This recipe for lime crema is so easy to make and can be used as a sauce for tacos, tortilla soup, & Mexican-style baked potatoes. You can also add cilantro for even more flavor!
My family and I are HUGE taco fans. They’re on our menu at least 2-3 times a month (if not more) and we’ve had almost every type of taco imaginable…
- Chicken // Steak // Shrimp
- Buffalo // California Style // Traditional
- Corn tortillas // Flour tortillas // Rice bowls // Salads
But all of our taco experiences were thrown out the window when I made a bowl of lime crema!
I first made this super easy lime crema while we were on vacation with extended family over the week of Thanksgiving. Each family picked one night to cook dinner and what they wanted to make. I picked Wednesday and (naturally) chose tacos.
I didn’t really want to be in the kitchen all day, so when I woke up that morning I started making THE BEST slow cooker carnitas and prepped all the fixings to go with our taco dinner:
- diced tomatoes
- finely diced white onion
- lime wedges
- shredded cheese
- salsa verde
- lime crema
I was cooking for 15 people, so this was a good bit of chopping, but the lime crema came together in less than 5 minutes… and it STOLE the show!
Hands down, the lime crema MADE the tacos.
Ingredients for Lime Crema
It’s crazy to think that something so good can come from just FOUR ingredients, but prepare your mind to be blown because that’s exactly what happens when you put lime crema on your tacos.
Here’s what you need:
- Sour Cream. I use full-fat since a traditional real-food diet includes lots of healthy fats, but you can use a lower-fat variety if you wish.
- Limes. For zesting AND juicing. I used the medium holes in my old-school cheese grater (mine is similar to this one) to zest because I don’t have a Microplane (although I have my eyes on this one!). Do NOT stick the lime into the blender and hit go – all the bitter parts will be mixed up with the tasty parts and your lime crema won’t taste nearly as good.
- Garlic. Just a tiny amount really makes the cream shine. You can use fresh garlic if you want, but I prefer to use granulated garlic.
- Salt. Brings out the flavor.
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How to Make Lime Crema
Making lime crema is simple and easy as 1, 2, 3!
Step 1. Add lime zest/juice, garlic, and salt to the sour cream.
Step 2. Whisk well.
Step 3. Refrigerate until it’s time to serve.
How to Use Lime Crema
Lime crema is now a must-have when I make tacos… which means I also use it on taco bowls and taco salads.
If you find yourself out of tacos (a travesty!) and not out of lime crema, here are some ideas for using what you have leftover:
- Topping for Tortilla Soup
- Sauce for Fish Sticks
- Thinned with rice vinegar (and seasoned with pepper) for a salad dressing
- Mixed with mashed avocado and thinned with rice vinegar (seasoned with pepper) for yet another salad dressing
- Mexican-style Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Sauce for more tacos (my favorite!)
Mexican Crema FAQs
The taste of Mexican Crema is slightly tangy and creamy. It tastes similar to sour cream but is more thick and rich.
Lime crema can be used in coffee! This will give your cup of coffee a rich and creamy taste. Don’t add too much, it can make your coffee too sweet!
Yes! Place your lime crema in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Also, remember that sour cream alone has a decent shelf life, and adding the lime juice helps extend it a bit more. I’ve kept this in the fridge for two weeks without issue!
More Mexican Cuisine Dishes
- Restaurant-Style Salsa
- Slow Cooker Mexican Corn and Potato Chowder
- Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
- Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Tex-Mex Migas
Watch How to Make Lime Crema
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This recipe for lime crema is so easy to make and can be used as a sauce for tacos, tortilla soup, & Mexican-style baked potatoes. You can add cilantro too!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 16 oz 1x
- Category: Sauces/Condiments
- Method: Bowl
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 16 oz sour cream
- 2 big limes, about 2 1/4″ diameter
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Empty sour cream into a small bowl and set aside.
- Roll the limes on the counter for about a minute each to loosen up the juices.
- Zest both limes, ensuring you are ONLY getting the green part of the peel and not the white part.
- Cut the limes through the middle (horizontally) and get all the juice out using a juicer.
- Add all the zest, juice, granulated garlic, and salt to the sour cream and whisk well to combine. Place in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve. Letting the lime crema sit for at least 4 hours helps the flavors meld together better, but you can enjoy it right away too.
- Store leftover lime crema in the original sour cream container and label it!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Calories: 64
Keywords: lime crema
I have loved this since the first time it was posted and make it at least once a month. I just read the entire post and some where it says to put it in coffee. Now who in their right mind would put garlic in their coffee? That would totally ruin the line creama!!!🤪
I made this tonight with no particular use in mind, I just love lime and wanted to try it. I knew if it was good I’d find a use for it. Well, I tasted it and it was through the roof delicious! Wow, the lime absolutely popped! I dug out some taco flavored chips and began dipping. Oh, no, now I’ve eaten half of the stuff. It is quite addictive, for me anyway.
I gotta say, was rather diappointed – #1, you don’t need 16 ounces. Who uses THAT MUCH? #2, it was just “okay” really and not really five star worthy. Sorry.
Kyare - Team Crumbs
Matt, I am sorry to hear that! The 16 oz suggestion is with the idea of a family using the lime crema multiple nights in a row. If the flavor was not enough and the sour cream was to much cut the sour cream to 8 oz, and put the same amount of everything else. I tend to like flavorful but soft seasoning but my husband likes strong seasoning; so this is a trick I do when making sauces or meals for him. =)
I just bought some mahi-mahi and wanted to make grilled tacos for dinner. When we eat out the restaurants serve them with a sauce but I never knew what was in it. I saw your recipe and made it (half the recipe because there’s only 2 of us,) but WOW pretty much covers the taste. Easy Peasy. Thank you.
Kyare - Team Crumbs
So glad to hear you enjoyed Tiffany’s recipe!!
This sounds amazing! How many people would you estimate this serves if using in street corn? Trying to assess the rest of the recipe (the corn part)…thank you!
Hi Jessica! I haven’t had this on corn, but if you estimate 1 Tbsp per ear, this make 32 servings (1 Tbsp = 1/2 ounce). If you allow 2 Tbsp per ear, it makes 16 servings.
Love it. Always have it in my fridge. Great with all Mexican dishes and several chicken entrees. So easy to make!
It’s taco night and I just realized I’m out of sour cream. I made this recipe with plain Greek yogurt, and it’s really good! I thought it might be too tangy, but no. I love it. (Though I guess my kid will be the ultimate judge. I might just tell her it’s a new kind of sour cream.) Thank you!
You’re very welcome Julia! I bet this would be really good with Greek yogurt!
Similarly to you Tiffany, I can’t believe I lived my whole life and didn’t know what lime Crema was? We were on a beach on Cape Cod with the kids and ordered fish tacos from the stand. The lime Crema blew my mind. Later that afternoon I had to go back for seconds. WOW
Yumm! I just made this crema for some steak lettuce wraps tonight and almost ate it all! Can’t wait to see how the flavors meld by dinner time 😋
So glad you liked this Chelsea!
I came upon your site today. I (we)are so happy that I did. I made this today for our tacos. Hubby and I really enjoy this easy and tasty recipe on our tacos.
I’m so glad you liked the lime crema Tammy!!
Yas! Making carnitas tacos for dinner tonight and wanted to add a notch of flavor. This is so simple and fresh. I tasted it and its amazing! I cannot wait to try it tonight, after the flavors have marinated, on my tacos. Yum!!
Hope you love it as much as we do Amber!
“I used a sharp knife and carefully cut the zest off and then ran my knife over the peel until it was very finely diced.”
I’m confused by this instruction of deconstructing to lime.
Aren’t the zest and peel the same thing? And “running a knife over” doesn’t sound like the act of dicing? Sound slime an act of skinning something. Can you please clarify?
Anthony – the zest and the peel are not the same thing. The zest is the colored part, so for a lime, it’s just the green. The white part is the pithe, which is very bitter. I carefully cut off just the green portion, and then minced the zest until it was teeny tiny. Hope that clarifies!
Do you happen to have any nutritional information for this recipe? How much is a serving and how many calories? Thank you!
I don’t Abby, but you can enter it into any nutritional calculator!
Tiffany, we’re having it again tonight on Mexican Monday – this time on veggie quesadillas. The kids have BEGGED for the lime crema again. Thanks!!!
Oh man, you’re welcome! What a great response from the kids!
I’ve been reading your blog for a while but have never posted. I tried this last week – I tossed it with shredded cabbage to go on top of fish tacos – absolutely delicious!!! I made it with plain yogurt instead of sour cream since that’s what I had. Total hit with my family!
Oh wonderful Julie! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, and shared your results with me!! 🙂
My 16-year-old daughter, who loves to cook, mixed this up the night you posted it to go on our tamales and nachos (it was “Mexican Monday” at our house). The kids devoured everything with the lime crema on it! My husband was the only one who didn’t care for it – but that’s because he doesn’t like anything with citrus on his food. : ) Thanks so much for the recipe – it’s a new favorite. It’ll join our homemade recipe books with so many other recipes from your blog!
This sounds yummy. I can’t eat dairy and don’t like the “fake” sour creams so I think I will try this with mayonnaise. I make your mayo all.the.time.
Ooh, I haven’t tried this with mayo! Do let me know how it turns out!! (and I’m so glad you like my mayo!)
Do you think this recipe would work with greek yogurt in place of the sour cream? It’s what I have on hand. Thanks
It might be a bit more tangy Leigh, but it should still be pretty tasty!
Yum! I will definitely be trying this. I guess I figured that citrus juice would curdle sour cream, but I’m glad to know it doesn’t. I can just imagine how delicious this is on tacos 🙂
Btw, I made your carnitas the other day and they were fantastic. Then I took the leftovers to church where there was a surprise potluck with a lot of hispanic friends, and they devoured the leftover carnita meat! I figure if the hispanics like it, it’s a winner for good reason 🙂 Thanks again for sharing the recipe!
You’re so welcome Diana! And I thought the same thing about the citrus juice and sour cream, but nope! You’re golden for a least a week. 😉 Wonderful news that the carnitas were devoured at the potluck! Glad it’s a winner!!
Using green onion instead of white onion adds nice color to the dip. I also like to use fresh garlic chives…you get the garlic flavor without all that garlic breath. Adding some finely minced jalapenos or serranos is a great way to add some heat. This dip is so versatile and easy to personalize. Thanks for this!!!!