This delicious Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce Recipe is easy to make and delicious! Perfect for fish tacos, tacos, burritos and on salads as a dressing. It comes together quickly in under 5 minutes and is made with just 5 ingredients.
This is popular year-round and is a classic favorite for salads and tacos, burritos, power bowls and more. Better than Don Pancho and faster to make than driving to the grocery store, you'll love this recipe!
Try topping this on various salads, like our Jennifer Aniston Salad. It will really enhance the flavor.
This was inspired by my Cilantro Lime Guacamole and goes great on our Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Bowl, Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos, Black Bean Cauliflower Tacos, and our Chicken Tinga Tostadas.
Be sure to also try this Smoky Red Pepper Crema. Our avocado lime ranch dressing is also super tasty.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Quick and Easy - this recipe is very easy to make and comes together in less than 5 minutes with only 5 ingredients.
- Great For Entertaining - we love serving cilantro lime sauce on burritos, salads and tacos to guests since they are so easily customizable, and this is a great dressing to have out to go with them.
- Healthy - made with Greek yogurt and fresh ingredients it's high in protein and fresh and delicious!
- Versatile - it goes great with so many different things! Try it as a dressing on a sheet pan meal, or fajitas and chimichangas along with the regular burritos, tacos, power bowls and more.
- Gifting - it would make a fun unique gift for a neighbor, coworker or friend in a cute jar.
- Simple - made with simple ingredients that are easy to find, and thrown into a blender for a few minutes, it doesn't get much simpler than that!
Crema is a delicious Mexican sour cream replacement, usually quite runny and not nearly as thick as sour cream. It can be made a lot of different ways. Usually the base is made from buttermilk and heavy cream, but can be made from other things like sour cream, mayonnaise, avocado or like we are doing in this recipe: plain greek yogurt. If you don't have plain Greek Yogurt, check out my substitutions below for other ways to make it. Cilantro Lime Crema is our favorite version of Mexican Crema.
Honestly, I love this recipe and have been making it for over a decade. We love Costa Vida and Cafe Rio and this mixed with a little ranch on a salad brings me straight back to memories of going to those places with friends and family.
- cilantro- for this recipe to turn out, you must use fresh cilantro.
- lime juice- fresh squeezed has more flavor, but we regularly use bottled when we're out of fresh limes.
- garlic- we recommend fresh or minced, however garlic powder (use ⅓ the amount) will work in a pinch.
- Greek yogurt- we love this with greek yogurt. It's full of protein and gives it a delicious tang. However, you can feel free to switch all of the yogurt or half of the yogurt with any combination of sour cream and mayonnaise.
- salt- we used regular table salt. Different salts have different levels of saltiness. If using a different kind of salt, adjust accordingly.
See recipe card for quantities.
1. Place Greek yogurt in the bottom of a blender cup. Chop cilantro, if desired. You absolutely don't need to chop the cilantro first, but you can.
2. Add the cilantro and pour in the lime juice into the blender cup.
3. Add the garlic and the salt to the blender cup. We recommend fresh or minced garlic for the best flavor.
4. Blend until smooth. Depending on your blender, this should take anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes. Pour into a jar or salad dressing container and serve!
Hint: The longer the sauce sits in the refrigerator the more the flavors combine and intensify, so this is a great one to make ahead of time.
- Sour Cream - we love Greek yogurt for it's protein and probiotics, but this is also delicious made with sour cream. Feel free to substitute all of it or even just half with sour cream.
- Mayonnaise - while we don't recommend substituting all of the yogurt for mayonnaise, a lot of people enjoy substituting about 2 Tablespoons of the Greek Yogurt with mayonnaise. This can also be used in conjunction with the sour cream substitute.
- Vegan- this can easily be made vegan by using plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt.
- Avocado Crema - substitute half of the yogurt for avocado for a yummy avocado version.
- Mexican Crema - you can substitute all of the yogurt for Mexica Crema, just be warned that it will be a little runnier.
- Spicy Cilantro Lime Crema - add jalapeños to make it spicy and delicious! We love it with a whole jalapeno. Leave part or all of the seeds in for more spice.
- Less Cilantro - if you don't like a robust cilantro flavor, make it using half the cilantro called for.
- Avocado- Try our Avocado Crema for another smooth green sauce.
What To Eat It With
- Tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, chimichangas, taquitos, etc
- Salads and Veggies - the crema is great on a salad, especially a taco salad or salad with beans/ sweet potatoes, etc. It's also great to use as a dip for veggies.
- Power Bowls/ Quinoa Bowls - we love this on power bowls as a dressing! It's so yummy!
- Soup - drizzle some on taco soup or enchilada soup for a yummy, creamy topping.
- Meats - I love using it as a dip for grilled chicken or on other meats that need a little boost in flavor.
- Ninja Blender or other blender, preferably with a cup attachment
Store in the refrigerator in a jar, dressing container or other airtight container for up to 2 weeks. It will separate as it sits, but is still delicious. Just give it a little shake to mix it up and enjoy!
Make sure you blend long enough to get all the little pieces chopped so that it's nice and smooth.
Gather ingredients: plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream and mayo), fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt and garlic. Mix in a blender until smooth. Serve cold.
Chop fresh cilantro and fresh garlic. Throw in a blender with sour cream or Greek yogurt, lime juice and salt. Blend on high power until smooth then store in the refrigerator.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce
- 1 Blender
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt I use nonfat, but any will do. May also use sour cream or mayo, see notes below.
- 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro packed
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed for best results
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon minced garlic or ¼ clove fresh garlic
- Chop cilantro. You don't technically need to chop the cilantro, but it helps!
- Place all ingredients in a smoothie blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until everything is pureed. If you don't have a smoothie blender, use a full size blender- we recommend making a double batch if this is the case so that it blends well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate.
- Store in the refrigerator. The longer it sits the more the flavors permeate. If it starts to separate, just give it a stir.
- You may substitute sour cream and/or mayo in this recipe. Our favorite variation is ¼ cup greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons sour cream and 2 Tablespoons mayo. You may use all sour cream, half sour cream, half mayo or any combination of the 3 ingredients. All mayo is not recommended.
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
My family loves this Cilantro Lime Crema recipe. It's so easy to make and is so delicious. We especially love it with sweet potato black bean dishes, but we'll put it on tacos, burritos, tostadas and salads too.