Preserved Lemons

Prep Time 15 mins
Add'l Time 802 hrs
Total Time 802 hrs 15 mins

Preserved Lemons are so easy to make and perfect for using in Moroccan recipes or as a topping on salads. This recipe is takes time to make but is a great way to use up lemons!

A lemon on its side with the end cut off and laying next to it

Are Preserved Lemons Easy To make?

I have a mini confession to make. I love ridiculously dumb jokes. You know…jokes like…

What do you call a frog with no hind legs?   -Unhoppy

Why can’t boy ghosts have babies?    -Because they have hallo-weenies!

Obviously this makes me a great person to have at parties as I can entertain the children while everyone else drinks too much. And as you all know…when life hands you lemons, you are supposed to grab a bottle of vodka, hunker down, and make the good kind of lemonade! But that’s not the only thing you can do with a crap ton of lemons. You can also make Preserved Lemons! Preserved lemons are a big part of Moroccan dishes. I promised I would share how to make your own preserved lemons at home, and here they are. While it takes a month for them to be ready, the process could not be any easier!

How To Make Preserved Lemons

You will need a large jar with tight fitting lid (that has been sterilized by immersion in boiling water and left to drain), 20 unwaxed lemons, a bunch of sea salt, and water.

A lemon with the ends cut off and more lemons behind it

First, clean your lemons! We only want clean, scrubbed, and dried lemons.

Then cut off the top and bottom of each lemon.

Two images showing a single lemon split down the middle two ways

Stand lemon on one end and make two vertical cuts a third of the way through the lemon.

Two images showing a single split lemon stuffed with salt

Stuff lemon with sea salt.

Two images showing lemons stuffed with salt in glass jars

Once lemon is full of salt, stuff lemon into the jar. Continue this process until the jar is full. Once you have filled the jar, close the top and place in a cool place for 3-4 days to soften the lemon skins. I left mine in the fridge for 4 days.

Then juice the remaining lemons and pour into jar over salted lemons. Your goal is to get half the jar full of lemon juice. This may take more lemons than originally stated in the ingredients. But for me it took 11 lemons to fill the jar and 9 lemons to cover half way with juice.

Fill the jar the rest of the way with water, until the water covers the tops of the lemons. Seal the jar and store in refrigerator for 1 month. After one month, you will have created Preserved Lemons!

Use in many moroccan dishes or as a delicious garnish on top of salads.

Preserved Lemons in a large glass jar

Yield: 11 or so preserved lemons

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons in a large glass jar

Preserved Lemons are so easy to make and perfect for using in Moroccan recipes or as a topping on salads. This recipe is takes time to make but is a great way to use up lemons!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 33 days 10 hours
Total Time 33 days 10 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large jar with tight fitting lid (that has been sterilized by immersion in boiling water and left to drain)
  • 20 unwaxed lemons, possibly more lemons
  • sea salt
  • water

Instructions

First, clean your lemons! We only want clean, scrubbed, and dried lemons.

Then cut off the top and bottom of each lemon.

Stand lemon on one end and make two vertical cuts a third of the way through the lemon.

Stuff lemon with sea salt.

Once lemon is full of salt, stuff lemon into the jar. Continue this process until the jar is full. Once you have filled the jar, close the top and place in a cool place for 3-4 days to soften the lemon skins. I left mine in the fridge for 4 days.

Then juice the remaining lemons and pour into jar over salted lemons. Your goal is to get half the jar full of lemon juice. This may take more lemons than originally stated in the ingredients. But for me it took 11 lemons to fill the jar and 9 lemons to cover half way with juice.

Fill the jar the rest of the way with water, until the water covers the tops of the lemons. Seal the jar and store in refrigerator for 1 month. After one month, you will have created Preserved Lemons!

Use in many moroccan dishes or as a delicious garnish on top of salads.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

11

Serving Size:

1 lemon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

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Comments

16 Responses
  1. Shane

    These are wonderful made with Meyer lemons!  Try them finely chopped in your basic risotto recipe along with some grilled or roasted asparagus and fresh chives! Thanks for a great website, Jessica!

  2. Russell van Kraayenburg

    Your blog makes me happy. I have learned two new adorable jokes. Yay! Interesting recipe too. I’ve never heard anything like this. I feel sheltered.

  3. Joanne

    Can I tell you that it took me until the very end of the post to figure out the title. Oy.

    I’ve always wondered how to make preserved lemons! So glad that now I can get them in my life.

  4. Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty

    vokda (haha oops!)…

    vodka = what’s red and looks like a bucket? – a red bucket. Duh.

    PS. More suggestions for preserved lemons please! How do I use them?? In what sort of quantities? I bought some a while ago and they’re just resting in my fridge. I’m afraid of them!

  5. Yellowfish

    Oh wow, I’m going to have to give this a try! so, how long can you keep them around after the preserving month is over?

  6. Krissy@DaintyChef

    Very cool! I, like you, love jokes like that. I used to buy Laffy Taffys solely for the jokes on them. Guess that is why I grew up to be a 4th grade teacher 🙂

  7. Ammire

    I am so happy to see this recipe! Because you know, I’ve never been smart enough to Google what are preserved lemons or how to make them…I’ve always looked for them, unsuccessfully, at the store! Doh! Now I can make your tagine recipe for my husband. Thanks Jessica!

  8. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook

    How do you catch a unique rabbit?
    u-nique-up on it

    What did the fish say when it hit the wall?
    Dam.

    =D

  9. Chiara

    I love preserved lemons… I should probably follow your example and make my own, they can be pretty expensive around here!

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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