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This lime crema recipe is quick and zesty, with a big citrus flavor! Use it for dolloping tacos, bowl meals, and more.

Lime Crema
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Here’s a quick and simple sauce that adds a zing to everything it touches: Lime Crema! This Mexican-inspired sauce requires just 4 ingredients and a few minutes to whip up: no blender needed.

That’s right: just throw it together with a bowl and a spoon! This is a new favorite way to garnish tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and burrito bowls because it’s so simple and full of flavor. In fact, I may have used the word “obsessed” to describe my relationship with this one. Here’s how it’s done!

Ingredients in this lime crema recipe

Crema is a thickened cream often used in traditional Mexican cuisine to dollop over soups, tacos, burritos, enchiladas. Traditionally, a lime crema would be made with actual Mexican crema. But this type of sauce can also be made with sour cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise. This recipe takes inspiration from the rich cultural food tradition of this Mexican sauce, providing variations using three types of dairy.

We love this lime crema recipe even more than cilantro lime crema because you don’t need a blender for the cilantro! It’s slicker and cleaner. You’ll simply mix the following ingredients together in a bowl:

  • Sour cream or Mexican crema (or Greek yogurt and mayonnaise)
  • Lime juice and lime zest
  • Garlic
  • Salt

Want more types of crema? Try Avocado Crema, Cilantro Lime Crema, or Chipotle Crema.

About traditional Mexican crema

Mexican crema is a thickened cream often used in traditional Mexican cuisine. Creamy and slightly tangy, it falls somewhere between American sour cream and French crème fraîche. It’s richer than sour cream because it has a higher fat content.

You can find Mexican crema at the grocery store: look near the sour cream and creme fraiche. But it’s sometimes hard to find, so you can also make your own Mexican crema! It’s a fun kitchen DIY that takes 48 hours to thicken. Go to How to Make Mexican Crema.

Lime Crema

Crema base variations

The easiest way to make this lime crema is with sour cream, which makes a rich, creamy sauce. Another option is a bit lighter: you can use a combination of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. The Greek yogurt lightens up the calories while the mayonnaise adds richness in flavor. (This is the key behind our Green Goddess Dressing and Ranch Dip.) For this recipe you can use:

  • 1 cup sour cream, or
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt and ¼ cup mayonnaise
Lime Crema Recipe

Ways to serve lime crema

This lime crema is a great back-pocket recipe because it’s so simple and requires only a handful of ingredients. When we make tacos, the sauce sometimes comes as an afterthought: and we need something quick and easy so we can sit down and eat our meal! That’s where this lime crema comes in. It’s great on:

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

This lime crema recipe is easy to whip up in advance! Store leftovers for up to 2 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container. Then use for meals throughout the week!

More lime recipes

Got a few limes around? Use them to make these tasty lime recipes:

Dietary notes

This lime crema recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

Frequently asked questions

What exactly is lime crema?

Lime crema is a creamy, zesty sauce popular in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. Think of it as the delicious upgrade to regular sour cream, infused with bright lime flavor and often a hint of garlic.

How is lime crema different from Mexican crema?

Traditional Mexican crema is made from a base of heavy cream and buttermilk. While lime crema can include those ingredients, the most common recipes use a combination of sour cream and sometimes mayonnaise for a similar tangy, rich texture.

What foods pair well with lime crema?

Tacos: All types, especially fish or shrimp tacos
Nachos: Adds creamy freshness
Enchiladas: Drizzle over the top for an extra layer of flavor
Soups: Swirl into black bean soup or chili
Grilled Veggies: A bright dipping sauce
Salads: Use as a tangy dressing alternative

Can I customize my lime crema recipe?

Definitely! Here are a few tasty variations:
Spicy: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce.
Herby: Stir in chopped cilantro.
Creamier: Add a dollop of mayonnaise for extra richness.

How long does lime crema last?

Lime crema keeps well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Lime crema

Easy Lime Crema

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


This lime crema recipe is quick and zesty, with a big citrus flavor! Use it for dolloping tacos, bowl meals, and more.


  • 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema (or ¾ cup Greek yogurt plus ¼ cup mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus the zest of ½ lime
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!