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Cilantro Lime Crema

Make this refreshing, zesty cilantro lime crema made with 5 ingredients in 5 minutes, and use it to replace your everyday sour cream on everything from tacos, and burritos to salads and grilled veggies! 

Cilantro lime crema in clear bowl.
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Creamy Mexican Sauce

It’s socially acceptable to have a healthy obsession with Mexican food, right? I mean, the flavors, the herbs and spices, the tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, and of course, the toppings and sauces! From the pico de gallo and salsa to this delicious lime crema. I love it all! Especially when it’s fresh, homemade, and much more cost-effective than eating out or using store-bought.

If making delicious restaurant-quality food at home is your jam as much as it is mine, you’re going to love adding this cilantro lime crema recipe to your list of easy homemade condiments that you keep on hand. This refreshing, vibrant sauce tastes amazing on everything! It’s thick, creamy, tangy, and zesty and is the perfect finishing touch on any Taco Tuesday topping, especially these delicious skirt steak tacos or tilapia fish tacos.

If you’ve ever had my cilantro lime dressing, you’ll notice the taste is similar, but the crema has a thicker consistency. It is basically a sour cream replacement anytime you’re looking to jazz up your flavors. The combination of cilantro and lime together gives your food a pop of citrus and herb that keeps you wanting more.

What is Crema?

As you’ve probably guessed, In Spanish, crema is a direct translation for cream. Traditionally, it’s made with Mexican crema which requires buttermilk and cream, but it’s not always readily available in local grocery stores. You can of course, make your own Mexican crema, but we can also take a little shortcut to get us to where we need to be. Enter, sour cream! It’s the tangy creamy fat we need to give our cilantro lime crema its thick and rich consistency.

Crema is a sauce that can be used as a drizzle (or a pour depending on your style) on everything from tacos, enchiladas, burritos, soups, salads, grilled vegetables, you name it!

Cilantro lime crema ingredients on table.

Tips for Making Cilantro Lime Crema

  • Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream if you’d like, or you could do half and half.
  • For a spicy kick, add in some chopped jalapeno. The more seeds you add, the hotter it will be!
  • The longer this sauce sits in the fridge the more the flavors meld, so feel free to make it in advance.
  • To make a creamy avocado crema, use blended avocado as a sour cream replacement.
  • If you can get your hands on Mexican crema, go ahead and use it instead of sour cream, for an even more authentic crema!
  • It will thicken as it sits, so before using it, you might consider adding in a squeeze of lime juice to thin it out a bit.

Ways to Use it

This crema is, of course, amazing on any Mexican dish and is my first choice with southwestern egg rolls, but it definitely works for all kinds of dishes. It’s worth exploring!

Storage Suggestions

This sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. The longer the flavors sit together, the longer they infuse, and the tastier it gets!

Mexican crema in a glass bowl with a spoon in it.

Looking for more easy sauce recipes to use for taco night? Try this fish taco sauce!

More Recipes to Use it in

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Cilantro Lime Crema

5 from 5 votes
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Author: Jamielyn Nye
Make this refreshing, zesty cilantro lime crema made with 5 ingredients in 5 minutes, and use it to replace your everyday sour cream on everything from tacos, and burritos to salads and grilled veggies! 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 8


  • ½ cup sour cream , or Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime , zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic , or 1/2 teaspoon minced
  • salt & pepper , to taste


  • Combine the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and garlic in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add more cilantro and lime to taste if needed.
  • Place in a bowl and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Storage: This dip will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 5 days. 
Substitutes: You may substitute greek yogurt for sour cream (or do half and half). If you like it spicy, feel free to add in jalapeño. 


Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican

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