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Tangy, rich Lime Crema is made in just 5 minutes with 4 simple ingredients. It’s the ideal sauce for your Mexican food favorites like tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas and grilled meats. It even makes a great salad dressing!

Lime Crema served in a white bowl and photographed from above.

Making this recipe at home means that you can adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. Not bright enough? Add more citrus flavor with fresh lime juice and zest. Not enough heat? Add more garlic. Use this basic formula as a starting point and adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.

Ingredients You Need to Make Lime Crema

Lime Crema Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Sour Cream: or Mexican crema or crème fraiche
  • Lime: juice and zest of a fresh lime
  • Garlic: fresh garlic clove
  • Kosher Salt: or half the amount of fine sea salt

I’ve called for sour cream in this recipe, because it’s so readily available in the United States. But this creamy sauce is also delicious made with Mexican crema, which you can find in many grocery stores in the refrigerated dairy section. (The same goes for my reader-favorites Chipotle Crema and Cilantro Lime Crema.)

What is Mexican crema?

A combination of heavy cream and buttermillk, Mexican crema is used as a topping to drizzle over all kinds of foods and to stir into sauces to add creaminess. It’s similar to French crème fraiche in consistency and flavor, but thinner and tangier than American sour cream.

Lime Crema served in a white bowl topped with lime zest.

Recipe Options

  • Stir in chopped, fresh cilantro for added flavor depth.
  • Add a spicy kick with minced jalapeño peppers or several dashes of hot sauce.
  • Add a spoonful to my Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette to make a creamy, tangy dressing.

What do you eat Lime Crema with?

While you have endless options, here are some suggestions:

How to Make Lime Crema

Whisk together sour cream, lime juice and zest, and garlic; season with salt to taste and serve.

Lime Crema

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 29
Servings: 16 tablespoons
A tangy, creamy and versatile sauce to drizzle onto all of your favorite Mexican dishes!


  • 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 large lime)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest or more to taste
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste


  • In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth: sour cream (or Mexican crema), lime juice and zest, garlic, and kosher salt. Set aside (refrigerate if making well ahead of time). Serve as desired.


  1. Feel free to adjust amounts of lime juice and garlic to suit your taste.
  2. Makes about 8 2-tablespoon servings. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoy within 5 days.


Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.02mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    I made fresh crema a couple of times, and while it turned out well – it was a bit of a process. I love using sour cream as a quick starter here. And the lime addition would go so well with Mexican flavors, too!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I know what you mean, David! This version is quick and easy for sure.

  2. angiesrecipes says:

    I love to add herbs and lime zest to my creme fraiche or sour cream and of course with lots of GARLIC :-))

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Such a delicious combo! Thanks, Angie.