Lime cilantro sour cream is easy to make and has a mild but delicious taste making it the perfect topping! It is made with only 4 simple ingredients and will compliment your meal.
Cilantro adds an amazing flavor but we find it gets overpowering quickly. If you are not a huge fan of cilantro, you will love our sauce! It doesn't have a lot but just enough to give it a little flavor. Of course you can always add more if you prefer a lot.
This recipe originally appeared in our Instant Pot taco rice, but we moved it to it's own recipe to make it easier for our readers to find. We use it a lot here, including in our easy taco pie as one of the layers.
There are just 4 simple ingredients!
Sour cream - We prefer sour cream, but you can use Greek yogurt in it's place.
Cilantro - Fresh cilantro is best.
Salt - We use course Himalayan sea salt and grind it, but you can use regular salt or finely ground sea salt.
Lime - We use the juice from half of a lime, but you can use bottled juice as well.
Making cilantro lime sauce for tacos
It is easy to put together and will be ready in 5 minutes, tho we often let it sit in the fridge for about an hour before serving so the flavors blend together nicely.
If you have a mortar and pestle (recommended but not required), you want to grind the cilantro with the salt in the mortar. Here is the one we have and love - mortar and pestle (affiliate link.)
I add the cilantro, salt and lime juice all together in the mortar. Mix until the salt and cilantro are finely ground together into the lime juice.
Pour over the sour cream and stir well. Can serve immediately or chill for an hour for stronger flavor.
What if I don't have a mortar and pestle
You can still make the lime cilantro sour cream even if you do not have a mortar and pestle. I just love to mix many things together in mine. For the salt, you can use a grinder of any kind or use regular salt.
For the best flavor you want the oils to come out in the cilantro. You can put it in without crushing it, but it's best to crush it one way or another.
Easiest way - You can put the finely chopped cilantro in the prep bowl and use a spoon to mash it a little bit. You will want to act like you are smearing it into the bowl with the spoon. Be gentle if using a glass prep bowl for this.
Add in the salt and lime juice, mix well. Pour into the sour cream and stir.
Other options for soft fresh herbs when you don't have a mortar:
Using a knife - Chop your cilantro finely. You can carefully push your knife down on it while it is on the cutting board. You want to move your knife like you are smearing butter on bread while your knife is pressed firmly onto the cilantro. Repeat a couple times. It won't get as fine as in a mortar, but you will be releasing the oils so the flavor will still be there.
Use a coffee mug - You can use a coffee mug after chopping it as well. It doesn't need to slam down on the cutting board, you are doing more of a smearing movement.
Frequently asked questions
I don't recommend it to be used as a dip. This is a sour cream sauce for tacos, fajitas and other foods you would top with sour cream. It has the perfect flavor to compliment your food but I don't think it has a strong enough flavor to be a dip.
We never use dried cilantro in foods that are not cooked. Cilantro loses too much of it's aroma and taste when dried so it wouldn't work out great in this lime cilantro sour cream.
Yes you can make it 1-3 days ahead of time! It lasts about 4-5 days in the fridge and will taste better after chilling in the fridge for at least an hour.
Lime Cilantro Sour Cream
- mortar and pestle recommended but not required
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice juice from half a lime
- 12 fresh cilantro leaves see notes
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt see notes
If you have a mortar and pestle
- Place the coarse sea salt, lime juice and cilantro leaves into the mortar. Grind until it is well blended. The salt and the cilantro should be fine and no large pieces.1 Tablespoon lime juice, 12 fresh cilantro leaves, ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Pour over the sour cream in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Can be used right away or chilled at least an hour for best flavor.¾ cup sour cream
If you do not have a mortar and pestle
- Finely chop your cilantro and place in a small prep bowl. Use a spoon to gently smear the cilantro to the bottom of the bowl - you want to release some of the oils for flavor.12 fresh cilantro leaves
- Either use finely ground salt or grind your salt in a grinder. Add the salt and lime juice to the cilantro, mix well.¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt, 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- Mix together with the sour cream in a small bowl. Can serve immediately or chill at least an hour for best flavor.