Substitutes For Lime Juice

Last Updated on September 1, 2021 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

Best substitutes 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 call for limes including guacamole, cocktails and margaritas. Obviously, do not use 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. 
  • 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 bottle 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

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 lime oil.

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

  • Vinegar

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 whine 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 replace 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. You can substitute tamarind paste with 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? 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 is 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. 

  • Lime oil

Lime oil, which is somewhat similar to lime zest can be used to replace lime juice. Lime oil has an intense herbal flavor so be mindful of how much you use.

For every 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice, replace with 1 drop of lime oil. Lime oil can be used for drizzling over cooked seafood and for vinaigrettes.

Recipes that use lime juice

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