How many ounces is in one lime?

Limes are a versatile citrus fruit that adds a refreshing tart and sour flavor to many dishes and beverages. When cooking or mixing drinks that call for lime juice, it’s helpful to know how much juice you can expect to extract from each lime. So how many ounces are in a lime? Let’s take a closer look.

The Average Size of a Lime

There are several different varieties of limes, each with slight differences in size and juice content. The most common types are the Persian or Tahiti lime and the Key lime. Persian limes are the larger, seedless variety typically found in grocery stores. Key limes are smaller, seedier, and more tart.

On average, one Persian lime weighs around 2 ounces (57 grams). The size can range anywhere from 1.5 to 3 ounces though. Key limes weigh 0.5 to 1 ounce on average. So Persian limes are around 2 to 6 times larger than Key limes.

The actual juice content depends more on the individual fruit. Limes can have varying amounts of juice based on ripeness, freshness, thickness of skin and flesh, and the presence of seeds.

Juice Yield from a Lime

Since juice content is variable, reported yields from a single lime range from 1 to 3 tablespoons (15 to 45 milliliters). Here are some general guidelines for expected juice quantities:

  • 1 Persian lime = 1 to 3 tablespoons juice
  • 1 Key lime = 1 to 2 tablespoons juice

Based on the average juice yields, here is how many ounces of juice you get from different size limes:

Type of Lime Average Juice Yield
Persian lime 1.5 to 2 tablespoons (20 to 30 mL)
Key lime 1 to 1.5 tablespoons (15 to 20 mL)

One tablespoon of juice is around 0.5 ounces (15 mL). So a typical Persian lime contains 0.75 to 1 ounce of juice. A Key lime provides about 0.5 to 0.75 ounces of juice.

How to Get the Most Juice from Limes

Here are some tips to help you maximize the amount of juice you extract from limes:

  • Roll the lime firmly on a hard surface before juicing. This helps break down some of the pulp inside.
  • Juice limes when they are at room temperature, not cold from the refrigerator.
  • Use a citrus reamer or juicer tool. You’ll get more juice than squeezing by hand.
  • Gently warm limes in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to soften them before juicing.
  • Cut limes in half horizontally through the center before squeezing.
  • Squeeze out every bit of juice by twisting the lime shell over the juicer.

Substituting Lime Juice for Whole Limes

Sometimes recipes will call for an actual lime to be used, for example when garnishing a drink with a lime wedge. When only lime juice is needed, here are some substitution equivalents:

  • 1 Persian lime = 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Key lime = 1.5 tablespoons lime juice

You can substitute bottled lime juice, but be aware that the flavor will be more concentrated and intense than fresh squeezed juice. It’s best to start with less bottled juice and adjust to taste as needed.

Lime Juice Nutrition

Limes provide an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants, in addition to some potassium, folate, vitamin E, and trace minerals. Here are some of the main nutritional highlights of lime juice:

Nutrient Amount Per 1 Ounce (30 mL)
Calories 8
Total Carbohydrate 2 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Vitamin C 7.7 mg (13% DV)
Potassium 37 mg (1% DV)
Calcium 3 mg (0% DV)

% DV = Percent Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie diet

Limes contain antioxidants like flavonoids, limonene, and beta cryptoxanthin that studies suggest may help fight cancer and have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ways to Use Lime Juice

Here are some of the most popular uses for fresh lime juice:

  • Make lime water by adding juice of 1/2 to 1 lime per glass of water. Can also add lime slices.
  • Squeeze lime over tacos, fajitas, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
  • Use lime juice in salsa and guacamole recipes.
  • Add lime juice to marinades and dressings for chicken, fish, pork, and salads.
  • Make limeade by mixing lime juice with water and sweetener.
  • Use in cocktails like gimlets, mojitos, caipirinhas, and margaritas.
  • Mix with coconut milk, chopped cilantro and spices to make Thai curries.
  • Squeeze lime over fresh fruit and slices in fruit salads.
  • Marinate chicken wings in lime juice, oil, and spices before baking.
  • Drizzle lime juice over sliced avocado for guacamole or avocado toast.

Common Questions

Can limes be stored at room temperature?

No, limes should be kept refrigerated. Storing them at room temperature will cause them to spoil and mold more quickly. Refrigerated limes will maintain freshness and juice content for up to 2 weeks.

What’s the difference between Persian and Key limes?

Persian limes are the larger, oval-shaped green limes commonly found in grocery stores. They have a bright green flesh and minimal seeds. Key limes are smaller, round, and yellow-green. They contain many seeds and have a more aromatic, floral, tart flavor.

Is bottled lime juice a good substitute for fresh limes?

Bottled lime juice works well as a substitute in recipes, but the flavor is much more concentrated and intense. Start with less bottled juice and add more to taste. For finishing dishes and drinks where the lime flavor really stands out, fresh juice is still best.

Can you freeze lime juice?

Yes, freezing is a great way to preserve fresh lime juice. Squeeze juice from limes and pour into ice cube trays or other containers, leaving headspace. Freeze, then transfer cubes to freezer bags. Frozen lime juice cubes can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight when ready to use.

What naturally goes well with lime flavor?

Lime pairs well with other citrus like lemon and orange. It also complements fresh herbs including cilantro, basil, and mint. Spices like chili powder, cumin, and ginger are frequently used in lime recipes. Chicken, fish and shrimp also work well seasoned with lime.


A standard Persian lime contains around 1 to 1.5 ounces of juice on average, while smaller Key limes yield about 0.5 to 0.75 ounces of juice per lime. Factors like size, ripeness, and thickness of the skin and pulp affect the actual juice quantity. Getting the most out of limes depends on using proper juicing techniques. While bottled juice substitutes well for fresh in recipes, lime juice is best consumed soon after squeezing for maximum flavor and nutritional benefits.

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