Preserved Lemons: A Vegan Pantry Staple

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are a pantry item that I can no longer live without, and once you make your own, you will be questioning how you ever cooked without them. If you want to kick your vegan meals up a notch, consider making this pantry essential.

Preserved lemons are lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices. They are used throughout the Middle East and in certain areas of India to add flavor to dishes. The difference between a fresh lemon and a preserved lemon is that the pickling process eases the tartness and leaves you with a bold lemon flavor that you can add to a huge array of dishes (trust me, you will attempt to add preserved lemons to all of your future recipes). 

They are super easy to prepare but require 24 days to sit before using, so start your lemons today.

Preserved Lemons


6 Meyer Lemons

6-8 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

Water that has been boiled and cooled


1 Pint-Sized Mason Jar

Measuring Spoons

Paring Knife



  1. Boil ½ cup of water & cool completely. Put aside.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the bottom of the glass jar.
  3. Trim the nub ends off of your lemons. 
  4. Slice the lemons into quarters lengthwise, leaving the ends attached. 
  5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt onto the slices of lemon
  6. Stuff the lemon into the jar, open-end down, and push hard to squish it to release the lemon juice.
  7. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the top of the lemon.
  8. Repeat slicing, salting and stuffing the lemons on top of each other in the jar.
  9. Add a teaspoon of salt to the very top. The jar should be half full of lemon juice and full of lemons.
  10.  Pour some cooled water into the jar to fill the liquid to the top.
  11. Add the jar lid and let it sit at room temperature for 2 days. Each day gives the jar a tip upside down to stir the salt and juice. 
  12. After 2 days, store the lemon in a cool dark place for 22 days.


When using the preserved lemons, you will be using the peel. If you would like to remove excess salt before adding the lemon to your dish, you can rinse the peel with cold water. You may also use lemon brine in your dishes. 

* In most countries preserved lemons are not stored in the refrigerator, they’re simply kept in a cool, dark place. Based on USDA guidelines, it is recommended to keep the preserved lemons in the refrigerator after opening. Make sure to keep the lemons out of direct sunlight.


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