Fresh and tangy cilantro lime crema is a delicious and tasty alternative to plain sour cream! A simple blend of mayonnaise, cilantro, sour cream, and lime turns into a zesty sauce that can be added to almost anything!
All of the authentic and zesty flavors in this Cilantro Lime Crema will add noticeable flavors to almost any meal. It’s easy to make and stores perfectly in the fridge. All you need to do is blend cilantro, lime, sour cream, and mayo together, and you’re done!
Set a few minutes aside and blend a batch of this creamy tangy sauce together so you can always have some at the ready. Use it wherever you would add plain sour cream or Mexican crema, like on tacos or in enchiladas and burritos.
What Is Crema?
Crema can take many forms. This Mexican sour cream replacement can be flavored with lime, cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, garlic, or with a variety of spices. The base of Mexican crema is traditionally made with buttermilk and heavy cream, but this can be changed for Greek yogurt, sour cream, avocado, or even mayonnaise.
- Sour cream and mayonnaise: This is the base of the crema. Both will help the sauce taste a little tangy yet creamiest.
- Cilantro: For brightness and amazing flavors. It’ll also give the crema a light green hue.
- Lime: Both the lime juice and zest give the sauce a hit of citrus flavor that pairs well with the cilantro.
- Garlic: For a delicious savory bite.
- Kosher salt: This will help bring out all of the flavors! Make sure not to forget the salt.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Crema
- Add all of your ingredients into a bowl of a food processor or blender. No need to chop the cilantro or garlic! Blend everything until it’s super smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a jar or squeeze bottle. Serve it immediately, or refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
- Leave the sauce in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before serving. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will mingle and get to know each other. This helps the crema taste even better than if you were to enjoy it as soon as it’s ready!
- The crema will naturally thicken in the fridge, so feel free to mix in a splash of lime juice or a teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
variations and Substitutions
- Add a few slices of jalapeño or serrano peppers and blend them into the sauce to add some heat. Leave the seeds in for extra spice.
- Make it vegan by using a plant-based sour cream and mayonnaise alternative.
- Need something a little lighter? Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. The yogurt is nice and light while still giving the sauce a tangy taste and added protein.
- Replace the sour cream and mayonnaise with Mexican crema. If you do this, only add half the amount of lime juice.
- You can also use 1/4 of an avocado instead of mayonnaise. It is still super creamy, and it blends beautifully.
How to Use Cilantro Lime Crema
There are endless ways to enjoy this cilantro lime crema. Here are a few suggestions:
- On top of tacos: The flavors in the sauce will add some zest to Baja fish tacos, grilled shrimp tacos, and carne asada tacos.
- In burritos and enchiladas: Add it to layers of protein, veggies, and cheese in breakfast burritos, bean and cheese burritos, and chicken enchiladas.
- In salads: This crema also acts as a great creamy salad dressing! Try it on this Southwest chicken salad, grilled romaine salad, or on a simple green salad.
- As a dip: Use the crema as a dipping sauce for baked chicken wings, chicken taquitos, or flautas.
- On soups: Spoon some on top of slow cooker taco soup, black bean soup, or chicken tortilla soup.
- With veggies: Give your sauteed peppers or Mexican street corn a hit of flavor by mixing in some cilantro lime crema.
- Food processor or small blender. For blending the sauce and getting the perfect smooth texture.
- Glass jars. I love these containers for storing sauces and other condiments.
- Zester. To zest the lime for a more intense citrus flavor.
Cilantro lime crema can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.