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Cilantro Lime Sauce for Tacos

AMAZING Cilantro Lime Sauce is fresh, vibrant, full of flavor and delicious in all your Tacos, Chicken, Shrimp or Fish – It is creamy, spicy from jalapeños, tangy, with a hint of garlic and elevates any Mexican dish!

Check out other popular dinner ideas for your next taco night like Tacos with Frozen Fish Sticks, Chickpea Tacos, Ground Chicken with Mexican seasoning, Cauliflower Tacos or Vegetarian Lettuce wraps.

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A food processor with fresh cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, sour cream and mayo ready to be processed

CILANTRO LIME SAUCE

We love taco nights! Be it Chicken, Fish, Shrimp or Potato Tacos – It is a clean plate club (borrowing this from one of my favorite Youtube cooking show – Binging with Babish)

Tacos are delicious, customizable and you get to eat with your hands. How fun! We paired this spicy cream with our Spicy Chickpea lettuce cups at one of our Holiday party and it was polished off in a matter of minutes —> SO SO GOOD!

WHY IS THIS THE BEST?

This recipe has been a reader favorite since it was published. Well, we are not surprised! It is Creamy, Spicy, Tangy, Garlicky and is delicious enjoyed in so many ways. Even if you are not a fan of cilantro, then we humbly request you to give this a try.

It comes together easily in a blender or food processor in just 5 minutes, keeps well in the refrigerator and perfect as a dipping sauce / dressing / for tacos.

We recommend blending it chunky and not smooth – It adds texture, flavor and maintain a white color with specs of green! However, if you would like it super creamy and green, go ahead and blend it until desired consistency is reached!

SAUCE OR DRESSING?

A dressing is a type of sauce used mainly for salads, typically made with oil and vinegar mixed together with herbs or other flavorings. Whereas a sauce is a thick liquid served usually with savory dishes to add moistness and flavor. This recipe can be served as both a salad dressing and a sauce.

Is this ZHOUG?

Also known as zhug or skhug, it is a type of cilantro sauce originating in Yemen. Zhoug has gained popularity across Middle East, drizzled over falafels. It is made with cilantro, chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices.

It does not contain any dairy or mayonnaise, so it does not have that “Creamy factor”. Trader Joe’s carries this in the refrigerate section and it has been one of our favorite Trader Joe’s products.

How to wash cilantro?

Rinse coriander under running water and place in a colander to drain excess water. Coarsely chop (along with stems) and add into a blender.

What do you need to make this recipe?

It can be made using a good food processor or blender like

  • Regular food processor
  • Mini food processor
  • Nutri Bullet
  • Vitamix
  • Any blender

When you are using a mini food processor (like the one shown in our photos), try processing in two batches.

Make without a blender or processor

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and lime juice in a bowl. Stir in finely chopped cilantro, jalapeños and grated garlic and mix by hand. It won’t be as smooth, but the flavor is the same!

How to grind in a food processor?

When using a food processor, we recommend adding cilantro and chopped jalapeños first before adding mayo and sour cream. This ensures that it doesn’t get stuck and runs smoothly.

BENEFITS

Also known as coriander, it contains vitamins A, C, and K, and the leaves also have folate, potassium, and manganese.

INGREDIENTS

  1. Sour cream – Full fat or reduced fat is good. If you want to make it touch healthier, then use half plain greek yogurt and half sour cream.
  2. Mayonnaise – Essential for a creamy dressing.
  3. Cilantro – Fresh, washed and patted dry
  4. Jalapeños – Use as much or as little as you like. You could remove seeds if you like it less spicy.
  5. Garlic – 1 to 3 garlic cloves
  6. Lime juice – Freshly squeezed

PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Spiciness – We used whole jalapeño pepper (along with the seeds and ribs) but, you can remove the seeds for a less spicy dressing.
  • Cilantro – Use coriander with stems. It adds nutrition and texture!
  • Garlic – The flavor of garlic compliments by adding a touch of zing. However, too much garlic will overpower the taste. So, we recommend using not more than 2 large cloves.
  • Lime juice – Use fresh lime juice and not bottled ones.
  • Use greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier twist.

Substitution ideas

  1. Use vegan free mayo like Just Mayo or Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo.
  2. Use greek yogurt or plain thick yogurt instead of sour cream.
  3. Use lemon juice instead of limes.
A food processor with Mexican sauce for tacos

HOW TO MAKE?

It is a super easy no-cook recipe!

Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until ALMOST finely ground (It is best when you are able to still see the tiny cilantro pieces).

How long does this keep?

Refrigerate in an air tight container for 3 to 4 days.

HOW TO SERVE?

The options are endless –

  1. Drizzle in your chicken tacos, shrimp tacos and fish tacos.
  2. Spread as a dressing on your burgers and top with avocados for a Mexican flare.
  3. Great in your burrito bowls.
  4. As a dip with spicy chips, carrot sticks and cucumber slices.
  5. As a spicy dressing for your salads.
  6. In lettuce wraps.
  7. Spice up your grill game – Serve with your favorite grilled meats.
  8. Drizzled on your main course like chicken, fish or shrimp.

Make a Creamy Dip

Finely chop cilantro, garlic and jalapeños using a food processor or by hand then transfer to a bowl. Mix in mayo, sour cream, lime juice and salt with a spoon.

This is a basic dressing for tacos without avocado and if you make a lot of Mexican foods like us, then this is gonna be one of your favorite just like the Avocado Jalapeño Crema or pico de gallo.

More Mexican Food

What is cilantro sauce made of?

It is made of sour cream, fresh cilantro and lime juice. Jalapeños are added in some recipes.

A hand holding a black spoon, trying to take some cilantro lime sauce from a blue bowl. there are limes and cilantro for garnish

More Sauce Recipes to try:

Cilantro Lime Sauce for Tacos

Cilantro Lime Sauce for Tacos

Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

AMAZING Cilantro Lime Sauce is fresh, vibrant, full of flavor and delicious in all your Tacos, Chicken, Shrimp or Fish - It is creamy, spicy from jalapeños, tangy, with a hint of garlic and elevates any Mexican dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cilantro (lightly packed)
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 large jalapeño (remove seeds if you like it less spicy) 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Equipment used

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes

Jalapeño - Add more for more spicy and reduce if you are not into spicy foods.

Consistency - This sauce is best when it is not completely ground. You want to see tiny specs of cilantro.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Sophia

Saturday 17th of September 2022

My whole family loved this !!! This will definitely become a staple sauce in my home. Thank you Maria !

Maria Doss

Monday 19th of September 2022

Glad you liked it hun, Maria

Anastasia

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Can I freeze this?

Maria Doss

Thursday 7th of April 2022

Hi Anastasia, You certainly can, but a separation of the ingredients may occur during the thawing process. This means your sauce will most likely not resemble what originally went in the freezer - Maria

Jayt

Monday 4th of October 2021

Great sauce! I used powdered garlic and omitted sour cream. It was delicious!

Maria Doss

Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Happy to hear that, Maria

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