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Preserved Lemons

How to Make Preserved Lemons


You may have noticed that preserved lemons are popping up in recipes everywhere. You see them in the supermarket shelves and even on cooking shows, leaving you to wonder, "What is a preserved lemon?".

A preserved lemon is a lemon that has been soaking in lemon juice or oil and salt. The lemon loses the bitter taste and becomes sweet. Preserved lemons are very popular in Moroccan cuisine.

How to Make Preserved Lemons

You'll need:

  • 10-12 lemons, Meyer lemons do best because they are sweeter
  • 6 lemons for juicing
  • kosher coarse salt
  • Large glass mason jar


  1. Wash and dry 12 lemons. Quarter the lemons, yet leaving the lemon in tact at the stem. Basically, you want to cut, leaving 1/2 inch of the bottom of the lemon uncut.
  2. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of coarse salt inside the lemon and reshape the fruit. Repeat with remaining lemons.

  3. Juice six remainder lemons.

  4. Place about 3 tablespoons kosher salt in the bottom of mason jar. Add a layer of salted lemons, then sprinkle kosher salt, ten another layer of lemon. Repeat until the jar is 3/4 full. Add lemon juice to fill jar, leaving a little space to account for the lemon juice that will come from the salted lemons.

  5. Seal jar and store at room temperature. Place upside down every few days. Allow lemons to remain in jar for about a month before use. Lemons are ready when rind in soft.
Always rinse lemons before use. More commonly the rind will be used in recipes, but the flesh can be used as well.
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