Crema de Cilantro | Fresh and Flavorful Lime Crema Recipe

LAST UPDATED: Feb 11, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Feb 10, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Crema de cilantro is an easy-to-make topping for all of your favorite Mexican dishes. Made with just three ingredients, this cilantro and lime crema comes together quickly and easily and is a great way to add a fresh flavor to any fiesta-inspired foods. Bonus? It doubles as a vegetarian, gluten-free and low carb dip.

White surface with a bowl of crema de cilantro with a few cilantro leaves on top.

Mexican food is all about the toppings for me! Whenever we make tacos, burritos or enchiladas I like to go all out on the topping additions and sides. This crema de cilantro is perfect to serve alongside your other favorites like Zesty GuacamoleChipotle Corn Salsa and Creamy Jalapeño Dip.

It’s also the perfect topping for my delicious chicken over rice fajita bowls

Crema de Cilantro Ingredients

You just need three ingredients to make this wonderful fresh and zingy sauce.

  • Sour Cream: Sour cream is the base for this crema and it adds a cooling creaminess to your spicy dishes. I prefer to use a full fat sour cream as it’s much richer, but you can use low fat if you prefer.
  • Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro for this Mexican condiment for the best flavor. De-stem the cilantro before finely chopping it.
  • Lime Juice: Use fresh lime juice for the brightest and best flavors. If you are in a pinch, you can use bottled lime juice but I much prefer it freshly squeezed.

White surface with whole limes, bowl of cilantro and bowl of sour cream.

How to Make Lime Crema

It takes less than five minutes to whip up a batch of this delicious lime crema for all your topping needs!

  1. Combine – combine all ingredients in a food processor.White kitchen with a food processor filled with lime cilantro crema mixture.
  2. Pulse – pulse until smooth.White kitchen with a food processor filled with lime crema mixture.

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there! 

White surface with whole limes, bowl of cilantro and bowl of sour cream.

What Do You Serve Cilantro Crema With?

There isn’t a Mexican main course or snack that I’ve found that doesn’t work with this fresh and creamy sauce. It’s even great all by itself with some tortilla chips to dip! Try it on top of:

A white marble surface with a single lime, and a bowl of lime crema to the side.

How Long Does Crema de Cilantro keep? 

Once you have made this cilantro crema, transfer it to an airtight container or to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Before serving, give it a stir and you are good to go. If you are hosting a crowd, I love serving up a taco bar for guests with meats and all the toppings so that they can build their own!

White surface with a bowl of cilantro crema with a few cilantro leaves on top.

Why Use Lime Crema On Mexican Food?

Mexican foods can be really rich and a little spicy, so a fresh creamy topping helps to break down the richness and balance out each bite.

The lime in the crema cuts through the fats and the creamy sour cream can help to cool down those spices. The cilantro adds a wonderful freshness. It’s such an easy topping that really makes a difference!

White surface with whole limes, bowl of cilantro and bowl of sour cream.

Top Tips To Make Crema de Cilantro

  1. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make this crema de cilantro by hand. Be sure to chop the cilantro as finely as you can so you don’t have any chunks (or too many stems) and then combine everything very well in a bowl with a spoon or whisk.
  2. So much of the flavor comes from the lime and cilantro, so use the freshest you can. 
  3. To make this lime crema vegan, simply swap the sour cream for a dairy-free variety.

White surface with a bowl of crema de cilantro with a few cilantro leaves on top.

More Mexican Recipes:

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White surface with a bowl of crema de cilantro with a few cilantro leaves on top.

Crema de Cilantro

This deliciously thick crema de cilantro is the perfect topping for burritos, tacos, enchiladas and soups. Easy to make and vegetarian and gluten free.
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Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings (hover to scale): 4 servings
Calories: 113kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro de stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or juice of 4 limes

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor.
  • Pulse until smooth and use to top your favorite Mexican dishes.

Notes

  1. If you don't have a food processor, you can make this crema by hand. Be sure to chop the cilantro as finely as you can so you don't have any chunks and then really well combine everything in a bowl with a spoon or whisk.
  2. So much of the flavor comes from the lime and cilantro, so use the freshest you can. 
  3. To make this crema vegan, swap the sour cream for a dairy-free variety.

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg
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