Preserved Lemons: the delicious condiment recipe

Total time: 35 Min + Resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist
500 g
500 ml

Preserved lemons are popular in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking, where they’re often used as a condiment. It’s pretty easy to make them too. You only need sugar and lemons. You simply cut up the lemon and bottle them in a sugar syrup (sometimes they’re pickled). The flavor is sweet and tangy, while the lemons become soft and tender.

In this recipe, we used sliced lemons, this allows the syrup to absorb into the lemons quicker. Of course, you can also use halved or whole lemons. Try the preserved lemons with potatoes, fish, or pasta. It’s a great way to preserve lemons if you have an overabundance of them!

Sweet, sour, and deliciously lemony—this easy lemon syrup recipe is perfect for lemonade and cocktails! And you can use lemons preserved in syrup for months!

What Are The Best Lemon For Preserving?

Any type of lemon you have on hand will work. Many people prefer Meyer lemons because they’re not so sour and also have thinner skin. But if you prefer, you can also use lemons with thicker skin—it’s all up to personal taste!

If you’re not using homegrown lemons but are getting them from a store instead, you’ll have to wash them first. Lemons in the store are usually covered with wax, but luckily this is easy to remove. Simply rinse the lemons in warm water while brushing with a vegetable brush. By slicing up the lemons instead of keeping them whole, the lemons absorb the flavor more easily and will taste like they’ve been pickled for months!

How To Use Preserved Lemons

You can use the preserved lemons in any dish where you need something tangy to add some zing to the dish. This includes pasta, salad dressings, Moroccan tagines, grilled chicken, or even sandwiches. You can also stir it into rice for a simple, but flavored side dish.


The basic recipe for preserved lemons can be customized according to your taste preferences. Feel free to add spices like cardamom, vanilla, cloves, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, or even peppercorns.

How To Store Preserved Lemons

If you keep the lemons in a sterilized jar in the fridge, they will keep them for up to 3 months.

How To Make Preserved Lemons

Cut the lemons into slices.

Remove the seeds and place the slices in a bowl.

Cover with water and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Use the water to make lemonade. Place the slices in a pot with new water, and let cook for 10 minutes.

Mix sugar and water in a pot, and cook until you get a syrup. Add the lemon slices to the syrup and cook for another 10 minutes. If the lemons happen to break apart during the process, don't worry. But if you want to keep your lemons as whole as possible, use the blunt end of a muddling to press the lemons down into the syrup.

Place the slices in a glass jar and fill with the syrup.

Close, then serve and enjoy when using!

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