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Essentially the most fantastic Moroccan-style preserved lemons recipe – with natural lemons, salt, lemon juice and spices (bay leaf and pink peppercorns). Blow your style buds away with this intensely lemony condiment!

When the timber are heaving with fruit – we make preserved lemons!

Preserved lemons pair superbly with two of my favorite issues: good high quality, fats juicy inexperienced olives and Moroccan tagines! I really like their intensely lemony, barely salty, puckery-ness (is {that a} phrase?) and the pop of color they create to a dish.

They couldn’t be simpler to make, both – all you want are lemons, salt, a canning jar, and, if you happen to’re feeling fancy, just a few key herbs and or spices (I’ve gone with bay leaf and pink peppercorns).

Depart it to ferment for a month, then you will have pure deliciousness at your fork-tip.

Moroccan-inspired Preserved Lemons Recipe – with bay leaves and pink peppercorns. Pimp your tagines/pilafs/salads! Click To Tweet

Earlier than we start, we’re after Natural Lemons, child!

Typical lemons have wax on their skins, in order that they received’t be capable to ferment. Natural Meyer lemons are my decide – all the higher in the event that they’re home-grown!

Perfect Meyer lemons on the tree

Lactic Acid Fermentation of the Lemons

Salted lemons are an instance of lactic acid fermentation. When making preserved lemons, you mix them with salt in a jar, then cowl totally with lemon juice – successfully submersing them in a salty, acidic brine.

This salty setting is beneficial to Lactobaccilus micro organism, however unfavourable to ‘dangerous’ micro organism, yeasts and moulds, stopping their development.

The Lactobaccilus then begin to eat the fruit sugars, turning them into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a pure preservative, because it additional inhibits the expansion of dangerous micro organism.

As soon as the lemons have fermented for lengthy sufficient (let’s say round a month, and even longer), you possibly can switch the jar to the fridge, to halt any additional bacterial motion.

A basket full of freshly picked Meyer lemons sitting on the edge of the vegetable bed

Advantages of consuming Preserved Lemons

As with consuming different lacto-fermented meals – you’re getting a small quantity of the pleasant Lactobaccillus genus of micro organism into the gastrointestinal tract.

Lactobacilli are natives to the GI tract, they play a task in sustaining immune well being and modulating irritation. This journal article has a pleasant assessment of LA fermentation of vegetables and fruit with regard to human diet and well being.

They’re additionally extraordinarily vital to intestine well being, as they flip dietary fibre into gas for the enterocytes (cells of the intestine wall), within the type of quick chain fatty acids.

Isn’t that cool – micro organism can flip fibre into fats!

The right way to inform when your Preserved Lemons are prepared

After 3-Four weeks of fermentation, open up the jar and test the lemons – if the skins have noticeably softened, then that’s an indication they’re able to get pleasure from.

The right way to use Preserved Lemons

Take them out the of the jar, rinse them beneath operating water to take away extra salt and any pips, then slice them up and add to your cooking.

You should use them sliced or complete in pilafs, tagines, salads, stews, hummus, salad dressings and extra. Typically, it’s the pulpy fruit utilized in sauces, and the rind used for all the pieces else.

Listed here are just a few of my recipes I feel they’d be nice in:

And for extra concepts, there is a superb spherical up right here of some nice dishes utilizing preserved lemons to strive.

Preserved Lemons Recipe – Step by Step

It’s an artwork relatively than a science – all of it is determined by the quantity, measurement and juiciness of your lemons. However right here’s a little bit of a visible step-by-step of our preserved lemons recipe, regardless.

First you need to get a provide of sterilized canning jars – or sterilize your personal.  To do that, clear the jar with sizzling soapy water, then stand it within the sink, and fill with freshly boiled water. Depart it to face for ten minutes, then drain.

Word: within the recipe card on the backside of this publish – I’ve listed 1x 1 litre/quart jar – whereas you’ll see within the images right here I used a number of 500ml / 0.5 quart jars. It is because I had a gazillion lemons and the smaller jars are fab to share with fam and buddies.

Sterilised canning jars on the table ready to make preserved lemons

Proper – now we will start! Begin with sprinkling a tablespoon of Himalayan rock salt into your jar, then prep the lemons.

Making preserved lemons - adding salt to the jar first

Wash them and pat dry, then trim the nub off from one of many ends. Relying on how fats the lemon is – slice it into quarters or sixths – leaving about 1cm on the base.

That is the popular manner of slicing them – in order that once you stuff ‘em with salt, you possibly can squish them again collectively and let the salt be in shut contact with the fruit.

Close up of a lemon cut in quarters with salt added

On the subject of salting – you possibly can you both spoon salt immediately into the lemon, or you possibly can add salt to a bowl and toss particular person lemon segments to coat.

Add the salted lemons, one after the other to the jar, packing them down tightly as you go, to assist launch the juice and create a brine with the salt.

When the jar is full, add a bay leaf and pink peppercorns, then sprinkle over one other tablespoon of salt.

Multiple jars of preserved lemons seasoned with bay leaves and peppercorns, ready to be capped

At this level, you could have to high up the jar with lemon juice, guaranteeing the lemons are totally submerged.

Montage showing a jar of preserved lemons as more lemons are being added and packed down

Fasten the lid and provides it a bit shake, then retailer out of direct daylight. Verify the jar periodically, to ensure the lemons are nonetheless coated totally with the salty brine – and in the event that they’re not, squash them again down.

As soon as 3-Four weeks have handed, you possibly can open them up – if the rinds have softened then refrigerate and retailer like this for as much as a yr.


Hope you get pleasure from – see you once more quickly with one thing yum.


Jars of finished preserved lemons on the kitchen bench ready to ferment

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Preserved Lemons Recipe

Print Recipe

Preserved Lemons Recipe

Moroccan-style salted lemons in spices – intensely lemony and the most effective addition to your pilafs, tagines, salads and extra. This recipe is for one 1 litre / 1 quart jar. Within the images, you’ll see I made a number of smaller jars, which are perfect for sharing with household and buddies. There is no such thing as a
true science to this – you could want extra lemons or salt – eyeball it and all shall be nicely!

Prep Time15 minutes

Fermentation time30 d

Complete Time30 d 15 minutes

Course: Condiment

Delicacies: Moroccan

Key phrase: Preserved Lemons Recipe

Servings: 6

Energy: 66kcal

Creator: Naturopath Lauren Glucina


  • 6-8 Meyer lemons giant, natural (mine weighed approx. 160g every)
  • 2 tablespoons wonderful Himalayan sea salt to sprinkle, starting and finish
  • 5 tablespoons wonderful Himalayan sea salt to stuff the lemons (approx. 2 teaspoons per)
  • lemon juice sufficient to submerge the lemons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon complete pink peppercorns


  • Sterilise glass canning jar by filling it with boiling water and letting it stand for ten
    minutes within the sink, then drain.

  • Sprinkle just a few teaspoons to a tablespoon of salt within the sterilised glass jar. Put aside.

  • Wash lemons and pat dry, slice one nub off the top. Minimize the lemon into quarters or sixths relying on the dimensions, from the sliced finish downwards – however cease in need of slicing all over. This retains the lemons in-tact.

  • Open up the lemon segments and spoon in about 2-Three teaspoons of sea salt into the centre,
    then squish the segments collectively. Repeat! (Word: if you happen to’re making a big
    batch, and this really feel time consuming – don’t fear about maintaining your lemons
    intact, add salt to a bowl and toss the segments in there to coat).

  • Pack the lemons as tight as you possibly can into your jar, use a picket spoon to assist squash them
    down and launch the juice to create a brine.

  • Add one bay leaf, sprinkle pink peppercorns excessive, and a further tablespoon of salt.

  • High the jar off with contemporary lemon juice, so the complete contents is submerged – proper as much as
    the lid. Cap, label and date.

  • After just a few days, add extra lemon juice if wanted. Retailer someplace out of direct mild. 

  • After one month, the lemons are prepared to make use of – you’ll discover they’ve softened and
    modified color. Rinse beneath operating water to take away extra salt earlier than utilizing.


  • Select natural lemons as the standard ones have a wax coating which is able to forestall fermentation – Meyer are most well-liked.
  • Bay leaf and peppercorns are optionally available – experiment with different flavours like cinnamon, coriander seeds and fennel.
  • The more durable you possibly can pack/squish the lemons down the higher – it’ll imply it is advisable to use much less further lemon juice.
  • Preserve the lemons submerged in brine always, and ensure the brine reaches all the best way to the highest.
  • Use a really well-fitting plastic lid – not metallic – you don’t need it rusting and tainting your batch!
  • Lemons are prepared once they soften significantly. 
  • Retailer within the fridge for as much as a yr.
  • Vitamin panel is an estimate solely – it’s unattainable to calculate the sodium content material as many of the salt shall be rinsed off earlier than you eat the lemons.


Serving: 1lemon | Energy: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.6g | Protein: 2.6g

Gorgeous shot of three jars of preserved lemons with spices by the window