Got lots of limes? Here are all the best lime recipes for how to use this zesty citrus, from limeade to dressing to mixed drinks.
Got limes? We’ve got recipes. This mighty citrus fruit is one of the best ingredients to add to your cooking. Almost any recipe is better with a squeeze of fresh lime juice! It brightens the flavors and adds an unmistakable zingy nuance. They’re a staple in Mexican, Latin American and Southeast Asian cuisines.
If you’ve got lots of limes, the sky’s the limit! Make homemade limeade, a sweet tart tangy treat that’s positively delightful, or whip up a margarita if you love cocktails. Lime is perfect in dressings, sauces and vinaigrettes, or make it into a main dish dinner that will feed the whole family. These are some of our favorite recipes around, so…let’s get started!
The best lime recipe for lots of limes? Limeade! This refreshing drink has a tangy pop that will make you smile. Using real limes is infinitely tastier than store-bought limeade. You use less sugar to get even more real, sweet tart flavor. The finish to the sip almost feels like you’re drinking a margarita, but it’s just limes, sugar and water. It’s a perfect drink for parties, or make a big pitcher to drink off of all week. It's delightful!
Make your limes into dinner with this cilantro lime shrimp! This lime recipe is healthy, easy to cook, and delicious: making it the triple threat of weeknight cooking. It takes only 10 minutes to make and comes out beautifully tangy and fresh! It pairs perfectly with Mexican-style flavors: serve it with rice, an avocado salad, or in tacos. Or make it into a main dish salad topped with cilantro dressing.
Another great lime recipe? Lime dressing. Every home cook should have a go-to lime vinaigrette! This recipe is ultra versatile, zingy and tangy, and goes with all sorts of salads. It works with all sorts of cuisines, from Latin-style to American. All you need is 5 minutes and 5 ingredients!
Want a healthy drink that tastes amazing? Try lime water! This drink is great as an alternative to soda that's thirst quenching and healthy at the same time. (It's also good for giving up a La Croix habit!) Lime water tastes fantastic and feels fancy, even though it takes only 5 minutes of hands on time.
Here’s a lime recipe that’s begging to be drizzled on just about anything: Cilantro Lime Crema! This Mexican-inspired sauce is perfect for dolloping on tacos and burritos. At the same time, it’s just as delicious as a dip for sweet potato fries and grilled shrimp. It’s full of zesty, herby flavor, and it’s quick and easy to mix up. Alex and I have taken to adding a little drizzle into our DIY quesadillas and it’s pretty darn heavenly.
Another great lime recipe: daiquiris! The classic daiquiri is our favorite, made with lime, rum and simple syrup. But the most popular of all daiquiris is the frozen version, which rose to fame in the 1990's. The flavor of this lime daiquiri is SO tangy and refreshing, just like the original. White rum adds a subtle fruitiness that’s irresistible. It takes just minutes to make!
Here's a fantastic lime recipe: Rice Bowls Cilantro Lime Ranch! The cilantro lime sauce is perfect for dolloping grain bowls, drizzling over tacos, and more. It’s a zingy version of ranch dressing mashed up with the Mexican flavors of lime and cilantro. Make it into a 30 minute dinner with rice and easy black beans, a trick to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes.
Here's a zingy variation on hummus: ginger lime hummus! It kicks up the hummus game with fresh, Asian-style flavors: ginger, lime, garlic, and soy sauce. This one is ultra simple: just throw 6 ingredients into a food processor and blend!
Here's a uniquely delicious lime recipe: this Spring Roll Noodle Bowl! This noodle bowl is everything that’s great about a spring roll, in bowl form. There’s the contrast of crisp veggies, tender noodles, and crunchy crushed peanuts, and an herbaceous punch from the trio of basil, cilantro and mint. And a zingy Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce infuses a gingery, citrusy goodness throughout. Honestly, we’re a little speechless with this one.
Meet your lime recipe soulmate: Crispy Avocado Tacos! Could there be a taster tortilla filling? We think not. You’ve got avocado fries, breaded with breadcrumbs and lime and baked in a hot oven until crispy, with a texture reminiscent of a fried fish taco. Then top that with spiced black beans, pico de gallo, and the refreshing crunch of romaine lettuce. Drizzle on a creamy lime and cilantro sauce, and it’s heaven on a plate. It tastes like restaurant tacos, but it’s easy to whip up in your kitchen.
Here’s a tasty lime recipe that makes any salad taste like a million bucks: Cilantro Lime dressing! This one features that classic flavor combo made into TWO dressings: a vinaigrette style dressing that’s plant-based, and a creamy cilantro dressing. It’s full of tangy flavor and zing. It’s perfect for drizzling on Latin style salads, making it a great side for tacos, enchiladas and more.
Stop right there. What's a more classic lime recipe than the margarita? This one is the best margarita recipe you’ll find: zingy, clear, and classic. It’s simple and uses only 3 ingredients. Did you know that a classic margarita doesn’t even use added sugar? So many restaurants and pre-made mixes have loads of sugar. You won’t even miss it here! This drink is perfectly tangy and balanced. Make a single drink, or a pitcher of this cocktail for a night with friends.
What's salsa without lime? Meet the best salsa, a “fresh salsa” made with ripe, juicy tomatoes. If you have access to some legit good fresh tomatoes, we recommend you consider making up a batch stat. It’s super tangy from the lime, a little sweet from the tomato, and has a back-end heat from the jalapeño. Yes, it’s everything you’d want in a fresh salsa recipe!
You can't make guacamole without lime! It uses just a bit of lime juice, but every bit is worth it. What makes this classic guacamole recipe so great? It uses classic ingredients and has the perfect balanced flavor: perfectly savory, creamy, and tangy. Serve this classic Mexican dip with tortilla chips and your guests — and you — won’t be able to stop eating it.
Last up in our lime recipes...a simple Mexican-style salad! It's a fantastic side dish for Mexican-inspired meals. Though it's not authentically Mexican, it uses Latin-style flavors: colorful veggies, cilantro lime salad dressing, and tortilla strips. It all combines into a super-flavorful dish that can be served as a side, or dressed up to work as a healthy main dish salad. It’s got 3 dressings to choose from, based on your tastes (easiest, easy and vegan).
More ways to use limes
Not sure about our top lime recipes? There are lots more ways to use this mighty citrus fruit. Here are some ideas:
Here’s how to make refreshingly tangy limeade! This homemade drink uses less sugar than store-bought and gets more real, sweet tart flavor.
1 1/4 cups lime juice (9 to 10 limes)*
1 cup granulated sugar
7 cups water, divided
Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
Juice the limes.
Add the sugar and 1 cup warm water to a large pitcher and stir until it is dissolved.
Add 6 cups cold water and lime juice. Add ice and serve.
*To make it by the glass: Squeeze 2.5 tablespoons lime juice into a glass (1 large lime or 2 small). Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Add 1 cup cold water and a handful of ice.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.