Preserved Lemons

"For those Moroccan dishes. Optional Safi Mixture: 1 cinnamon stick 3 cloves 5 to 6 coriander seeds 3 to 4 black peppercorns 1 bay leaf can be added in between layers of lemons.The addition of olive oil to act as a sealant on top of the lemons but is not necessary."
photo by Syrinx photo by Syrinx
photo by Syrinx
photo by Chef Gotcha Gal photo by Chef Gotcha Gal
photo by Chef Gotcha Gal photo by Chef Gotcha Gal
photo by Syrinx photo by Syrinx
Ready In:
4 1/2 pint jars




  • Scrub thin skinned unblemished lemons and dry well.
  • Cut each into 8 wedges.
  • Toss with a generous amount of salt and Packing tightly in sterilized glass 1/2-pint jars with a glass or plastic-coated lid.
  • Pour in Fresh lemon juice to make sure the lemons are well covered.
  • The first week rotate jars shaking jar each day to distribute salt and juice.
  • Then place in a dark spot for 2 weeks before using.
  • To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, and excess salt if desired.
  • Add to Mediterranean salads, sliced lemons to chicken, lamb or fish 1/2 way through cooking, add coarsely minced lemon to rice water, couscous, or any grain water before adding the grains.
  • There is no need to refrigerate after opening.
  • Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.

Questions & Replies

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  1. CarrolJ
    Thank you Rita for a very easy recipe. I obviously can't review the taste of them yet. But I'm certain I will really enjoy having these preserved lemons because I absolutely love salted lemons and eat fresh slices sprinkled with salt often. Made for ZWT #6 - 2010
  2. Chef Gotcha Gal
    Wonderful recipe, although the spices are optional. We have a Meyer lemon tree which gives us an amazing number of lemons each season. Year before last, we decided to keep a written account of every lemon we took from the tree that season and we stopped counting when there were still a few lemons high up on the tree. We had picked 852 lemons! Making the preserved lemons was a great way to use a large amount of them with a delicous result. (I made another very big jar of lemons just today, & used 33 lemons.) I've used them in any and all recipes I think they will improve, and I've never made any dishes that didn't taste better for having the preserved lemons in them. If you haven't tried making these yet, please do. You won't be sorry. Barbara Gregory-Pearlman (gotchagal)
  3. echo echo
    Completed making this back in November but forgot to review it (It's now January). These are extremely easy to make. I made Rita's Tagine of Chicken, Preserved Lemon, & Olives (#77530) with them, and the results were great! Since then I've been keeping them in the fridge (only just noticed that the recipe says you don't need to do that) and have used the juice a couple times in salad dressings. I especially liked it in the dressing for a chicken-rice salad I made.
  4. Syrinx
    I have just made a batch of these, and the method is very straightforward and easy. Before seeing what the lemons taste like, I need to rotate the jars daily for a week, then leave them in the dark for at least two weeks. I'll be back with a review and a star rating when I have done that!
  5. Chef Patience
    I started up some of these for an experiment. I will return after they have been tried.



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