Cilantro lime crema will become one of your favorite salsas to drizzle over tacos, nachos or burritos!
Bored with sour cream and Greek yogurt? Bring some spiciness and flavor into your food with this delicious crema salsa. Inspired by the traditional Mexican crema, this version is tangy, refreshing, creamy, and heavenly.
Serve it with almost anything, and it will taste just right. It is easy to make and easier to store, making it a compulsory item for everyday use.
The best thing about cilantro lime crema is that it is very straightforward to make. The ingredients are pretty simple and always available in every kitchen pantry, but in case they won’t, let me tell you how to replace them:
- Mexican Crema: Set the base for this delicious sauce with Mexican crema. However, you can also substitute it with sour cream, Greek yogurt, or even avocado.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise adds creaminess to the sauce but you can easily leave it out if you want a healthier version.
- Serrano peppers: Serrano adds spice and heat to the sauce. However, if you are looking for a mild-spicy pepper, you can use jalapeno or bell pepper. And, if you are looking for a spicier substitute, add habanero pepper!
- Cilantro: Cilantro is the hero of this sauce. It brings in freshness and a subtle green hue. If you can’t find cilantro where you live, replace it with coriander seeds and add a few leaves of parsley for color.
- Lime: Lime juice is ideal for the citrusy and tangy flavor. Use lemon instead of you don’t have limes at home.
- Garlic: Garlic brings in a deep savory flavor to the sauce. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh clove.
- Milk: You can use milk to adjust the consistency of the sauce. The more you add, the runny the salsa will be.
- Seasonings: Season it with salt and pepper as per your taste.
Vegan and dairy- free version
If you are looking for a vegan or dairy-free version, here is what you have to do:
- Use plant-based sour cream instead of Mexican crema, coconut cream works fine.
- Use avocado instead of mayonnaise, or a vegan-mayo brand you prefer.
- Use plant-based milk like coconut milk instead of dairy milk. It adds creaminess to the sauce.
What to serve cilantro lime crema with?
This delicious, refreshing crema tastes divine, and you can’t stop yourself from eating it with a spoon. However, it is not the only way to enjoy this sauce. You can serve it with:
- Tacos: Drizzle this sauce on top of those potato tacos and enjoy the freshness and tanginess it brings.
- Salad: This sauce serves as a perfect dressing on your salad. For example, this macaroni jalapeno pasta salad.
- Burritos: Use this sauce as a spread inside a chicken & rice burrito. Its creaminess is all you want.
- Roasted vegetables: Serve it alongside herb-roasted vegetables, like those Italian veggies au gratin.
- Fried chicken: Dip fried chicken, chicken wings or those pizza balls into this sauce and enjoy.
- Soup: Spoon the sauce on soups. Its creamy texture and refreshing flavor will complement every soup! We love it with this caldo de queso!
How to store cilantro lime crema?
You can store cilantro lime crema in an air-tight jar by placing it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to five days. However, the crema gets thick in the refrigerator, and when using it, you can give it a touch by adding a splash of milk to adjust its consistency.
Furthermore, you can also store it in the freezer. Add the crema in ice cubes, and freeze. Once it turns solid, remove it from the ice tray and place the cubes in a zip lock bag. Freeze for up to three months.
Cilantro Lime Crema
- 1 small handful of cilantro (about ⅓ cup chopped)
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper (seeded and chopped)
- ½ cup Mexican crema (or greek yogurt, or sour cream)
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove (peeled)
- 1 lime (juice)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup milk (optional, read notes)
- Place garlic, serrano/jalapeno pepper, cilantro and lime juice into a food processor. Blend until ingredients are chopped finelly.
- Add cream, mayonnaise and milk. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then pulse to combine everything.
- Transfer to a container and adjust with salt and pepper.
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