Cilantro Lime Sauce for Fish Tacos

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This tasty Cilantro Lime Sauce for Fish Tacos is herbaceous and zesty, adding just the right amount of flavor and kick to your fish tacos.

» Also try one of these taco-inspired dishes that are perfect with this cilantro lime sauce.

cilantro lime sauce for fish tacos

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I love a good fish taco, whether I’m making them with cod, halibut, or shrimp. But the one thing a good fish taco needs is a zesty and delicious sauce to bring it all together. That’s where this cilantro lime sauce comes in handy.

The bright acidity of the lime and a little kick of heat from some added chili powder lends just the right notes to this fish taco sauce. Drizzle it on your tacos and see how it livens up the flavor.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for chili lime sauce

The basis of this sauce is sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice. You can also go half and half with sour cream and mayonnaise if you want.

  • Sour cream – I always buy full fat sour cream so it’s nice and creamy and full flavored.
  • Lime juice – You’ll use the juice and zest of one lime.
  • Cream or milk – To thin out the sauce so that it can easily be drizzled onto your tacos.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro is the only way to go here. Dried will not add the right flavor.
  • Chili powder – For a little spicy kick. If you don’t want to add any spice you can replace this with sweet paprika or leave it out.
  • Salt and black pepper – Just to boost the flavor a little more.
Chili lime sauce on shrimp tacos

How to Make Cilantro Lime Sauce

  1. In a medium bowl combine the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, cream, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir it all together until it’s well combined. I don’t find it necessary to blend this dressing, but if you want a more smooth sauce, you can blend it in the food processor or using a hand-held blender.
  3. Cover and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. This will keep it nice and chilled and thick.
  4. To thin out the sauce so that it can easily be drizzled over your tacos, add some more milk or water and stir, until it’s the consistency you want.
chili lime sauce in a bowl

What To Serve Cilantro Lime Sauce On

You can use this sauce on all kinds of things, not just Mexican dishes like tacos to burritos, but also salads, bowls, and as a sandwich spread. You can even use it as a dipping sauce for French fries or any type of fried veggie. You can pour it over your avocado scrambled eggs or use it as a sauce for mini taco appetizers.

Get inspired with these side dishes for taco night.

Chili lime sauce on shrimp tacos

Do I Have to Use Sour Cream?

This sauce is very versatile and can be made with a few different base ingredients. If you don’t like sour cream or don’t have any, you can also use mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt. I’ve also made it with a mix of those when I didn’t have enough sour cream on hand. It will still be super creamy and delicious because the flavor comes from the fresh cilantro and zesty lime.

Can I Spice it Up?

You can make this sauce spicier by adding chopped jalapenos, hot chili powder or cayenne powder, or by adding Sriracha sauce. Add just a little bit for a small kick, or throw in a whole jalapeno with some seeds to really spice it up.

Chili lime sauce

How to Store Cilantro Lime Sauce

You might end up having some sauce left over, which is great because you can use it for so many other things. To store it, just cover it with plastic wrap or put it in an air tight container and put it in the fridge for up to 5 days.


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Cilantro lime sauce

Cilantro Lime Sauce for Fish Tacos

This tasty Cilantro Lime Sauce for Fish Tacos is herbaceous and zesty, adding just the right amount of flavor and kick to your fish tacos.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Limes, Mayonnaise
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 106kcal
Author: Laura


  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro washed and stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder mild to hot
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 jalapeno chopped seeds removed if desired
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Mix together all of the ingredients in a food processor or in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Thin it as necessary with water.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving for flavors to meld. Serve as a dressing or dip.
  • Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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