious! I'll be sharing this recipe for sure. Thanks for posting!


I am an Aussie and moved to Southern California in 1991. I have a very sarcastic sense of humour and my talents lie in being intuitive, singing, and eating. I have traveled all over the world and have lived in many locations. I spent the most time in Melbourne Australia ), Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Southern California, New York and Harrisburg PA. If you were to ask me what I love &/or miss about each place my first choice would ALWAYS be the food. My hobbies are acquiring lots of environmental, and medical allergies. <---- Joking but I am super sensitive and so I can be a big pain in the bum to cook for. I guess that is why I love to cook. I know exactly what is going into my mouth and not have to worry about keeping my epipen or inhaler in close reach.
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