Preserved Lemons

I have been on a real citrus kick lately. Maybe it is the season, but I have been going through a lot of lemons and limes. For the last couple of weeks I have been juicing close to nearly 40 limes, only to pour a bit of the juice into smoothies or weekend cocktails. The same goes with lemons. As I was juicing the lemons into a smaller sized mason jar, it occurred to me that instead of juicing them, I should create some preserved lemons!

You might have never seen preserved lemons, yet, as they are typically not used on a regular basis in American cooking. Or, maybe they are and many of us just never know. The preserved lemon is commonly used in Moroccan or African cuisine, and let’s face it, many of us are not eating that cuisine in the states on a regular basis.

Recipe for Preserved Lemons

The preserved lemon is a thing of beauty, and it can be used in a lot of different dishes, not just Moroccan or African. If preserved right, and long enough, the lemons have an intense citrus smell and and taste which enhances most any dishes that require a bit of lemon.


  • 7 whole lemons, rinsed and patted dry
  • Kosher salt, approximately 1 tbsp per lemon
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • Additional lemon juice
  • Wide mouth, pint sized canning jars
  • Time

Begin by cleaning your lemon by washing it in water, then pat them dry. Take your knife and take off any of the knobby end parts. Run your knife, lengthwise down the middle of the lemon, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom. Turn 90 degrees, and do the same. You pretty much have a quartered lemon but not cut all of the way through. Repeat with the remaining lemons.

Mix your salt, fennel seeds, and peppercorns.

Ingredients for making Preserved Lemons

Add about a tablespoon, or so, of the salt mixture to the bottom of the canning jar. Take a lemon and open it up a bit, and begin rubbing a tablespoon or so of the salt mixture all over the inside of the lemon. Take it and smash it down into the mason jar. Repeat with the second lemon. Two lemons fit into my canning jar. Depending on the size of your lemons, you might have more or less. Once smashed, roll a lemon on the counter, and apply enough pressure to extract the juices. Cut the lemon in half, and use your hand juicer, or hands and squeeze as much juice out of the lemon into the canning jar to nearly fill the top. This takes about two lemons per jar.

Repeat with a second canning jar. Add any remaining salt mixture to the top of the open canning jars, seal, and give a shake. Let these sit on your counter at room temperature for about 2 days, shaking the mixture each day.

Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks before using.

When you are ready to use some of the lemons, open the can, remove the softened lemons, and rinse under cold water. You can use the pulp in sauces if you would like, or stuff it inside of a chicken before roasting, otherwise, remove the pulp and slice the lemon peel into thin slices to be used in sauces, salads, rice, or whatever you can think of that would use that wonderful lemon and salt flavor. Give it a try. It’s something new!

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts to “Preserved Lemons”

  1. Hey…this is GREAT! Lemons can be very expensive – at least here in northwest, MT. This will allow me to buy in bulk when they are on sale. Thanks!

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