Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s a staple in Moroccan cuisine, and, really, it just appeals to me. I’ve added some ideas for how to use them once you’ve made them at the end of this post.

What are preserved lemons, anyway? They’re basically lemons preserved in salt and their own juice. You can add flavor by adding herbs and spices.  I used fennel seed, celery seed, cinnamon, and bay leaves.

Preserved Lemons

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Preserved Lemons


  • lemons
  • sea salt (do not use table salt)
  • fennel seeds
  • celery seeds
  • peppercorns
  • bay leaves
  • stick cinnamon


    This is one of those figure it out as you go recipes, based on how many lemons you want to do.
  1. Wash the lemons well.
  2. Slice the lemons ALMOST into quarters (as in, don't slice them all the way through - leave them attached to each other).
  3. Place cinnamon stick and a couple of bay leaves into your jar (multiply per jar).
  4. Mix together salt and remaining spices (I used ~1/2 cup salt, 1 tbsp fennel, 1 tbsp peppercorns, and 1 tsp celery seed).
  5. Place approximately 1-2 tbsp salt mixture in each lemon. Push the lemon into the jar. Continue with remaining lemons, packing as tightly as possible into the jar.
  6. Lemons will be ready for use in approximately one month.

Here are some recipe ideas to use your preserved lemons:
The Kitchn
Serious Eats
Eating from the Ground Up


  1. After you put the lemons in the jar do you fill the jar with water? There’s liquid and I wasnt sure what it was.

    • It’s actually just lemon juice. The liquid is from the lemons being squeezed into the jar, and the salt pulls out even more juice.

  2. Deborah Tippetts

    I was wondering if you store these in the pantry or in the refrigerator for the month. Thank you for all you do, and all the great recipes you have posted.

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