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My easy and flavorful Lime Crema Recipe is the perfect topping for tacos, rice bowls, and more! With just four simple ingredients and minimal cook time, this sauce is a must-try for Taco Tuesday, parties, or daily meals!
What is crema?
Crema is a popular Mexican sauce and condiment commonly used for tacos, rice bowls, burritos, and more. It resembles thinned sour cream in flavor and serves as a base for additional flavors. Popular additions to crema include lime juice, cilantro, chipotle, and avocado.
When I know taco night is around the corner, my first plan of action is to get out some sour cream and whip up a big bowl of tangy, silky-smooth lime crema. Nothing is better than tacos dipped in this sauce, but it’s good with so much more than that, too!
The wonderful thing about crema sauce is that it develops over time. After resting for a couple hours, crema transforms simple ingredients into a complex, tangy, and well-blended mixture. Trust me, it’s so much better than a simple side of sour cream!
Excited to whip up a versatile sauce you’ll want to serve with everything? Gather a bowl and a few common ingredients, and prepare to transform your taco nights forever!
Crema Sauce Ingredients
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Sea salt
- Lime juice
How to Make Crema
- Combine heavy cream and sour cream in a medium bowl, and whisk together until smooth.
- Add salt and lime juice, then whisk thoroughly until smooth and creamy.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours, or ideally in the refrigerator overnight. Use immediately, or keep stored to enjoy later!
Mexican Crema Recipe Tips
- Substitutes include Greek yogurt for sour cream and milk or buttermilk in place of heavy cream! Just use less milk, as it’s thinner than heavy cream is.
- Add the lime only after fully mixing the sour cream and heavy cream to prevent curdling.
- Use fresh lime juice! Bottled juice lacks the zing of fresh lime juice, making a sauce with much less dimension.
- Let the sauce rest to enhance its flavor. Although it can be used immediately, it tastes even better after resting!
- Try adding in seasonings and spices! This is a simple base recipe made to be customized. Here are some suggestions:
- Chipotle Crema: Mix in adobo sauce and chipotle seasoning, or for more intensity, blend in 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Cilantro Lime Crema: Add a tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro for a fresh flavor!
- Avocado Crema: Check out my recipe for super-creamy avocado crema!
Mexican Sour Cream FAQ
Crema has sour cream in it, but it’s thinner and more flavorful than plain sour cream. This makes it useful as a dip or a sauce as it can be more easily drizzled over meals, while sour cream for tacos needs to be spread on to the tortilla itself.
If your crema is too thick, you can add a little more heavy cream or thin it out by gently heating it. Crema will thin out further when poured over warm food.
Milk or half-and-half can be used in place of heavy cream, but keep in mind that because milk is thinner than heavy cream, you will want to use less of it.
How to Store Crema
- Fridge: Keep crema in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Letting it rest in the fridge will enhance the flavors more and more!
- Freezer: Freezing crema is not recommended. As crema contains heavy dairy, it separates and becomes lumpy when thawed.
What to Serve with Crema
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See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and sour cream, and whisk together until smooth.1 cup Heavy cream, 1 cup Sour cream
- Add in the salt and lime juice, then whisk thoroughly until smooth and creamy.1 teaspoon Sea salt, 2 Tablespoons Lime juice
- Cover, and let sit out at room temperature to rest for 2 hours or ideally overnight. Use immediately, or place in the fridge for delicious crema any time!
- You can use greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and swap out the heavy cream for milk! Just use less milk as it’s thinner than heavy cream is.
- Mix sour cream and heavy cream before adding lime to avoid curdling.
- Use fresh lime juice, not bottled.
- Let the sauce rest for best flavor.