Preserved Lemons

I really enjoy cooking foods from different cultures. As I’ve experimented with flavors, I’ve found many of the Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes are versatile and delicious. And I discovered I love preserved lemons. You can use them on vegetables, in casseroles, rice, even some meat dishes. I even eat a piece from time to time as a snack.

You can purchase them at many middle eastern grocery stores, even Amazon,

or you can simply make them yourself. They are super easy!

You’ll need:

  • 8-10 lemons, preferably meyer – they have thinner skins
  • lemon juice – maybe one or two more lemons
  • 1/2 t0 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1bay leaf
  • Quart jar with a tight lid

Scrub the lemon skins and set on a towel to dry.

Cut the stem off.

Cut the lemons into quarters length wise, but not all the way through.

Heavily sprinkle salt on the inside and outside of the lemon.

Put about 1/4 cup of salt in the bottom of the jar.

Pack the lemons tightly into the jar. Gently push them down to release some of the juice.

Pour some extra lemon juice over the top to make sure the lemons are completely covered. Add the bay leaf and pepper corns. Give it shake.

Label and date the jar. Always date the jar. I find myself forgetting I have things and when I pull them out, the date tells me how long they’ve been in the refrigerator.


Let them sit for at least a week. The longer you leave them, the softer they get.

And that’s it! They are ready for use!


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8 Responses to Preserved Lemons

  1. The Sudden Cook says:

    I’ve never tried this and so good to know they go great with rice. Definitely will bookmark this!

  2. BERNADETTE says:

    Your lemons look lovely. They are such a nice bright yellow.

  3. Gloria says:

    This is such a great recipe. The perfect food gift for the holidays. The flavour is wonderful.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, I’ve never thought of doing this! Love learning about different cultures and foods. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I have so many lemons and had no idea how to preserve them. Thank you for the suggestion.
    Do you think it will also work with grapefruits? I live in the Southwest, and my tree is full.

  6. Debra says:

    I’ve always wanted to make some preserved lemons but thought it was so hard! Thanks so much for showing me the way…so easy and I have so many tasty things to do with these!

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