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Cilantro Lime Crema

This zesty cilantro lime crema can be used to replace sour cream on tacos and burritos! It’s a refreshing blend of sour cream, cilantro, lime and garlic and is so tasty.

Mexican crema in a glass bowl with a spoon in it.
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Cilantro Lime Crema Recipe

I love Mexican food from the fresh flavors, herbs and spices, to the tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, and of course, the toppings like pico de gallo and salsa to this delicious homemade lime crema.

You’re going to love adding this cilantro lime crema recipe to your list of easy homemade condiments to keep on hand. It’s just as refreshing and vibrant as my cilantro lime dressing but is a thicker sauce that is creamy, tangy, and zesty!

It can be used as an alternative to sour cream and the combination of cilantro and lime are the perfect finishing touch on any Taco Tuesday topping, especially these skirt steak tacos and tilapia fish tacos.

What is Crema?

In Spanish, crema is a direct translation for cream. Traditionally, it’s made with Mexican crema which requires buttermilk and cream, but because that is not always easy to find, we take a shortcut and use 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, and grilled vegetables, you name it!

Cilantro Lime Crema

This simple cilantro lime crema is so simple to make and great for storing too! It has just the right balance of a sweet and savory white sauce. Add this sauce to all your favorite recipes!

Cilantro lime crema ingredients on table.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Sour cream: This is the base of the crema sauce. It is thick and creamy.
  • Cilantro: Lemon and peppery taste makes this homemade sauce enjoy kick and flavor.
  • Lime: A zesty lime flavor adds just the right amount of tart and sweet balance.
  • Garlic clove: Balances out the flavors.
  • Salt and pepper: Just a pinch to taste!

How to Make Cilantro Lime Crema Recipe

Let the food processor or blender do all the work! Simply add all the main ingredients together and blend until smooth. It is the easiest way to make a sauce full of flavor!

  1. Blend. Combine the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest, as well as the garlic in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add in. 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.
  3. Serve. Place in a bowl and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tips for Making Cilantro Lime Crema

These tips are helpful and will help make the lima cream recipe last even longer! Follow these guidelines to make this quick and easy sauce that is the perfect consistency and flavor.

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

Recipe FAQs

What is cilantro lime crema made of?

Cilantro lime crema is made with fresh cilantro chopped into small pieces, freshly squeezed lime juice, and sour cream if you do not have Mexican crema. It is the perfect combination!

What is Mexican crema taste like?

Mexican crema has a naturally sour taste to it. It is thick and creamy. The taste and texture are very similar to sour cream or even French creme fraiche.

What is a good substitute for Mexican crema?

Mexican crema can be hard to find. Using sour cream or creme fraiche is the best substitute for it. Mexican crema is thick but can be thinned out with fresh lime juice or even water. Sour cream has a lower fat content compared to Mexican crema but has the same level of acidity.

Cilantro lime crema in clear bowl.

5 star review

“This is my new favorite sauce! I made a batch and keep putting it on EVRYTHING, so delish!”


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!

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 8 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
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 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
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

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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