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This Cilantro Lime Sauce is chalked full of fresh cilantro, squeezed lime juice, spicy jalapeño, and cool, creamy sour cream. It's so much more flavorful than any creamy sauce you can purchase at the grocery store and requires just a handful of ingredients to prepare. Have it ready in 5 minutes flat! 

Bowl of creamy cilantro lime sauce.

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Why You'll Love This Delicious Sauce

  • It's made with simple ingredients. ​Just like my Avocado Crema, this creamy cilantro sauce only requires 6 ingredients. 
  • Perfect complement for Mexican food. It's the perfect zesty, flavor boost on tacos, burritos, different types of salad, and more. 
  • Ready in 5 minutes. Make this easy sauce for a quick Sunday meal prep or whip it together right before taco night for a last-minute sauce. 

Ingredients 

Ingredients you'll need for cilantro lime sauce.
  • Cilantro: For this recipe, you'll need fresh cilantro. Feel free to use both the cilantro leaves and cilantro stems. Cilantro stems will add a stronger, herbaceous flavor. 
  • Jalapeño: I used 1 jalapeño with the seeds and ribs removed. If you prefer a spicier creamy lime sauce, keep the seeds and ribs in the sauce. Alternatively, if you prefer a milder sauce, start with just 1/4-1/2 of a jalapeño and increase to taste. 
  • Lime juice: For the best lime flavor, use fresh lime juice. Pre-bottled lime juice is pasteurized, which degrades the flavor and aroma of the lime juice. Fresh limes are so affordable (often $0.30 or less each!) and well worth the extra work. Additionally, if you love the tangy lime flavor, add 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lime zest.  
  • Sour cream: I always use plant-based sour cream, but if you eat dairy, this recipe will work with dairy-based sour creams. Dairy-free sour creams can be very expensive compared to the dairy-based counterparts, but if you are looking for an affordable plant-based option, try my Cashew Sour Cream. It can be made with cashew pieces (which tend to be much cheaper than whole cashews) to help cut costs! 

How to Make Cilantro Lime Sauce

Cilantro and jalapeño in food processor before pulsing.
Cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño after pulsing.
  1. Pulse the cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice together. Using a large cup food processor, pulse together the cilantro jalapeño, and lime juice until the cilantro and jalapeño are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as needed.
Consistency after blending.
Consistency after blending.
  1. Add the sour cream, kosher salt, and onion powder. Pulse again until well combined, then serve immediately or chill until ready to use.

How to Use Cilantro Lime Sauce 

The best part about this homemade creamy sauce is it can be drizzled on just about anything savory for an extra boost of flavor. I typically use it most often spread on Vegan Tortas and dipping Black Bean Tacos in, but there are tons of other uses for it. Try one of these fun ideas:

Creamy sauce in a bowl with a spoon.

Storage Instructions

This delicious dressing will keep best in an airtight glass jar such as a mason jar for up to 5 days. 

Recipe FAQs

Why is my cilantro dressing bitter?

​The biggest cause of bitterness in this cilantro-lime sauce is over-processing the cilantro. This can cause the cilantro to release bitter compounds that are bitter to taste. To avoid this, pulse until finely chopped. 

I don't have a food processor. Can I make this dressing with a high-powered blender?

Yes, I find it easier to make this creamy cilantro lime sauce recipe in a food processor because it does not contain much liquid. If you have a blender with a very narrow base, it may work in your blender. Alternatively, you can very finely chop the fresh cilantro and jalapeño with a sharp knife and cutting board, then combine it with the sour cream and lime juice in a bowl.

​Can I freeze this creamy cilantro sauce?

This homemade sauce can be frozen in an airtight container or glass jar, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if it can be avoided. Both coconut sour cream and dairy sour cream changes texture upon thawing, often becoming grainy and separating.

If your sauce is going to go bad before you can use it up, I would freeze it and upon thawing, repulse it in the food processor to make it as creamy as possible again. 

Is this cilantro lime sauce gluten-free?

​This creamy sauce is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan (when made with dairy-free sour cream). It's suitable for a paleo diet, vegan diet, Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet, and more! 

Can I make this sauce with yogurt?

If you don't have sour cream, it can be replaced with plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt (either dairy-free or not). If you prefer thicker, creamier, healthy sauces, use plain greek yogurt. 

Sauce in a bowl on a spoon.

More Homemade Dressings and Sauce Recipes To Try

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5-Minute Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cost: $2.14 per recipe / $0.54 per serving
This Cilantro Lime Sauce is chalked full of fresh cilantro, squeezed lime juice, spicy jalapeño, and cool, creamy sour cream. It's so much more flavorful than any creamy sauce you can purchase at the grocery store and requires just a handful of ingredients to prepare. Have it ready in 5 minutes flat!

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup cilantro leaves stems can be used ($0.24)
  • 1 jalapeno roughly chopped, remove seeds and ribs for less heat ($0.33)
  • 2 limes juiced ($0.66)
  • ½ cup sour cream regular or dairy-free ($0.86)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt ($0.02)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder ($0.03)

Instructions

  • Add cilantro leaves, jalapeno, and lime juice to a food processor. Blend on low until finely chopped, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Add vegan sour cream, kosher salt, and onion powder. Pulse again until well combined.
Last step!Please consider Leaving a review + commenting letting me know how you liked this recipe!

Notes

  • This recipe makes 1 cup and a serving is about 2 tablespoons. If you want to use more sauce (I regularly do) or are feeding more people, double the recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 434mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course Sauces and Dips
Cuisine Mexican-American

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5 from 1 vote

Photography by: Your Home, Made Healthy

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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