How To Make Preserved Lemons

If you never tried preserved lemons, you are missing out and you need to change that immediately. The tangy, salty, and amazing flavors of preserved lemons will make your dishes better. If that sounds exciting to you, you can learn how to make preserved lemons and what to do with them in the following paragraphs.

How To Make Preserved Lemons – Tips & Tricks

Making preserved lemons is easier than you could imagine. To make them, you need only two ingredients – lemons and salt. At the end of this article, you can find our favorite preserved lemons recipe. However, we thought we should help you out with a few tips and tricks first.

Here’s what you have to know about making preserved lemons at home:

For starters, you have to slice the lemons. There are many different ways to do this – you can follow our recipe and slice the lemons in quarters, in an X shape, or you can go with the traditional way and slice them in the middle both vertically and horizontally. In our opinion, the X shape works better because it’s easier to remove the lemons from the jar once they are ready to use.

For each lemon you want to preserve, you need one tablespoon of salt. So that means four tablespoons of salt for four lemons and so on. You want to cover the lemons in salt thoroughly.

When you’re done with the salt, you have to transfer the lemons to a jar or container of your choice and smash them with a wooden spoon. You want the lemons to release their juices so don’t be afraid to smash them hard with the spoon.

During the first three days, you want to check on your lemons daily and smash them with the wooden spoon to facilitate the release of juices. Throughout this period, the lemons typically release enough lemon juice to be fully submerged. However, if your lemons weren’t juicy enough, you have to add lemon juice to the jar. Use fresh lemon juice obtained by squeezing lemons.

All you have to do now is wait. How much is entirely up to you. It can take 1 to 3 weeks for the preserved lemons to reach your desired taste. However, it is best to refrigerate them after 2 weeks. Taste them to be sure they have the tangy, salty, and lemony flavor you want.

How Long Do Preserved Lemons Last?

Preserved lemons last for 6-12 months in the fridge. However, they are at their best during the first six months. You can safely enjoy them after six months only if the taste, smell and appearance didn’t change.

What To Do With Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons can add flavor, tanginess, saltiness, and brightness to many dishes. If you are familiar with North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, you probably know that you can add preserved lemons to pretty much any dish. If you’re new to the world of preserved lemons, get ready for a new delicious and flavorful culinary experience.

To show you the versatility of preserved lemons and because we’re sure you will join the “love preserved lemons with anything” camp after testing our recipe, we have a few pairing recommendations for you.

Preserved Lemons with Grains

Preserved lemons make grains tastier and more flavorful. You can use them in your risotto, with chickpeas or quinoa, as a dressing for a simple rice dish or as a pizza topping.

Preserved Lemons with Veggies & Legumes

Preserved lemons will make you fall in love with vegetable dishes. If you weren’t already in love with them that is. But even if you were, your love will only grow stronger if you add preserved veggies to your salads or veggie dishes. You can add tanginess to your potato salad, flavor to your Brussel sprouts, and saltiness to your roasted veggies by adding some preserved lemons in the mix. You can also transform your beans, lentils, and hummus with preserved lemons.

Preserved lemons with Meat and Fish

Preserved lemons also go amazingly with meat and fish, especially in grill recipes that can be dull and boring sometimes. With preserved lemons, grilled salmon (or any other type of fish, really) will never be boring again. Although great with fish, preserved lemons make a good companion for steak as well. 

And roasted chicken will be exciting yet again if you use preserved lemons to make it flavorful. 

Preserved Lemons in Soups and Stews

Generally speaking, soups and stews are full of amazing flavors but why not make them even better with preserved lemons?

Preserved Lemons Recipe


  • 4-8 lemons;
  • 4-8 tablespoons salt;
  • Lemon juice (lemon juice is needed only if the lemons do not produce enough juice during the first three days).



  1. With a knife, cut the lemons into quarters but not all the way through. You want to form an X shape.
  2. Cover the lemons with a tablespoon of salt each.
  3. Pack the lemons into a mason jar.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to smash down the lemons.
  5. Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter Lid and place the Fermentation Weights in the jar to ensure perfect fermentation results.
  6. During the first three days, smash down the lemons with the spoon.
  7. By day 3 the lemons should be fully submerged in lemon juice. If they aren’t, squeeze a few lemons and add the fresh lemon juice to the jar until the lemons are submerged.
  8. Place the Easy Weights into the jar.
  9. Let the jar sit at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 1 week.

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