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Preserved Lemons

A staple in Moroccan cooking, this flavorful condiment is a great way to use up extra lemons.

A staple in Moroccan cooking, preserved lemons add a tart, salty, floral flavor to many dishes, from roasted chicken to salads and dips.

Makes about two pint-sized jars.


  • 6-8 whole lemons
  • 4-5 tablespoons salt
  • Whole spices to taste such as black pepper, coriander, or cumin seeds, chili peppers, bay leaves, etc. (optional)
  1. Wash and dry lemons. Slice off the ends to create a flat top and bottom.
  2. Stand each lemon on one of the flat ends and cut into quarters
  3. Pour 1/2 tbsp salt into the bottom of the jar, place four lemon quarters in the jar, and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt evenly on top of the four slices.
  4. If using spices, sprinkle them in with the layers of lemons and salt.
  5. Repeat with each quartered lemon, alternating layers of 4 slices and 1/2 tbsp salt, till the jar is tightly packed with lemon slices. Sprinkle 1 tbsp on top of the final layer of slices.
  6. Use a pestle to press on the lemons and extract as much juice as possible. Top off the jar with fresh lemon juice if needed.
  7. Seal the jar and store the lemons in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks, shaking every day to redistribute salt and help it dissolve. Once rinds are tender, move the jar into the refrigerator.
  8. To use, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. The minced rind is added at the very end of cooking or used raw; the pulp can be added to a simmering pot.

Preserved lemons will keep in the refrigerator for about 6 months.

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