Margaritas, limeade, and even pies – we love lime juice in our food and drinks. The aromatic fruit is similar to lemons, but it’s harder to predict exactly how much juice one lime yields.

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The truth is you can get anywhere between 1 and 4 tablespoons of lime juice from a lime. The exact amount depends on the type of lime you use, its size, and its freshness.

We’ll discuss how much juice you can expect from the two main types of limes. Plus, how bottled lime juice compares to the real thing. I’m hoping it will make cooking with this wonderful citrus juice much simpler!


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Types of Limes & How Much Juice They ProduceFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Types of Limes & How Much Juice They Produce

Some believe that limes are just unripe lemons, but they’re actually vitamin C-rich relatives. It’s true that limes are picked unripe while they’re still green (and before they turn yellow), but limes are undoubtedly a distinct kind of citrus.

Today, three different limes are readily available in the US – the Persian, the Key lime, and the less common Kaffir lime.

Persian Limes


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Also known as the Tahiti lime, Persian limes are the big, thick-skinned lime variety that you find in most supermarkets.

Persian limes are more than twice the size of Key limes. They’re typically seedless, making juicing less of a hassle. So if you don’t feel like squeezing a bunch of limes for your next recipe, go for the Persian variety.

However, you will miss out on some of the iconic flavors of key limes. Persian limes are less acidic, less bitter, but also lack “the kick” of key limes. These characteristics make Persian limes great for making refreshing drinks like limeade (the key lime limeade is just too acidic), daiquiri, and margaritas.

How Much Juice Does a Persian Lime Produce?

Persian limes weigh about 2 oz; however, they also have a thick peel which makes up for a lot of the weight.

A mid-sized Persian lime delivers between 0.6 and 1.2 fl oz, or between 2 and 3 tablespoons of juice

Key Limes

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The key lime is harder to find in stores, but if you’re preparing lime cake, it’s totally worth the extra effort!

Key limes are famed for their intense aroma so they’re favored in cooking. The sour-sweet taste is a great addition to drinks and desserts, but key lime juice is also used to marinate fish or meat thanks to its higher acidity.

However, key limes are very small, about the size of a golf ball, so it takes a lot of time and effort to squeeze out the amount of juice you need for most recipes. That’s especially true since it typically has more seeds than the Persian variety.

Key limes have a light green skin with occasional yellow spots. The peel turns yellow when the plant ripens, but limes are typically consumed while unripe. The rind is thin and gives a wonderful zest.

How Much Juice Does One Key Lime Produce?

While limes certainly don’t have as much juice as oranges, you need 2 to 3 key limes for each Persian lime required in the recipe. Due to their smaller size, a key lime typically only gives about 0.5 fl oz of juice, which converts to 1 tablespoon of juice per key lime.


Can I Substitute Bottled Lime Juice For Fresh Lime Juice?

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The short answer is – you can. Use the same amount of bottled juice as you would use fresh.

Keep in mind that fresh lime juice has a richer aroma than bottled – the bottled juice often tastes tart or muted due to preservatives, and it contains less vitamin C. On the other hand, it’s easier to predict how your cake will turn out if you always use the same brand of bottled juice. It’s simply a matter of preference or the particular recipe you want to try out.

Some recipes ask for fresh lime juice, while others are designed to be made with bottled juice. One thing to keep in mind thought is – lime juice does not last long. If you are interested in citrus fruit (and citrus juice in general), feel free to start with our short piece on how long does lemon juice lasts.

For example, this wonderful lime curd recipe calls for either fresh or bottled lime juice, and it also requires lime zest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Does “1 Lime Juiced” Mean In A Recipe?

Quite simply, the recipe is calling for all the juice you can squeeze out of one lime. You can squeeze it by hand, or use one of several tools.

Manual juicing tools like a hand juicer, a reamer, or an electric or manual squeezer will work great. If you have a masticating (cold press juicer) or a centrifugal juicer, you can trim the peel and drop whole limes in.

How Many Cups of Juice Is In One Lime?

You’ll need about 10 Persian limes for 1 cup, or around 30 key limes for 1 full cup of juice.

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How Many Ounces Is A Lime?

A lime weights between 4-6 ounces and yields anywhere between 1 and 4 tablespoons of juice depending on its size.

Easy Peasy Lime Squeezy 

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