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How to Preserve Lemons- a simple easy way to preserve lemons that only takes 10 minutes of hands-on time before letting mother nature take its course. Use in dressings, marinades, Middle Eastern Dishes and salad to add a burst of flavor. #preservedlemons

How to Preserve Lemons

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: preserved
  • Method: preserved, cured
  • Cuisine: Moroccan
  • Diet: Vegan


How to Preserve Lemons! A simple easy step-by-step guide to making your own Preserved Lemons at home with only 15 minutes of hands-on time (plus 2 weeks preserving time). Use preserved lemons in dressings, marinades, Middle Eastern dishes, stews, and salads!


  1. 4 lemons (4-5 ounces each) Meyer Lemons are nice here but not imperative.
  2. 12 tablespoons sea salt
  3. a clean, 2-3 cup wide-mouth jar with lid
  4. optional additions: bay leaves, peppercorns, other whole spices.


  1. Clean a 2-3 cup jar with hot soapy water, dry.
  2. Slice 2 lemons into 1/8-1/4 inch thick disks, about 8 slices each. (Use the ends for juicing)
  3. Salt the bottom of the jar with 1/4 teaspoon salt and begin layering the lemons, salting each slice or layer with a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt leaving at least 1 inch of room at the top of the jar. You’ll need about 2 teaspoons sea salt, per 1 large ( 4-5 ounce) lemon.
  4. Once the jar is filled with the salted sliced lemons, press them down either with your fingers or a muddler, compressing them, then squeeze the juice from the remaining 1-2 lemons to completely submerge the slices, again pressing down with your fingers. Weight the lemons down under the brine. You can use a fermentation weight,  or a small ziplock filled with water to keep them submerged. Cover.
  5. Place this in a cool dry place for at least 1 week, feel free to shake the jar periodically, always making sure lemons are submerged under the lemony salty brine. After about a week they should start to look translucent and the peel should become very tender. I’ll often let them go 2- 3 weeks for extra tender. If you notice mold at the top, it is likely because lemons were exposed to air– not to worry. Just remove that top layer and make sure the remaining lemons are submerged under the brine.
  6. Once translucent and tender, refrigerate! ( see photo above).


  1. Lemons will last indefinitely in the fridge (up to or over a year) as long there is brine covering them.
  2. Use them chopped up in dressings, marinades, salads and grain or bean dishes, or whiz them up in the blender and make a paste to add to soups, stews, dressings, etc. Use the “syrup” to season soups and stews.


  • Calories: 25

Keywords: preserved lemons, how to preserve lemons, what are preserved lemons, how to make preserved lemons, preserved lemons sliced.