Lusciously creamy, rich and tangy, this Lime Crema recipe is easy to make, requires only 4 ingredients and no cooking is involved! Drizzle, dip or dollop Lime Crema to add wonderful flavor to tacos, soups, salads and all your southwest and Tex-Mex recipes!
Lime Crema is one of those recipes that is so easy to make that is almost silly to actually write a recipe for it.
Just when you thought that Mexican crema or sour cream was an amazing addition to your favorite dishes (and it is!), you realize that lime crema is significantly better in every way!
Lime crema awakens the taste buds to new levels of delicious, bringing a tangy, fresh taste that can shine through the heaviest and spiciest of dishes. The smooth and creamy texture only adds to its richness and pairs perfectly with tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas and so much more.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Only 4 ingredients: Simple ingredients that are easy to find. Crema, lime, garlic and cilantro.
- No cook recipe: A recipe that doesn’t require the use of a stove, oven, any major appliance or gadget is a winner in my book!
- Make Ahead: Lime crema can be made ahead of time and is an excellent choice for meal planning. Keep it stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use.
What Is Crema
Mexican crema aka crema Mexicana is a smooth, rich and slightly tangy condiment popular in Mexican cuisine. Thinner and less sour than American sour cream and not as rich and decadent as French crème fraîche, crema Mexican taste is very much like a combination of both.
Crema is usually drizzled or dolloped over tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc. and adds a rich, creamy and cooling element to spicy foods.
Lime Crema Ingredients
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you need to make this recipe. For specific quantities, please check the recipe card below.
- Sour Cream or Mexican Crema: I most often make this recipe with sour cream as crema is not an ingredient I can easily find in my area. You can also use Crème fraîche and lastly plain Greek yogurt.
- Lime: Both lime juice and zest are used in this recipe. Nothing compares to the fresh citrus flavor of real limes.
- Garlic: A small amount of garlic (one clove) adds a great taste to lime crema.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds so much flavor and a beautiful green color to this sauce.
How To Make Lime Crema
- Zest and juice the lime. You will need approximately 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon of zest; however, don’t stress over the amounts. They don’t need to be exact.
- Combine the sour cream, minced garlic, lime juice, lime zest and chopped cilantro in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste. You can serve the sauce immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
You have questions? We have answers!
What is lime crema made of?
Lime crema is made with 4 simple ingredients. Sour cream or Mexican crema, lime juice and zest, minced garlic and chopped cilantro.
What is Mexican crema made of?
You can make homemade Mexican crema by combining sour cream with heavy cream or buttermilk.
What’s the difference between sour cream and Mexican crema?
Crema has a higher fat content than sour cream. Crema is also thinner and less sour than sour cream.
Making Ahead and Storing
- Make Ahead: This rich and creamy sauce can be made ahead of time. Transfer the lime crema to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
- Storing: Lime crema can be served immediately after it is made although I like to leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving it. During this time, the flavors meld together and the sauce gets a bit thicker which is wonderful in my opinion. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Lime Crema Variations
- Spice it up: Spice up your crema by adding chopped fresh serrano or jalapeño peppers or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
- Smoky and Spicy: Stir in a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for a bit of a smoky heat. I love adding some of the adobo sauce as well.
- Light: Instead of sour cream, use plain Greek yogurt.
- Make it Dairy Free and Vegan: Use vegan sour cream as the sauce base.
- Extra Creamy and Extra Thick: Blend together all the ingredients with one half of a small ripe avocado.
Ways To Use Lime Crema
Lime crema can be used in countless ways and pairs well with many dishes (not just with Mexican recipes). Here are a few suggestions:
- Add a swirl of lime crema into your favorite soup to add a touch of richness and fresh taste. Try it in this hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup and in this Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes.
- Drizzle it over tacos! This sauce is especially delicious over fish tacos.
- Use it to dip chicken wings or taquitos.
- Cool off spicy dishes with a dollop of this rich crema. We love it on Camarones a la Diabla or spicy Diablo shrimp.
- Add a dollop of crema to your favorite salad or to carnitas or tequila lime chicken.
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- 8 ounces sour cream or Mexican crema
- 1 fresh lime
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (optional)
- Zest and juice the lime. You will need approximately 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon of lime zest; however, the amounts don’t need to be exact.
- Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir everything together until well combined and creamy. Serve or place in the refrigerator covered until ready to serve.
- This recipe yields about 1 cup or 8 servings (2 tablespoons per serving).
- Lime crema will keep, stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for a week.