Substitutes for lime juice

13 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice

Lime juice makes everything interesting. Its tangy taste and delightful flavor add refreshing undertones to your beverages, savory dishes, and even desserts. But do not worry if you cannot find it in your kitchen cabinet. These substitutes for lime juice are here to help you out. 

Lime is round and green in color with an abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants. Their magic even works to cure heart diseases, boost immunity, preclude kidney stones, and countless more. 

The versatility of lime makes it a staple in many households. Though it is a popular and easily accessible ingredient, always having it at hand might not be feasible. And this article is exactly for that day.

Here are 13 substitutes for lime juice that you can use to replace it in a wink. 


13 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice

1. Orange Juice

orange juice

One of the most easily available and efficient substitutes for lime is orange juice. It has a balanced combination of tanginess and sweetness that gives your recipe the same acidic flavor you have been keenly searching for.

Orange juice typically goes into the creation of various marmalades, marinades, sauces, salad dressings, drinks, and desserts. However, It is crucial to remember that orange juice is sweeter in recipes than lime juice, which might result in a little alteration in the flavor of your food.

How to substitute: An equal quantity of orange juice can be used to replace lime juice.

2. Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemon juice is frequently used as a substitute for lime. So much so that it is often considered synonymous with it. Though a great replacement for lime juice, it is not the same.

Lemon juice has an acidic flavor but is sweeter than lime juice. It works most efficiently in baking and cocktail recipes. 

While lemon juice won’t offer your foods the exact flavor as lime juice, it will improve and provides them a fresh, tart-like taste. 

How to substitute: One teaspoon of lemon juice can be satisfactorily used to replace one teaspoon of lime juice.

3. Vinegar


Are you preparing a recipe that does not require the tanginess of lime juice but mostly craves its acidity? Then vinegar might be a good fit for you.

To be more specific, apple cider vinegar is preferred over regular vinegar. It is a clear liquid with a distinct aroma and sour flavor. It is well utilized in drinks, baked products, desserts, marinades, salsa, dressings, guacamole, and sauces. 

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A word of caution; do not use vinegar in baked food items unless you are sure that the flavor will work and are aware of all the ingredient interactions.

How to substitute: Use half the amount of vinegar to substitute lime juice mentioned in your recipe. 

4. Tamarind Paste

tamarind paste

Classically used in South Indian households, tamarind paste can transform your bland dish into an exciting delightful recipe. Though it might seem distant from the characteristics of lime juice, it is one of its best substitutes. 

Prepared from the tamarind tree’s fruit, it tastes sour and lemony with a thick consistency. While it has a distinctively sweet and sour taste, it also imparts a citrusy flavor to the food, reminiscent of lime juice. 

Numerous sauces, marinades, soups, curries, sweets, dips, cocktails, and desserts enjoy its tangy flavors. However, to achieve the appropriate flavor and match the acidity of lime juice, consider diluting the tamarind pulp before adding it to drinks, sauces, and marinades. 

How to substitute: Use half the amount of tamarind paste as stated in your recipe containing lime juice.

5. Citrus Zest

citrus zest

Citrus zest is the outermost layer of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, which can be scrapped or peeled to use in a recipe. It works as a wonderful substitute in dishes that call for the tangy flavor of lime juice and not its acidity so much. 

The citrus zest gives the food an outstanding brightness and can deliver a flavor that is more potent than lime juice. Hence, be careful of the amount of citrus zest used in the recipe to prevent it from subduing the other ingredients in a meal. 

How to substitute: Half the quantity of citrus zest can be used to replace lime juice in any recipe.

6. Lime Oil

Lime Oil

Lime oil contains all the characteristics of lime juice but in a much more concentrated form. It has strong flavors, a delightful fragrance, and a sour taste.

Lime oil serves as a great substitute when used in baking and cooking. Further, it can also replace lime juice in a variety of sweets, marinades, beverages, sauces, and baked products. 

Due to its high concentration, lime oil has therapeutic uses that lime juice cannot parallel. 

How to substitute: Add a single lime oil drop to replace one teaspoon of lime juice mentioned in your recipe.

7. Grapefruit Juice

grapefruit juice

Another citrus fruit juice that can nicely replace lime juice in any recipe is grapefruit juice. It has a tangy, zesty flavor with considerable sweetness.

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It works as a fantastic alternative for lime juice for dressings, salads, marinades, cocktails, and other savory dishes. As grapefruit juice is a bit less tangy and more sugary than lime juice, you might need to adjust the required quantity according to the recipe you are preparing. 

How to substitute: An equal amount of grapefruit best replaces lime juice.

However, a little alteration with the used quantity, as per your taste, won’t have a significant effect on your dish.

8. Lime Juice Powder

If you need a ready-made, easy-to-use substitute for lime juice that you can store for later usage, lime juice powder might be your ideal ingredient.

Manufactured from maltodextrin, lime oil, and lime juice, it has a sour lime taste that adds to the flavors of your dish. It is a perfect substitute for sauces, dressings, soups, marinades, desserts, baked products, and beverages.

However, to add it to your dish, you first need to mix the powder with some water and then pour it into your recipe. If added in the powdered form, it might leave your dish with an uneven distribution of its delicious flavors. 

How to substitute: A half teaspoon of lime juice powder mixed with one teaspoon of water can be used as a substitute for one teaspoon of lime juice.

9. Black Lime

When looking for a lime juice substitute while preparing stews, meats, or soups, give a chance to black lime. 

Widely used as a key ingredient to prepare Middle Eastern recipes, black lime has a dark, flaky appearance. While it mirrors the tangy flavor and citrusy aroma of regular limes, it lacks the sweet taste of freshly squeezed lime juice. 

Although it might not carry a taste similar to lime juice, the absence of sweetness in it serves to enhance the taste of soups and meats. Its umami undertones and fragrant, acidic flavor make it an outstanding substitute for lime juice.

How to substitute: Black lime works best when added in a similar quantity as the lime juice mentioned in your recipe.

10. Key Limes

What you usually purchase from grocery stores and use in your recipes are Persian limes, strikingly different from key limes. 

Key limes with a similar flavor profile work well to substitute lime juice. They are mostly famous for preparing sweets because of their great aroma and less acidic taste. 

However, you must take into account the tangier and slightly bitter flavor of key limes and alter the taste to suit the recipe. 

Also Read:  7 Best Substitutes For Chives In Your Recipe

How to substitute: Use a 2:1 ratio to replace key lime juice with lime juice.

11. White Wine

White Wine

If your marinades lack the delicious tanginess of lime juice, try adding white wine. Now, this might have come to you as a surprise, but yes, you can use white wine as a lime juice substitute. 

The best applications for it are in marinades, liquid recipes, and dressings. However, because it reacts strongly with ingredients like baking soda, it may not be an ideal ingredient for baked goods.

Also, remember that white wine vinegar does not have the same acidity level as lime juice and will therefore give a different flavor to your dish. 

How to substitute: Equal amount of white wine can be used to replace lime juice. 

12. White Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is another crucial ingredient in the list of lime juice substitutes. Prepared with a balanced proportion of white wine and vinegar, it carries the same tanginess and fruity taste as lime juice. 

It can be effectively used in meals, such as salads or marinades. However, you need to be careful when utilizing it in baked goods. It severely reacts with substances like baking soda and may materially alter your dish. 

How to substitute: Use half the quantity of white wine vinegar when replacing lime juice in a recipe.

13. Crushed Vitamin C

Crushed Vitamin C

Crushed vitamin C might come to your rescue if you cannot find any of these ingredients in your kitchen pantry. 

Lime juice can be substituted with crushed vitamin C to give salads and other dishes an acidic flavor. Though not exactingly similar to lime juice, it adds a satisfactory citrusy flavor to your dish. 

Prefer buying tablets and not capsules when selecting a vitamin C supplement that can be easily crushed and used in any recipe. 

How to substitute: Use one vitamin C tablet to substitute lime juice in any dish. 

Crush the pill in a bowl, mix it with two tablespoons of water, and then pour it into your recipe to get the best results.


With all these alternative ingredients in your mind, I hope you don’t panic the next time you need a lime juice substitute. These ingredients will not let your taste buds compromise the refreshing citrusy flavors of lime juice. Choose your favorite and play along.

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