Cilantro lime sauce is a versatile condiment packed with fresh herbs, creamy Greek yogurt, and vibrant citrus flavors. It’s ready in less than 5 minutes and couldn’t be easier to put together! Serve it with chips, drizzled over tacos, burrito bowls, and more.
Cilantro lime sauce is a bright, zesty, and flavorful recipe that can be paired with tacos, rice bowls, grilled proteins, salads, veggies. and more. It's especially delicious with Mexican-inspired dishes so this sauce has been a staple in our house and I find myself making it weekly.
It features fresh cilantro, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and garlic. Each spoonful is bursting with refreshing, tangy, and zesty notes along with an ultra-rich texture.
The best part about this sauce is how simple it is to make! All you have to do is add everything to the blender and wait for about a minute.
With its bright green color and creamy mouthfeel, it’s great for adding to chicken tacos, fish taco bowls, or vegetable fajitas. You can even serve it as a dip with veggie sticks, tortilla chips, and more.
Why You’ll Love Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Quick: Cilantro lime sauce is one of the quickest recipes you’ll ever make! The whole thing takes 5 minutes from start to finish.
- Easy: All you need is a few simple ingredients and a blender to make a condiment that will liven up any meal it’s added to.
- Customizable: Feel free to thicken it up or make it thinner. Add extra spices, herbs, or anything you want to make it suit your taste.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need for this delicious sauce.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro creates a beautiful green sauce color, and it imparts zesty, citrusy, and peppery notes. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try fresh basil or parsley instead.
- Greek yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt adds a cool, creamy, and refreshing flavor. You can also use regular yogurt or Mexican crema for a thinner consistency, or try sour cream or mayonnaise for an extra indulgent sauce.
- Lime juice: We always prefer freshly squeezed lime juice over lime juice from a bottle. It’s tangy, slightly sweet, and zesty. Lemon juice or vinegar will work in a pinch.
- Olive oil: Provides a rich flavor to the sauce. You can also use avocado oil, or leave it out for an oil-free version.
- Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness, balancing the tang and zest of the other ingredients. If you don’t have honey on hand, agave also works.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are best here! You can use garlic powder, but make sure to reduce the amount you add.
- Seasonings: Keep the spices simple with just cumin, salt, and pepper. This combination gives the sauce a touch of earthy, warming, and spiced notes.
How to Use Cilantro Lime Sauce
The vibrant, zesty, and herbaceous flavors of cilantro lime sauce make it the perfect condiment on tacos. These are some of our favorite ideas:
- Fish tacos: Serve it with baja fish tacos, shrimp tacos, salmon tacos, or blackened fish tacos.
- Beef: For a hearty option, go for blackened steak tacos or ground beef tacos.
- Chicken: Try your cilantro lime sauce on chicken tinga tacos, crispy chicken tacos, or chicken street tacos.
- Vegetarian: For a meat-free option, try mushroom tacos or zucchini tacos.
In addition to tacos, cilantro lime sauce goes well on southwest chicken bowls (featured above) burrito bowls, or grilled chicken breast. It also pairs well with other condiments like pickled onions and tastes great as a dip for chips, veggies, and more.
Storage and Leftovers
Whether you're making cilantro lime sauce ahead of time or have leftovers, just follow these storage tips:
- Fridge: Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 6 days. Stir it well before using it again since the ingredients may separate slightly.
- Freezer: Although the consistency may change a little once thawed, you can freeze it for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or jar.
- Prep ahead: We find the flavors meld together better once the sauce is chilled. You can make it the day before serving it for a more balanced sauce. Just keep it in the fridge!
Variations and Recipe Ideas
Once you start making this sauce, it’s easy to mix things up and make it your own.
- Spicy: For extra heat, add diced serranos, pickled jalapeños, or red pepper flakes.
- Vegan: Use dairy-free Greek yogurt instead of regular Greek yogurt for a vegan option.
- Herbs: Try adding in additional herbs like basil, mint, parsley, and oregano to add extra layers of flavor.
- Spices: In place of (or in addition to) cumin, experiment with coriander, paprika, onion powder, or ancho chili powder to see what you like best.
Tips for Making Cilantro Lime Sauce
Follow these tips to make sure your sauce turns out delicious every time.
- Use fresh ingredients: Fresh cilantro and lime are necessary to achieve the best flavors.
- Quality olive oil: Opt for high-quality olive oil since it makes up a good portion of the sauce.
- Chill before serving: Although you don’t have to chill the sauce before serving, it allows the flavors to deepen and meld together.
- Season to taste: Start with a small number of seasonings, then adjust them based on your personal taste preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this cilantro and lime sauce.
Yes, you can use regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt in this recipe. However, since Greek yogurt is much thicker, you’ll end up with a thinner sauce if you use regular yogurt.
We don’t recommend using bottled lime juice for this recipe. Freshly squeezed lime juice is what provides this sauce with such bright and vibrant flavors.
If you don’t have cilantro (or don’t like it), you can use parsley instead. It is milder in flavor, but it will still impart a bright green color and herbaceous flavor to the sauce.
Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce
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- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (or full fat)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp honey (optional)
- 1 garlic clove (small)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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