Finding an appropriate lime juice substitute should be the top priority when you suddenly realize you’re short of it. But it can be time-consuming to think of an ingredient that has the same flavor. I’m here to solve this.
My best 13 lime juice replacements will help to find the right one for your recipe. They are not only easy to find but also perfectly make up for the tangy taste of lime. Don’t miss them!
Table of Contents
Lime juice is the juice of the citrus fruit. It has a sour, and citrusy taste with some sweet notes. It is also a little bit bitter. Lime juice is widely used to add flavor to sweet and savory dishes. It is present in the ingredient list of almost every recipe.
I don’t have to explain more about how versatile it is. A few drops of lime juice can significantly boost the flavor of your dish.
The tangy flavor is not the only feature that makes lime juice the most loved ingredient in the world. The health benefits that lime provides are very impressive.
You probably know that it is high in vitamin C and good for the skin. But lemon is actually much more nutritious. It can lower blood pressure and help to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Also, it contains iron, calcium, and potassium. They are essential for your body. (1)
Learn every single health benefit of lime juice now!
What to do when your kitchen does not have any lime juice left? Rushing to market takes too much time. Let’s take the short route! Finding a substitute is much more tempting. Here are 13 ideas for you. First, take a quick look at this table.
|Lemon Juice||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 tsp of lemon juice|
|Bottled Lime Juice||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 or 3 tsp of bottled lime juice|
|Lime Extract||1 tsp of lime juice = ½ tsp of lime extract|
|Vinegar||1 tsp of lime juice = ½, ⅓, or 1 tsp of vinegar|
|White Wine||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 tsp of white wine|
|Tamarind||1 tsp of lime juice = ½ tsp of tamarind paste|
|Black Lime||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 tsp of black lime|
|Key Lime Juice||1 tsp of lime juice = 2 or 3 tsp of key lime|
|Citrus Zest||1 tsp of lime juice = ½ tsp of citrus zest|
|Vitamin C||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 tsp of vitamin C dissolved in water|
|Lime Oil||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 drop of lime oil|
|Lime Juice Powder||1 tsp of lime juice = ½ tsp of lime juice powder + 1 tsp of water|
|Juice Of Other Citrus Fruit||1 tsp of lime juice = 1 tsp of fresh juice or bottled juice or ½ tsp of concentrated juice|
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is undoubtedly the best substitute for lime juice for any recipe. Both lime and lemon are citrusy fruit and have acidic tastes that are very close to each other. Their textures are exactly the same. And lemon juice is as nutritious as lime juice. Wonderful!
Although lime juice and lemon juice have very similar tastes, lime juice is sourer and more bitter while lemon juice is said to be slightly sweeter. However, their similarities override this small difference. Don’t worry that it will significantly change your dish.
Since both juices have the same level of tanginess, you can use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice against 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Lemon juice is particularly suitable for replacing lime juice in cocktails and baking goods.
2. Bottled Lime Juice
When fresh lime juice runs out, the bottled version is a tempting substitute. It is made of fresh lime and has an acidic taste. Open your fridge to see whether there is any bottle of lime juice. You can continue with your recipe once you see it.
However, bottled lime juice can taste differently depending on the brand. You should choose the one that contains pure lime juice since some brands may use a lot of sugar and other chemicals that create the flavor of lime juice.
Also, you should note that bottled lime juice is pasteurized. So its flavor is not as strong as fresh lime juice. Yet, they have the same level of tanginess. Use 1 or 3 teaspoons of bottled lime juice to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice, depending on how tangy it is.
3. Lime Extract
When your lime juice runs out, take a look in your cellar to see whether there is a bottle of lime extract. If you find it, you should be happy because it can help to finish your dish without any lime juice.
Lime extract is made from the oil taken from the lime’s peel. It can almost entirely provide you with the tangy and citrusy flavor of lime. You can replace lime juice with lime extract in any recipe. But it is best to replace lime juice in making drinks and baked dishes.
Since lime extract is concentrated, its taste is much stronger than lime juice. Only a couple of drops is enough to brighten your dish. I suggest that you use just half of the amount of lime extract to substitute lime juice.
Vinegar is a very amazing substitute for lime juice. Interestingly, it is nearly as popular as lime juice, so I think there is a high chance that you will have it in your kitchen.
Vinegar does not taste the same as lime juice. It is less acidic. If you are making a savory dish, vinegar is an ideal option. It has a sour and pungent flavor that will pair well with other ingredients in your recipe.
However, I would not recommend it for sweet desserts since it may considerably alter the flavor. You don’t want your dessert to have an alcoholic taste.
White wine, red wine, and apple cider vinegar work well in place of lime juice. And any type of vinegar will be fine, too.
Vinegar is strong in flavor, so I suggest you use half or one-third of the amount of vinegar to substitute lime juice. If you want your dish to be more intense, use a 1:1 ratio.
5. White Wine
White wine is another option for you if you are short of lime juice. You may wonder how these two flavors are similar. In fact, they obviously do not taste the same. Yet, there is one thing that they have in common that is the acidic taste. But white wine is less acidic than lime juice.
White wine also has a fruity and light taste. You can substitute lime juice with white wine if you don’t have any other choice. But it only works for savory dishes such as marinated meat and salad dressing. It is quite universal, so I think you can find it easily.
Although white wine is not as acidic as lime juice, you should use the same amount of white wine in place of lime juice. It can boost the flavor of your dish.
Do you think that the sourness of tamarind is very similar to lime juice? Yes, they are both sour. So why not find some tamarind to use instead of lime juice? You will be amazed by the great flavor it brings to your dish.
Tamarind is popularly used in making sweet and savory dishes in Asia, especially Thailand. It is used to add tanginess to curries, pad Thai, and seafood. It will effectively replace lime juice in most recipes, including food and drinks.
Just like limes, tamarind is a very nutritious fruit. It can boost your tissue and brain health and can also reduce the risk of cancer. (2)
There are two forms of tamarind, namely tamarind paste, and tamarind water. They can be used to replace lime juice. You should use ½ teaspoon of tamarind paste to substitute 1 teaspoon of lime juice or mix tamarind pulp with water (tamarind water) according to your liking.
Let’s make this wonderful tamarind paste with less effort!
7. Black Lime
Black lime is another word for dried lime. It is the lime whose water is eliminated by boiling it and drying out in the sunlight. The lime comes out sour, smoky, gently fermented, and umami hints.
If you don’t have fresh lime juice to use in your recipe, it is possible to use black lime. Although black lime is not as commonly used as other substitutes, it is a very good substitute for lime juice.
Normally, it is used to add tanginess to savory dishes such as soups and stew. You can use both whole and ground black lime to substitute lime juice. The whole form is suitable for adding into liquid dishes, while the ground form perfectly pairs with salads, marinades, and pasta.
For this substitute, a 1:1 ratio is appropriate.
8. Key Lime Juice
Key lime is also known as Mexican lime. It is quite rare here in America. But if you have it while lacking lime juice, your recipe will be saved. It is named after the Florida Keys, where it is mostly grown. It is also the key ingredient in the famous key lime pie.
This fruit is so similar to normal lime that people often get confused between them. Both are very acidic and citrusy, yet lime juice is more intense in flavor. Key lime is rather famous for its strong floral aroma. It is quite bitter and tarter than lime juice.
Because of its bright and floral nature, key lime juice can perfectly substitute lime juice in sweet desserts and cocktails. You can also use it in meat marinades.
Since the acidity of key lime juice is not as strong as lime juice, you should use 2 or 3 teaspoons of key lime juice against 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
9. Citrus Zest
Have you ever thought of using citrus zest to substitute lime juice? Lime zest, orange zest, and any other citrus fruit zest can substitute lime juice. Isn’t it so fantastic?
Citrus zest is the exterior layer of the citrus fruit, where the strong flavor of the fruit stays. Its taste is even more overpowering than lime juice. It will add a tangy and citrusy flavor to your recipe. But sometimes it can make your recipe more tangy than it should be.
You can add the citrus zest in pasta, aioli, vinaigrette, and sauce recipes that call for lime juice. Baked desserts also pair well with lime juice.
Because citrus zest is strong, it is best to use just ½ teaspoon of citrus zest to substitute 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
To use the citrus zest, you must know how to zest a citrus fruit.
10. Vitamin C
I know that substituting lime juice with vitamin C does not sound reasonable. But in fact, it is possible. When you make salads or other dishes which use lime juice to retain the color of the ingredients, vitamin C is a very good alternative.
To use vitamin C to substitute lime juice, you should first immerse it in water for it to be completely absorbed into the liquid. For every 1 teaspoon of lime juice, use 1 teaspoon of dissolved vitamin C.
11. Lime Oil
Lime oil is an essential oil that is commonly used. In case you have it in your house, using it to replace lime juice is possible. The oil is taken from the peel of the lime. So it has a tangy flavor comparable to lime juice.
You can add some drops of it to vinaigrettes and roasted seafood. Lime oil’s flavor is much stronger than lime juice so you should use just a small amount of it to substitute. For every teaspoon of lime juice, replace it with 1 drop of lime oil.
12. Lime Juice Powder
Did you know that lime juice also has the ground form? It indeed has. Ground lime is called dried lime powder, calcium hydroxide, and dehydrated lime juice. And you can use it in your recipe when your lime juice is not available anymore.
Lime juice powder is produced from lime juice, lime oil, and a white powder called maltodextrin. It has a strong tangy flavor that can make up for the taste of lime juice. You can use it to substitute lime juice in many recipes, including baking goods, drinks, and marinades.
In this case, use ½ teaspoon of lime juice powder mixed in 1 teaspoon of water to substitute 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
13. Juice Of Other Citrus Fruit
While lime juice has a distinctive tangy flavor, the juice of other citrus fruits such as orange juice and grapefruit juice would be the ideal alternatives. The taste will not be exactly the same but they can give some tanginess to the dish, similar to the way lime juice does.
Orange juice also has an acidic taste that is comparable to lime juice. But it has some sweet undertones. Grapefruit is not as sour as lime juice. And it is a little bit bitter. You can also use kalamansi and kumquat juice.
If you don’t have freshly-squeezed juice, you can use bottled juice or concentrated juice. But only freshly-squeezed juice can provide you with the most lemon-juice-alike flavor.
For fresh juice and bottled juice, use a 1:1 ratio. Concentrate juice is much more intense in flavor. So you should use ½ teaspoon of it to substitute 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
Have you found the perfect lime juice substitute for your dishes? If you haven’t, here is some further information to help to find the best option. Check it out!
Now, I bet that you have already found a suitable substitute for lime juice. Congratulations! I hope that you will be successful with your dish. Running out of lime juice can never be a hindrance. You can always find some perfect substitute.
What substitute have you chosen? What is the recipe that you are going to make? Tell me in the comment section!
- Healthline. 2021. Limes: Nutrition, Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.
- WebMD. 2021. Health Benefits of Tamarind.