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.
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.
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Here's what you need to make Moroccan preserved lemons:
- lemons, scored into quarters
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
Exact quantities available below.
How to Make Preserved Lemons
Prep. Wash and scrub the lemons to remove any dirt from the skin. Score into quarters and rub each section with salt.
Can. Squeeze into your canning jars and sprinkle with more extra salt. Pour lemon juice over the lemons and salt, making sure to add enough liquid to cover the lemons. Loosely seal with the lid.
Preserve. Let sit on the counter for 1 week before moving to the fridge for 2 more weeks or until the skin is soft and can be easily punctured with a butter knife. Use in sauces, marinades and with roasted dishes!
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.
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:
- Tangia (Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine)
- Chicken Tagine (see image below)
- Stuffed Moroccan Trout
- Moroccan Fish Stew
- Spicy Potatoes
- Vegetable Tagine
- Lentil Salad
- Harissa Hot Sauce
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
For this recipe you will need some good quality canning jars with air tight lids.