Do you love lime juice? You know that it has the power to transform any dish. It’s a staple in the bar and one of our favorite ingredients to add to drinks, marinades, and even desserts.
It’s not always available and sometimes costly, especially when you need a lot for drinks or dishes.
But sometimes we need to get creative and come up with a substitute for lime juice when we are out of limes or don’t have any at home.
I’ve got you covered with 9 lime juice substitutes that will work just as well in your favorite drink or dish.
Here are some of the best substitutes for lime juice: Lemon juice, Orange juice, Vinegar, Citrus zest, Tamarind, and a few more as mentioned below.
- What is Lime Juice?
- 9 Best Lime Juice Substitutes
- What Does Lime Juice Taste Like?
- Can I Substitute Bottled Lime Juice for Fresh Lime Juice?
- Can I Substitute Lemon Juice for Lime Juice in Guacamole?
- Can I Use Lemon Instead of Lime in Thai Cooking?
- Final Words
What is Lime Juice?
Lime juice is a citrus fruit that is typically steeped in sugar and herb to produce a drink. Lime juice provides vitamins such as A, B, C and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium.
Lime juice is usually extracted by squeezing limes, and then it can be used in many recipes. It is a tart citrus fruit that contains fresh-tasting juices, sweet flavor, pulp, and some seeds.
Lime juice is recognized as a hangover remedy due to its high vitamin contents. It also has antibiotic properties with germ-fighting abilities that allow it to work well against bacteria, viruses, etc.
9 Best Lime Juice Substitutes
1. Lemon Juice
Lemons and limes are the most popular substitutes and can be used interchangeably as they have a similar acidity level.
It gives the same tangy taste and provides vitamin C and B vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, niacin, thiamine, etc.
It is recommended to use the same amount of lemon juice that you would for lime.
This is the best substitute when you are looking for a sweeter taste. There are some dishes where just lemon juice alone won’t suffice, so we recommend adding something to it like salt or pepper.
Lemon juice also works well in desserts and is a very popular ingredient in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, tarts, etc.
2. Orange Juice
Orange juice is another substitute for lime juice that works well in fruit salads and desserts.
It is packed with Vitamin C and has more sugar than lemon juice which makes it perfect to use for cocktails such as Margarita or Daiquiri.
This is the best substitute if you are looking for an ingredient that will not only provide a tangy flavor but also sweeten up your dish.
Its milder flavor also helps keep the original flavors of your dish intact while adding a hint of sweetness.
Orange juice does not work well in savory dishes and should be avoided if you are looking for a substitute to use with recipes like chicken or pork.
Vinegar works as another substitute for lime juice especially apple cider vinegar.
It is a sour, acidic ingredient with a strong flavor and does not have a lot of sugar content like lemon or orange juice.
It can be used for both sweet and savory dishes like salad dressing, marinades, etc.
Vinegar also helps balance the flavors in recipes that may become too sweet when using lemon or orange juice.
4. Citrus Zest
Citrus zest is another way to add a hint of citrus flavor to your dish.
It works best with savory dishes and can also be used for desserts when the flavor is not strong enough.
This lime substitute will infuse your dish with natural flavors and can be the best substitute in certain dishes like curries.
Citrus zest is a good substitute in baking and desserts, especially when the recipe calls for grated rind as well as juice.
Tamarind is another popular lime juice substitute that works well for desserts especially custard, ice cream, and fruit salads.
It gives a sweet citrus flavor and can be used as an extract or syrup to give your dessert a creamier texture.
It can also be used in sweet and savory dishes where it will give a pleasantly sour taste like soups or sauces. Tamarind is often used in place of lime in barbecue sauces and curries.
6. Black Lime
Black lime is another popular substitute especially because of its skin which provides an extra tangy flavor to your dish. It is also known as dried lime.
It can be used as a substitute for both lemon and lime juice.
Black lime works well to replace the tartness of fresh limes in dishes such as chicken tikka or butter chicken curry.
7. White Wine Vinegar
Another lime juice substitute is made of white wine vinegar and water.
It can be used as a replacement for lemon juice in baked dishes, vegetables, etc.
However, you should be careful with this white wine vinegar because the flavor is very strong. For best results, you can substitute ½ tablespoon of white wine vinegar for every tablespoon of lime juice.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for baking as it can react strongly with some ingredients and the flavor can be overpowering.
8. White Wine
This can be used to replace lime juice in marinades and sauces.
It has a less acidic profile than lemon and the best way to use it is by keeping the same ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lime juice then you would substitute 1 tablespoon of white wine instead.
This swap may work best in liquid recipes like dressings or marinades or some recipes that need a less acidic taste.
9. Key Limes
Many people use key limes or Mexican limes instead of standard limes when they can find them. Key limes work best in recipes that need less acidity.
These small limes are sweeter than regular limes and can be used to replace lime juice 1:1 ratio. Key lime juice works well for cakes, pies, etc where the tartness is not needed.
However, it will not taste like a regular lime and should be used with desserts where the flavor is not very strong.
Key limes can also be used to replace lemon juice in some recipes and work best for marinades, dressings, and sauces.
They are now readily available in grocery stores making it easy to get lime juice substitutes for your cooking needs without worrying about their availability.
However, always remember that the substitute will not be perfect and can change the taste of your dish.
What Does Lime Juice Taste Like?
Lime juice tastes like citrus. The flavor of lime juice is tart and tangy. It is similar in taste to lemon juice but more acidic.
Lime juice is more sour than lemon and has a subtly bitter taste that makes it unique. It will also have a strong fragrance.
Lime juice can be used in drinks, salads, dressings, desserts like key lime pie or cheesecakes, marinades, curries, and seafood dishes.
It neutralizes the smell of fish and adds a zesty flavor to your dish while giving it a creamy texture.
Can I Substitute Bottled Lime Juice for Fresh Lime Juice?
Bottled lime juice is made by mixing water with lime concentrate, which is mostly made of calcium hydroxide. It also contains acids like citric acid and natural flavors.
Bottled lime juice has a longer shelf life than fresh limes and it’s more economical because you can buy one bottle that will last for months.
However, bottled lime juice is not as fresh and flavorful as fresh limes. A major drawback of using bottled lime juice is that it does not provide any fragrance or zest to your dishes.
As a substitute for fresh lime juice, you can use an equal amount of bottled lime juice. If the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, you can use 2 tablespoons of bottled.
However, it will not be a perfect substitute and your dish may taste slightly different than intended. The amount of water in the limes will most likely be different which will affect the flavor and texture as well.
Can I Substitute Lemon Juice for Lime Juice in Guacamole?
Yes, you can substitute lemon juice for lime juice in guacamole.
Some recipes call for lime juice while others call for lemon and it’s not a big deal to use one instead of the other. However, if a recipe says lime then you should stick with using lime and don’t use lemon instead because it won’t work as well.
Lemon juice is slightly milder in flavor than lime juice. It also has more water content and fewer oils which makes it a better substitute for fresh lime juice when you need a thinner liquid.
This means that recipes like guacamole, fish dishes, etc might not work as well with lemon.
Can I Use Lemon Instead of Lime in Thai Cooking?
Yes, you can use lemon instead of lime in Thai cooking if that’s what you have on hand.
However, it is best to stick with using fresh limes when a recipe calls for lime juice because they are not the same and might change the taste of your dish.
Lemons also have a different flavor than limes which means you may have to make some adjustments to your recipe.
Well, we have compiled a list of some of the best substitutes to use for lime juice! Here is to hoping that one of these works for you.
The best way to find out what works best for you is to try different substitutes in your regular dishes like salad dressings, marinades, etc. Once you figure out what tastes best, it will be a good idea to make a list of your favorites.
It will not only save you time but also allow you to experiment with different types of substitutes in your dishes.
Let us know what worked and didn’t work for you by commenting below. We would love to hear from you! If you found this info useful, please share it with others on social media.