Here's how to make preserved lemons for cooking plus some of our favorite preserved lemon recipes!
They're delicious and can be used in so many ways. They're a fantastic homemade condiment and can be a great hostess gift.
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, Cambodian and Indian cuisine, and as a garnish in Bloody Marys. They're so versatile and worth adding to your condiments cabinet!
Here's what you'll need to make homemade preserved lemons!
- Fresh Lemons
- Kosher Salt
You'll also need a glass jar, a sharp knife, and a cutting board to make this recipe.
See the recipe card for full details.
Wash your lemons thoroughly and dry them.
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 the lemons into a 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.
Cover and seal the jar with a lid.
Store in a cool, dry place for at least one week before using.
After opening, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Recipes With Preserved Lemons
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.
More Cooking Guides
Here are some of our other cooking guides you might find helpful:
- How to Keep Cilantro Fresh
- How to Peel a Pomegranate
- Types of Onions and How to Use Them
- Best Spices for Vegetable Soup
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.