This 5 ingredient Cilantro Lime Crema is a cool, creamy condiment, perfect for all your favorite Mexican dishes, like tacos, burritos, salads, even roasted veggies and seafood! You’ll love it with our Grilled Fish Tacos or these robustly flavored Salmon Tacos. It takes just 5 minutes to make and adds a zesty, bright flavor to any dish.
Be sure to try our Avocado Crema next, which is super thick and creamy and delicious with all the same dishes!
What Is Crema?
Mexican crema is a thick, slightly sour cream that is made from cultured heavy cream. It has a slightly tangy flavor and a smooth texture. Crema is often used as a condiment in Mexican cuisine, such as on tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. We also enjoy it as a dip for chips or veggies!
- Sour cream: We recommend full fat sour cream, as it has the richest taste and thickest consistency.
- Cilantro: Not only does this add a bright, herbaceous flavor, but it gives the Mexican crema a light green hue.
- Garlic: This adds a little zest heat to the sauce.
- Fresh lime zest and juice: To thin out the consistency, but also to brighten and round out the flavors.
- Kosher salt: To season everything!
Mayonnaise is also sometimes added to crema depending on the recipe, but we prefer sour cream only. You can play around with it and add some mayo if you like!
How To Make Cilantro Lime Crema
If making in a blender or food processor, place all cilantro lime crema ingredients in the bowl of a blender, then process until very smooth.
Otherwise, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed. No matter how you make it, it’s incredibly quick and easy!
- For a richer flavor, use whole fat sour cream.
- Use fresh lime juice! It’s so much brighter and more flavorful than the jarred variety. Plus, the fresh lime zest adds a ton of flavor too!
- For a spicier crema, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. For even more heat, add half or a whole jalapeño.
- To make a vegan version of cilantro lime crema, use vegan sour cream or a dairy-free, plant-based alternative.
- The longer it sits, the more flavors will have a chance to meld.
- Blend ingredients in a blender for smoothest texture.
Sour cream is traditional, but yes, if you’d prefer to use Greek yogurt you can. It’ll give the crema a thicker texture and a tangier flavor.
We don’t recommend that. Use fresh lime juice if you can.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Add an additional splash of lemon juice or even water, then whisk well.
Leftovers and Storage
This flavorful crema is a great sauce to have on hand during the week! It adds a lot of flavor to a variety of dishes. Be sure to store leftovers in an airtight container in a fridge. It’ll keep for up to 5 days.
If you have a little squeeze bottle, you can transfer it there to quickly add to all your fav dishes!
How To Use Cilantro Lime Crema
Cilantro crema is a delicious and versatile condiment that can be used on tacos, inside burritos or enchiladas, or even as a dip for nachos or chips. Try it on our Salmon Tacos, 20 Minute Chorizo Tacos, or these Grilled Fish Tacos.
Here are a few other ways you can serve cilantro lime crema:
- Drizzle it over grilled fish or chicken.
- Use it as a creamy salad dressing. I’m thinking this would be amazing with an eloté-inspired salad or our Mexican Cobb Salad.
- Add it to soups or stews (the same way we sometimes drizzle in a little heavy cream). Try it with this Green Chicken Chili Soup!
- Spread it on sandwiches or wraps.
- Use it as a dip for vegetables or fruits.
- Serve alongside quesadillas. Our favorite vegetarian option are these Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas!
If you make this Cilantro Lime Crema recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Cilantro Lime Crema (Fish Taco Sauce)
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- Make the cilantro lime crema. If making in a blender, place all avocado crema ingredients in the bowl of a blender, then process until very smooth. Otherwise, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. We like to keep crema in a little squeeze bottle for easy serving!
- Use fresh lime juice: It has so much more flavor than bottled!
- Sour cream: You can substitute with Greek yogurt, but the sauce will be tangier and thicker than sour cream.
Photography by Jo Harding.
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