Copycat Cafe Rio Veggie Salad with Vegan Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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Cafe Rio is a favorite in the Western United States, and there’s no questioning why. The mile-high salads. The homemade tortillas. And the DRESSING! Now you can make it all at home!

COPYCAT CAFE RIO | VEGGIE SALAD | CILANTRO LIME DRESSING | VEGAN | HEALTHY DINNER | HEALTHY SALAD | EASY RECIPE

Whenever I hear food recommendations for travelers coming into Utah, I always hear the same few.

  • Swig and Fizz for crazy sugary drink concoctions.
  • Red Iguana for the best authentic Mexican food.
  • Cafe Rio for the creamy dressing and mile-high salads.

I can agree with 2 out of 3 of those recs, but for now, we’re going to talk about Cafe Rio.

Cafe Rio isn’t necessarily comprised of authentic Mexican dishes. It’s definitely a bit Americanized. But you know what? I couldn’t care less. 

I crave their salads, and especially the creamy cilantro dressing, on a weekly basis. With that being said, I’m really kind of sick of handing the cash over every time my weekly Cafe Rio craving hits.

I’m not sure how it took this long for me to replicate my favorite salad, but I finally did it, and I couldn’t be happier about how it all turned out.

COPYCAT CAFE RIO | VEGGIE SALAD | CILANTRO LIME DRESSING | VEGAN | HEALTHY DINNER | HEALTHY SALAD | EASY RECIPE

The best part though is the dressing. As I’ve been trying really hard to go all plant-based, there are a few straggling items that have been hard to veganize or cut out completely. I cannot imagine eating a Cafe Rio salad without the dressing, so I knew I had to so something about the situation.

So of course, I made my own with some of my favorite plant-based and organic ingredients bought right from my local Kroger store. That’s the best part – I didn’t have to go all over the city to health food or specialty stores just to find the healthy ingredients I needed. Kroger always has every single thing I need (and so so much more)!

COPYCAT CAFE RIO | VEGGIE SALAD | CILANTRO LIME DRESSING | VEGAN | HEALTHY DINNER | HEALTHY SALAD | EASY RECIPE

Not only is this dressing totally necessary for coating the entire salad in, but because the salad is sitting in an amazing house-made tortilla, the dressing is perfect for dipping said tortilla right into. That’s my favorite part!

If you are a lover of making homemade dressing, just like me, you have got to check out this recipe for Greek Salad Dressing.

COPYCAT CAFE RIO | VEGGIE SALAD | CILANTRO LIME DRESSING | VEGAN | HEALTHY DINNER | HEALTHY SALAD | EASY RECIPE

Copycat Cafe Rio Veggie Salad & Vegan Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large tortillas
  • 2 cups cilantro lime quinoa SEE NOTES
  • 2 cups black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1/2 cup guacamole store bought or homemade
  • 3/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup tortilla chips crumbled
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped

Vegan Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • 3 to matillos diced
  • 6 Tbsp raw cashews

Instructions

  • For salad, assemble salad ingredients in the order listed, divided among 4 large salad bowls, with a large tortilla lining the bowl and all ingredients on top of it.

Dressing instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until all ingredients are combined and dressing is smooth. 
  • Drizzle dressing on salad generously and use to dip the tortilla into as well.

Notes

CILANTRO LIME QUINOA – https://happyfoodhealthylife.com/copycat-cafe-rio-cilantro-lime-quinoa-instant-pot-or-stovetop/
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY KROGER. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO CONTINUE CREATING GREAT CONTENT FOR YOU BY SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SUPER AWESOME BRANDS THAT HFHL LOVES TO WORK WITH! AS ALWAYS, OPINIONS REMAIN 100% MY OWN.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this the other day and it was amazing!! I would love to have a batch of this on hand, but wasn’t sure how long it lasts in the fridge. Also, would it freeze well?