Making Preserved Lemons

Category Fruit
If you have a bounty of fresh lemons, preserve them in salt to savor their deliciousness at any time of the year. This is a page about making preserved lemons.


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My mother has always cooked fantastic authentic Moroccan dishes all my life. As I learned how to cook, I realized there was one ingredient in these dishes that truly stood out: preserved lemons. It's got an unusual lemony taste that can't be substituted. The flavours really strike all your senses. We use it to cook with our meats, as a depth to our salad dressings, or just put a bit on the sides of our dishes as a type of chutney. A good jar of preserved lemons could cost you $15 to $30 at the shops. Skip it and make your own.


  • 5 lemons, thoroughly washed
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium dried red chilies
  • 3 medium bay leaves
  • water, boiled then cooled


  1. Slice off the tops of each lemon.
  2. Slice lemon into 6 wedges each, but don't cut all the way through. Leave about 1/2 an inch at the bottom intact to hold them together.
  3. Sprinkle one tablespoon of salt into the middle of each lemon.
  4. Place peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chilies, bay leaves and lemons into a sterilized jar. Add remaining salt and press all the contents down with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour enough of the boiled and cooled water into the jar to cover the contents.
  6. Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks. No need to refrigerate.
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May 17, 20180 found this helpful
Top Comment

If anyone is looking for a good recipe to use these in, here is my Moroccan Tagine:


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This is a simple way to make preserved lemons. A little drizzle of this stuff goes a long way when making salads, using as a topping, or in your marinades. It's great because it doesn't have just a lemon flavour, it's also got the taste of the dissolved lemon rind, which is amazing. There's nothing quite like it.

Below is a link to my Moroccan Preserved Lemons recipe, which takes a few more ingredients, but is a deliciously fun twist on this recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 weeks preserving time minimum

Link: Moroccan Preserved Lemons


  • 5 lemons, washed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup salt


  1. Place some salt in the bottom of a clean jar, then add lemons pieces. Keep layering them (salt, lemon, salt, lemon) until you reach the top of the jar.
  2. When your jar is full, cover the top with more salt.
  3. Screw the jar's lid on tight. If you have a metal jar, place a piece of plastic wrap between the jar's lip and the lid. Store the jar in a dark place at room temperature for at least 2 weeks. The longer you store the lemons, the more the rind will dissolve, resulting in a more delicious preserve.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 4
Food and Recipes Recipes FruitApril 17, 2019
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