substitute for lime juice

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Looking for a great substitute for lime? How about 10 incredible substitutes for lime juice? Keep reading to find out how you can use items you likely have in your kitchen to replace lime juice in cooking.

 substitute for lime juice  

Lime juice is a staple in many kitchens. But, if you need some lime juice in a pinch, what can you use as an effective lime juice substitute?

Well, here are 10 easy ways to replace lime juice in a pinch. These easy substitutes can be used for cocktails, baked goods and dressings, marinades, and lots of other recipes that call for lime juice.

Best substitutes for lime juice

Bottled lime juice

Can you substitute bottled lime juice for fresh lime juice? This is a very common question and the answer is yes!

Bottled lime juice contains some preservatives and has lost a lot of its freshness, therefore, it won’t taste as flavorful as fresh lime juice, but, it is a pretty good substitute to use in many food preparations including cocktails, fruit and vegetable salads and baked goods.

Because fresh lime juice has a superior flavor to bottled lime juice it is good to substitute at a 1-3 substitution ratio.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  2 tablespoons of bottled lime juice

Lemon juice

substitute for lime juice with lemon juice

So, can you substitute lemon juice for lime juice? Yes, you can! Lemon juice is most likely the most common way to replace lime juice in a recipe. While lime juice is more bitter in flavor and lemon juice is sweeter in flavor, both of these juices are acidic and sour so it is easy to swap one out for the other in most recipes.

Obviously, you cannot make a limeade with lemons, or lemonade with limes, but for cocktails, ceviche, marinades, dressings, and sauces, you can replace the lime juice with equal parts lemon juice.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Orange juice

Orange juice

Orange juice is another good substitute for lime juice. While orange juice is sweeter than lime juice, it can be easily substituted in cocktails, citrus glazes, and marinades.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  1 tablespoon of orange juice

Sour orange (or bitter orange)

sour orange

Sour orange juice and lime juice taste nothing alike. They’re not sweet, but they’re also not as tart as lime juice. Nonetheless, if these are all you have on hand, then they can be used to replace lime juice in cocktails, marinades, and other citrusy drinks.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  1 tablespoon of sour orange juice

Grapefruit juice

Grapefruits are sweeter, but, besides that grapefruits are a great lime juice substitute, especially for cocktails.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  1 tablespoon of grapefruit juice

Black lime

lime juice replacement

Black limes are another way to replace lime juice in recipes. Black lime also called dried lime is a lime that has lost all of its water content and has turned black or brown in color.

Black limes are usually ground into a powder with a coffee maker and added to various dishes. 

They can be used in recipes like soups, stews, and rice recipes and added to cuts of meat to add some citrusy, tangy, and smoky flavor to these dishes. 

Lime juice powder

Lime juice powder is another way to replace lime juice in a pinch. Lime juice powder is often called dried lime powder or dehydrated lime powder and is made with maltodextrin, lime juice, and lime oil. This is the perfect substitute for when limes are out of season as you can purchase lime juice powder all year round and it keeps for a while.

This product is perfect for adding that citrusy flavor to baking mixes, cookies, cakes, fillings, marinades, sauces, seasoning blends, soups, stews, drinks and so much more! If you want to try out lime juice powder, then you can get it on amazon using this link.



Can you substitute vinegar for lime juice? Yes, you sure can. Vinegar is another great lime juice substitute for recipes that need acidity. You can use any kind of vinegar including apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and rice vinegar.

Vinegar replaces lime juice perfectly in salad dressings, sauces, and vinaigrettes.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  1/2 tablespoon vinegar

Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste is made from tamarind fruit. This fruit is sour and is used to add sour flavors to Middle Eastern dishes like salad dressings, fish and chicken dishes, and curries. 

Lime zest

Lime zest

If you’ve ever bought limes that have no juice no matter how hard you squeeze, then this may not be all in vain You can go ahead and use the zest from these limes to replace lime juice. 

Lime zest has this concentrated tangy citrus flavor that is very similar to and even more powerful than lime juice. 

Therefore, lime zest is a great substitute for lime juice in recipes like baked goods, salad dressings, pancake batter, herb butter, meat marinades and so much more! 

Lime oil

Lime oil is cold pressed from the rind of limes, so it is very similar to lime zest and has an intensely concentrated flavor.

Lime oil can be used in baking and cooking to replace lime juice or lime zest. Lime oil works great for adding lime flavor to cheesecakes, key lime pies, flavoring water, and vinaigrettes. 

Lime oil is very potent so be mindful of how much you use. And, if you want to give it a try, you can get a great lime oil on amazon using this link.

Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice =  3 drops of lime oil 

Uses of lime juice

Lime juice has many uses in cooking. These uses include:

  • To make seafood like ceviche
  • To make drinks like cocktails and limeades.
  • Added to recipes like stews, soups, and masala.
  • To add to baked goods like pies, cheesecake, cookies, cakes, and pastries.
  • To add to sauces, dressing, marinades, and vinaigrettes
  • To garnish meats and seafood.

Recipes that use lime juice

These are some of the best lime juice substitutes that can be used to replace lime juice in just about any recipe. The best part is that you can find at least half of these ingredients in your pantry right now! The other half you can easily get in most stores of fresh markets.

So, with this list, you never have to panic if you find out that you have no lime juice in the middle of making a recipe that calls for limes as you now have 10 ways to sub for lime juice in a pinch! 

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