I love lemon added to salad dressing, combined with asparagus, broccoli cauliflower , garlic , fish – you get the picture.  This year I discovered preserved lemons and “WOW” is all I can say.

Preserved lemons are hard to find in my neck of the woods – so I decided that I would make my own.

These are very easy to make. All you really need is lemons, salt and a little patience. You can use these in place of lemons in your standard recipes and add a whole new taste to your dishes.

I’ll add some of the recipes I use these into the blog so my lemon loving friends can try them out too. (Especially since my asparagus bed is popping this year!)

I’ve added some tips below the recipe.


The possibilities are endless. We came to love these so much in our house that their use extends past middle eastern foods into almost anything that requires lemon.  
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chicken, fish, lemon, moroccan, tangine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Calories 187kcal
Author Bernie Griffith


  • 1/3 cup Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
  • 3-4 Lemons Apx 1 lemon for juicing and 3 lemons per pint jar
  • Fresh Lemon Juice as needed


  • Fill medium saucepan with water and heat on stove to boiling point.  This is for the lemons - not the jars. 

  • Hot water bath or clean the jar(s) with hot soapy water. Dry with a clean dish towel or clean the jar(s) in your dishwasher and dry as needed - and you should be fine. 
    Don't forget to clean/sterilize your lids as well. 
  • To clean lemons, boil them in water for 2 or 3 minutes and allow them to cool before cutting or squeezing.

    This method will remove any wax or dirt and it is 
    the best way to extract the maximum amount of juice from a lemon. 
    Or you can soak them in vinegar water or wash well with warm water and dish soap. Rinse well. 

  • Cut off a thin slice from each end of the lemons and quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom - Be careful not to cut all the way through. 
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt in-between each sliced wedge and set aside.  Do this for all lemons. 
  • Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of the jar.  Take each lemon, one at a time, and place in jar. 
    Press down to release the juice. Then cover the lemon with another 1 teaspoon of salt. 
    Repeat process with remaining lemons.
  • Finish by topping lemons with 2 tablespoons of salt. 
    Use a pestle or spoon to press on the lemons and extract as much juice as possible. 
    Top off the jar with fresh lemon juice (if needed). It is important to make sure all lemons are covered in lemon juice. 

    Something to note: Allow the lemons to sit for about 30 minutes and you may find they release a little more juice when pressed on. 
  • Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days. 
    Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.
  • To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp. 
    Chop the preserved lemon peel according to your recipe, or whichever way you prefer.
    There is no need to refrigerate after opening, but it is recommended. 


You will also need 1 pint jar (for every 4-5 lemons), sharp knife, pestle or wooden spoon, tongs or slotted spoon and a medium saucepan.  

Some additional tips:

  • I used wide-mouth jars for my lemons and the lemons seem to float above the liquid more easily. I ‘m going to use regular mouth jars when I make these again.
  • My preference is to sterilize my jars in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a canner you can boil water in a pan and ladle the hot water into the jar(s).  Let sit for about 5 minutes and carefully empty the jars. Do not dry – allow jar(s) to sit upside down on a clean dish towel.
  • I remove any seeds that are visible and do not require much more than a bush to remove. You don’t want to dig into the lemon.
  • Sometimes you will see a sort of lacy, white substance clinging to preserved lemons in their jar; it is perfectly harmless, but should be rinsed off for aesthetic reasons just before the lemons are used.
  • Preserved lemons are rinsed, prior to use, to rid them of their salty taste.
  • You can cook with both pulps and rinds, if desired.
  • You can use the brine to cook with as well. It adds a salty lemon taste to the dish.
  • It has been recommended that preserved lemons be refrigerated after a week. I don’t do that. I allow them to sit in a dark spot and only after opening do I stick them in the fridge.


Try using these with our leg of  lamb recipe. 

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