9 Best Ways To Substitute For Lime Juice

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Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Toya

Lime juice is essentially a staple in many households. But, if you’ve just run out what do you use in place of lime juice? Here are some of the best substitutes for lime juice that can be used in cocktails, savory recipes, and baking.

substitute for lime juice

Common ways to substitute for lime juice

Other citrus juices

The most common lime juice substitutes are other citrus juices like lemon juice, grapefruit juice, sour orange juice, and orange juice.

  • Lemon juice: The most common substitute for lime juice is lemon juice. Replace the lime juice with lemon juice in equal amounts (e.g. 1 tablespoon for 1 tablespoon). Use this substitute in any recipe that calls for limes including guacamole, cocktails, and margaritas. Obviously, do not use it as a substitute for key lime pie, make a lemon meringue pie instead!
  • Grapefruit juice: While grapefruits are sweeter than limes, they tend to also be a great substitute for limes as well. Replace the lime juice with equal amounts of grapefruit juice, particularly in cocktails, or check out some other lime juice substitutes for cocktails here.
  • Orange juice: This citrus juice is also sweeter than limes, however, it can be substituted in equal amounts with lime juice. This citrus juice easily replaces lime in drinks.
  • Sour orange also called bitter orange and Seville orange: Bitter orange juice does not taste like lime juice, but, if it is all you have on hand, replace the lime juice with equal amounts of bitter orange juice. 

Bottled lime juice

The flavor of bottled lime juice is inferior to fresh lime juice, therefore, you can substitute 1-3. This means for every 1 tablespoon of lime juice, replace with 3 tablespoons of bottled lime juice. 

Lime juice powder

lime juice powder

Have you heard of lime juice powder? This is another easy item to use as a replacement for lime juice. Lime juice powder is also referred to as dried lime powder or dehydrated lime juice and is made from maltodextrin, lime juice, and some other ingredients.

It has an intense lime flavor and can be used in glazes, meat marinades, baking, drink mixes, and more!

If you leave in an area where lime is harder to find, I’d grab some lime juice powder from Amazon asap. This powder works wonders and can be used to make salsa, guacamole, limeade, and marinades, is excellent for pastries, and so much more. Also, you can get it at a reasonable price and it can be stored in your pantry for more than a year before it needs to be replaced.

1 ½ teaspoons of lime juice powder will make 1 cup of lime juice.


In any savory recipe that needs acidity, you can use vinegar to replace lime juice. Any kind of vinegar will work, for example, white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, and apple cider vinegar.

Vinegar is great for salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Swap on a 1:1/2 ratio. This means for every 1 tablespoon of lime juice you need to replace it with 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste is made from the tamarind fruit which is often used in middle eastern cooking to give a slightly sour flavor to dishes. Tamarind paste is a good sub for lime juice in marinades and dressing for salads, as well as for middle eastern fish and chicken masalas.

Lime zest

Do you have a key lime that has no juice no matter how you squeeze it? Use the zest to replace the lime juice. Lime zest has a strong tangy flavor very similar to the flavor of the lime juice itself. Therefore, lime zest is a great substitute for lime juice in baking as it adds a tangy citrus flavor to recipes.

Lime zest has a strong tangy flavor very similar to the flavor of the lime juice itself, but more intense and this makes it an excellent substitution for lime juice in desserts, cocktails, dips, fish recipes, soups, and more.


Recipes that use lime juice

Burrito bowl

burrito bowl





Cilantro lime cauliflower rice

cilantro lime cauliflower rice



sugar free limeade


Seafood boil cooked in a bag

seafood boil bag recipe


FAQs about substituting lime juice in specific recipes

What is a good substitute for lime juice in soup?

Lime juice is usually added at the end to help brighten up the flavor of a soup recipe. If you have no lime juice, substitute with equal amounts of lemon juice instead. Lemon juice is slightly sweeter than lime juice, but in a flavorful soup, you’ll barely notice the difference. 

What is a good substitute for lime juice guacamole?

Lime juice can easily be replaced with equal parts lemon juice or equal parts vinegar in a guacamole recipe. Like lime juice, both lemon juice and vinegar will help to balance out the rich avocado flavor and help slow down the enzymatic browning of the guac. 

What is a good substitute for lime juice in salsa?

In the absence of lime juice, both lemon juice, and vinegar can make excellent substitutes in salsa. If the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lime juice, use equal amounts of lemon juice or vinegar in its place. 


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