Here's how to make and use preserved lemons for cooking plus some of our favorite preserved lemon recipes.
What are Preserved Lemons?
Preserved lemons are lemons that are pickled in salt and their own juices. They are used in many Middle Eastern and North African recipes.
Preserving the lemons allows the citrus flavor to shine while removing some of the tartness, making them a great way to brighten up a dish without adding bitterness.
Preserved lemons are often used in Moroccan tajines, in Cambodian and Indian cuisine, and as a garnish in Bloody Mary's. They're so versatile and while worth adding to your condiments cabinet!
Preserved Lemon Recipes
There are many wonderful recipes for cooking with preserved lemons. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon - a highly flavorful chicken recipe with preserved lemon, olives, and tomatoes.
- Chicken Meatballs with Preserved Lemon and Harissa Relish - a delicious Ottolenghi recipe with a tasty relish.
- Harissa Bloody Mary - the ultimate brunch cocktail
- Preserved Lemon Ginger Pound Cake - this cake adds bits of chewy candied ginger and gets a double dose of lemon in the form of a sweet-tart lemon glaze.
How to Make Preserved Lemons
Making your own preserved lemons is easy!
It only takes a few minutes to make them and they're ready to use in about a week. You can keep your preserved lemons in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. .
- Glass Jar
- 6 to 8 lemons
- kosher salt
- Wash your lemons.
- Cut an X into the base of 2 to 3 lemons (or however many will fit in your jar)
- Press kosher salt into the cuts in the lemon. Then press them all into the glass jar.
- Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemons (strain to remove seeds) and add juice to the jar till the lemons are fully covered.
- Store in a cool, dry place for at least one week before using.
- After opening, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Where to Buy Preserved Lemons
You can find preserved lemons at Middle Eastern grocery stores. If you want to buy it online, I recommend getting the Mina brand preserved lemons.
Looking for more cooking guides?
Here's some of our other cooking guides you might find helpful: