Want to learn How to Make Preserved Lemons? This recipe is simple and only requires a few ingredients of fresh lemons, lemon juice, and salt.
How to Make Preserved Lemons
I don't know about y'all and how you are faring on any kind of New Year resolutions, but I am failing miserably on mine and this so-called "diet". My healthy eating plan lasted all of 2 days and now I'm back to full-time eating sweets and potato chips.
Speaking of healthy eating, this recipe for preserved lemons is kind of healthy in the way of being low fat and low in calories. Preserved lemons are so easy to make, but they do take a little effort in planning ahead.
All you need is a clean glass container, a few juicy lemons, some salt, and at least 4 weeks to allow the lemons to preserve in the salt and lemon juice. After 4 weeks, you'll have the best pickled lemon rind to use in recipes to punch up the flavor.
How to use preserved lemons
Preserved lemons are a common ingredient used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. I love cooking Moroccan food, so I use these lemons a lot at home. They are also tasty in regular dishes, like simple green salads or cooked veggies for a nice citrus flavor.
The other day, I made a gremolata recipe (a mixture of chopped fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest), where I subbed out the zest for finely chopped preserved lemon rind. It was delicious! The gremolata can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days and used to top roast chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. Plus it's killer mixed in with some roasted potatoes.
Once you make these preserved lemons, try these unique drink recipes, like this spicy margarita or this lemon martini.
If you've never tried preserving lemons, use this recipe to learn how to make the best pickled lemon ever! Let me know in the comments below what you made with them and don't forget to PIN it for later.
How to Make Preserved Lemons
- 5 whole organic lemons
- ⅓ cup salt
extra fresh lemon juice to cover lemons , if needed
- Wash lemons well. Cut off a thin slice of each end of the lemons and quarter them (cutting lengthwise), leaving the wedges attached to each bottom. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt in-between each sliced wedge and set aside.
- Using a clean large glass jar with an air-tight lid, place 2 tablespoons of salt to cover bottom of jar. Take each lemon, one at a time, and place in jar, pressing down to release the juice and covering the lemon with another 1 teaspoon of salt. Repeat process with remaining lemons.
- Finish by topping lemons with 2 tablespoons of salt and enough extra fresh lemon juice to fully submerge them in the liquid. Tightly cover the jar with the lid and shake the jar a few times. Leave at room temperature for 2 days, shaking the jar each day. On the third day, place jar in the refrigerator.
- Lemons should be fully pickled in 3-4 weeks and ready to use. Will keep up to 1 year in refrigerator, making sure lemons are always submerged in the lemon juice.
To use: remove desired amount of lemon and remove the inside and all white pith, leaving only the rind. Use the rind as instructed in a recipe or eat as is (that's what I do sometimes as a snack!). Enjoy!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Makes 5 whole preserved lemons.
- Lemons should be ready to use and fully pickled in 3-4 weeks.
- Will keep up to 1 year in refrigerator; make sure lemons are always submerged in the lemon juice.
This couldn’t have come at a better time! My neighbor just gave me a huge bag of lemons from their tree and I was searching how to use them. Love this recipe and thank you!
Sonja J Galovics
I just tried a recipe from Jamie Oliver using preserved lemons. I ordered the lemons on line but super expensive but they made the recipe fabulous. Now I can make my own preserved lemons at a fraction of the cost!
Thank you so much.
Saw this on Pinterest and decided to make it on a whim. I've never had preserved lemons before but now love them!
I'm making these this weekend! After seeing your margarita post, which looks super delicious, I decided I need these. Can't wait to see how they turn out.
Btw, I'd love to see pics of that Tuscan market. Sounds like a foodie paradise!
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
Diets are impossible! When you like food as much as we do, they're just too difficult. Plus, who wants to miss out on homemade potato chips!? Not me, so I certainly don't blame you for stocking up on those once you move into the new place. Which btw, so exciting!! Hope you post some pics of the new place.
These preserved lemons look incredible, and I love how simple it is to put them together. The possibilities, like you mentioned, are endless with how you can use them. I love the idea of using them on seafood too!
Fantastic, Karrie <3
Thanks Beeta and I completely agree that diets are impossible. It's so hard to not eat a lot of food when I like all kinds of food. It is so exciting moving and can't wait to be in the new house. I'll def post some pics of it too
Karrie, I have never heard of this…… But it is absolutely BRILLIANT! I love salty foods over sweet. I often will cut up a lemon and eat it with salt. Weird, right? And all these years I have never thought of pickling the lemons to flavor my dishes. I am pulling out my pickling jars today and making this. Thanks dear! xoxo
Karrie, olive oil, herbs, and garlic are healthy ingredients so I would consider these chips a healthy option. Enjoy, I allow. I've happened not to be a potato chips fan, but I gladly compensate them with ice cream, chocolate, and nuts. Indeed, I've been a good guy, and I am basically not eating sweets during a business week - only on weekends! And indeed, I've never made preserved lemons even though I've had some recipes calling for them to try.
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom
Yes, yes, yes! I'm SO making this! I LOVE Moroccan food so I'm always running across recipes that call for preserved lemons. So far I've always bought them, but I've been meaning to make my own. Thank you so much for this recipe - I can't wait to make this!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
Oh my are these some gorgeous lemon photos! I can totally think of a thousand ways I would want to use these lemons! Cocktails are at the top of my list! I need to visit that Tuscan Market too because those potato chips sound out of this world! I'll take potato chips over a diet any day of the week!
What a lovely recipe and super easy! I'm all about that I have lots of lemons home now, so this would be a great way to use some of them! I was thinking of homemade lemon curd, but this seems a little bit better for you, lol, so preserved lemons it is! Nice pics, by the way!
I love the pictures. They alone tell your story. I have never made these - but I must try - usually when I find the patience to wait for something involving lemons, it's limoncello! I love the idea of using these in gremolata! One of my favorites! Nice job, lady! And I'm with you on the chips!
WOW! Beautiful and useful post 🙂 Amazing click
Very interesting idea and method, I'm very curious about the recipe you have in mind Beautiful photos as always
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Diets are for fools.. so I'm glad you pulled a little N'sync on that hoot-e-nany and said bye bye bye. (<-- I am fully aware of my amazing dorkiness). Preserved lemons do make a wonderful addition to so many dishes, and I am LOVING your pictures! I have zero patience for waiting 4 weeks though, so do you think you can be a doll and send me some of your lemons? 😉 I'll repay you in potato chips and beer. Can't wait to see what you make with these preserved lemons... even though I'm pretty sure I already know what you are going to make. #MindReader. Happy Friday, #bestie! XO
Lovely pictures! I am dying to see the preserved lemon (gremolata) recipe!! 🙂