Preserved lemons are a Moroccan cuisine cooking staple. This recipe for preserving lemons is quick and easy, and adds a great depth of flavor to a wide variety of Moroccan marinades, tagines, salsas, sauces and more! Prepped within 10 minutes, this recipe yields 6 preserved lemons.

a bowl of preserved lemons

If you enjoy the flavor profile of these lemons, you will love how they are celebrated in authentic Moroccan recipes like this homemade chermoula marinade, Moroccan chicken tagine, and lamb shank tagine.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make Moroccan preserved lemons:

  • lemons, scored into quarters
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt

Exact quantities available below.

How to Make Preserved Lemons

Fresh vs. Preserved

If you’ve never tried lemons prepared this way before, you may be wondering what the big deal is.

The difference between a Moroccan preserved lemon and a fresh one is truly night and day.

While lemons are known for their bright, acidic flavor, preserving them tames the sharp sourness, and lends to a rich umami lemon flavor.

This recipe calls for only two ingredients (lemons and salt), the result is a rich flavor that adds depth to just about any savory dish.

Moroccan chicken tajine with couscous

Recipes with Preserved Lemons

Many of the most popular recipes in Morocco require preserved lemons to develop the rich and unique broth.

Here are some of my favorite recipes with preserved lemons to try out:

And here are some general ideas for using the lemons:

  • Marinades for chicken (pictured below), fish, or veggies
  • Stews and soups
  • Salsas or sauces of any kind
a bowl of preserved lemons

Equipment

For this recipe you will need some good quality canning jars with air tight lids.

Bismillah,

Salima written in cursive
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
a bowl of preserved lemons

Preserved Lemons (A Moroccan Cooking Staple)

  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 weeks
  • Yield: 4 lemons 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: preserved
  • Cuisine: Moroccan, North African, Mediterannean, African
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Preserved lemons are a Moroccan cuisine cooking staple. This recipe for preserving lemons is quick and easy, and adds a great depth of flavor to a wide variety of Moroccan marinades, tagines, salsas, sauces and more! Prepped within 10 minutes, this recipe yields 6 preserved lemons.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 lemons, scored into quarters
  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 additional lemons)
  • 1/2 cup salt


Instructions

  1. Prep. Wash and scrub the lemons to remove any dirt from the skin. Score into quarters and fill each lemon generously with salt, rubbing it to coat each section.
  2. Can. Squeeze the lemons into canning jars and sprinkle with another few tablespoons of salt. Fill the jar with lemon juice, making sure it covers the lemons completely. Loosely seal with the lid.
  3. Preserve. Let sit on the counter for a week and then transfer to the fridge for an additional 2 weeks or until the skin is soft and can be easily punctured with a butter knife. Use in sauces, marinades and with roasted dishes! 

Keywords: preserved lemons, Moroccan preserved lemons