This is my best take on the dressing that is used in the El Torito restaurants in southern California. Be sure to toss some roasted pepitas and crumbled Cotija or Manchengo cheese on top of your salad for the full effect!

Jim M

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 15 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
3 cups
Advertisement

Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Blend mayonnaise, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, water, vinegar, Cotija cheese, roasted chile peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth, about 1 minutes. Add cilantro in batches, blending each to incorporate completely before adding the next, 30 to 60 seconds per batch.

    Advertisement
  • Pour dressing into an air-tight container and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition Facts

180 calories; protein 1.1g 2% DV; carbohydrates 1.6g 1% DV; fat 19.2g 30% DV; cholesterol 6.7mg 2% DV; sodium 145.1mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (16)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2014
Delicious! I also added a little squeeze of lime juice and coarsely chopped cilantro to a quick steak salad (made from leftover steak) - it transformed it into a summery fresh dish my family loved! Thank you for sharing! Read More
(2)
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2014
Delicious! I also added a little squeeze of lime juice and coarsely chopped cilantro to a quick steak salad (made from leftover steak) - it transformed it into a summery fresh dish my family loved! Thank you for sharing! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2014
Oh my gosh! This recipe is a stroke of genius! I don't know how Jim M. did this but I am so glad he did. I used to only buy the bottled El Torito dressing once in a while on a splurge and then use it sparingly ... on fish tacos which is our favorite use of it. I like making foods from scratch and especially "copy cat" recipes. Maybe I will post my "copy" of Chevy's Restaurant (Southern Calif. again) with my own twists. I also roast the tomatoes and onions on our patio "chimenea" with a little grill place on top like I did for the Anaheim pepper for this dressing recipe. The dressing already was tasting heavenly even before I put the cilantro it. It is so much better than the bottled; you can taste the little crunchy pepitas much better. I cut the recipe in half as we are empty nesters now and it still made a little more than 12 oz. plus what I ate off the spatula! I used my 4 or 5 cup food processor for this half recipe and it was perfect. ( I don't like my blender.) Oh, I am one happy camper. Thank YOU! I wanted to post my photo of the dressing in a large canning jar, but the pixels were too big. :-( Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
07/01/2017
This is just what I was looking for a great approximation of El Torito Grill's dressing to put atop grilled romaine salad with chopped tomatoes and some crushed tortilla chips. A HUGE hit. I use 2-4oz cans of roasted chilis in place of the Anaheim low fat mayo and I reduce the oil using c olive oil. I also find I prefer the fuller flavor of grated Parmesan to the traditional Cotija in the dressing (but sprinkle the Cotija on the finished salad. This dressing is also a great dip (I use one cup LF sour cream and cup LF mayo) for chips veggies on top of roasted potatoes spread on sandwiches and swirled into tomato soup. If you like cilantro TRY THIS RECIPE. Read More
(1)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2019
Very Delicious! Restaurant quality! I loved it Yum Yum! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2020
Delish on my Mexican Caesar salad! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/01/2015
I love this dressing. When we still lived in Ca. Our favorite Sun. brunch was El Torito and i always ate more than one salad just to get the dressing. And topped with pepitas and cotija yummy. So thanks for this recipe Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
05/11/2016
This was amazing and pretty spot on even with my adjustments only because I didn't have these on hand: Anaheim peppers (substituted with roasted hatch green chilies) and cotija cheese (substituted with grated parmesean cheese). Thank you this will be forever in the rotation. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2020
Delicious! I love cheese so added about 1 cup. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/16/2018
Great recipe! Read More