How to Preserve Meyer Lemons and a Shout Out To You Lemon Lovers

I have been wanting to try preserving lemons for some time, but, like a hundred other things I’d like to do or make, I often get distracted and I forget.

It’s not like preserving lemons is hard or time consuming. It’s not. In fact its dead easy and takes all of about 5 minutes. On a recent grocery outing I saw some organic Meyer lemons on sale at our local grocery store. I have never bought them before, but thought that there’s no time like the present to learn how to preserve lemons.

I didn’t know what I was going to do with them until my Chatelaine showed up in the mail. Just in time to remind me of the benefits and simplicity of preserving them.

All I needed was 1 large jar. That’s it? Easy. Well, not that easy. All the digging, searching and scouring led to nothing but 3 small jars and 1 with no lid! Nice. I must remember to put cleaning out my tupperware draw on the “to do” list. That and my “kitchen tool” drawer. They’re shameful really. But I digress…

Since all I had was 3 small jars available, I was going to be able to make 3 different kinds! Who would of thought that my mad rummage through the cupboard for jars and trying to find lids would end up being such a plus? So I made a simple one first, just lemons and salt. Another one with bay leaves and the last jar was a mix and match of Meyer lemons and pink grapefruit with cinnamon. We’ll see how they all turn out. The best part is that I’ll be able to create all kinds of fun recipes to use them in.

I used Himalayan Pink Salt, but there’s no requirement there. Use kosher if that’s what you have. I like cooking with the pink stuff because it helps balance my electrolytes after really sweaty workouts (Bikram yoga).

Preserved Meyer Lemons

  • 5 lemons
  • 1/2 cup Himalayan Pink Salt or kosher salt

Quarter 4 of the lemons. Coat each piece of lemon in salt. Place the pieces of lemon in a jar, pressing the pieces down and smooshing them to get the juices going. Juice the last lemon. Add the juice to the jar along with any remaining salt. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and screw on the lid. The plastic wrap will keep the lid from rusting. Gently shake the jar once a day for a week. That’s it!

Refrigerate for up to 6 months.

To use: Remove the pulp and pith. Finely dice or slice the peel and add to your favorite recipes. The lemon brine will be useful for dips, dressings and even cocktails.

Pith and pulp removed


Now what the heck to do with them? I had all these grand plans that I would sit down and look for recipes I could use them in, but alas….time gets away on us and I figured with all all of you out there, one on you must have a great recipe or idea for using preserved lemons. I’ve added a linky tool so you could share with all of us what you’ve done in the past with preserved lemons by entering the link of the post. No back link is required or rules, I’m just looking for ideas. If you’re not a blogger just tell me what you think I should do with these in the comment section. I’ve left the linky took open until the end of the month. I’m sure I have enough lemons to try out at least 10 recipes so I need YOUR help.

What the heck do I make with preserved meyer lemons?

I’m sharing this with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays Parade of Food, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesdays, Savoring Every Bite with Citrus love, Gluten Free Wednesdays and  Traditional Tuesdays.

43 Responses to How to Preserve Meyer Lemons and a Shout Out To You Lemon Lovers

  1. Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions January 10, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Thanks so much for posting this ~ I look forward to having the opportunity to try it sometime. I really hope that some people show up with some fabulous ideas for using the preserved lemons!

    • France Morissette January 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi Katie. Me too hahaha!

  2. Koko January 10, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Ah! This is awesome!! I love the variety you made…I can imagine the grapefruit/lemon/cinnamon one being my fav! I’m so curious to see what you will make with these. Something that I will have to add to my “to do” list, for sure!

    • France Morissette January 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi Koko, I’m excited about the grapefruit one too. I have no idea what I’ll do with it but I’m excited to get cooking. I think it will be my favorite as well!

  3. The Café Sucré Farine January 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Frances, how timely! We’re headed to Florida this weekend to visit family and they have Meyer lemons growing like crazy in the backyard! I planned to bring a BUNCH back and now I know what to do with them! Thanks!

    • France Morissette January 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      HI Chris, Let me know what you do with them. I’ve got 3 jars and I’m excited to try them out in some recipes.

  4. T. January 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I just recently saw Meyer lemons in the grocery store! I made preserved lemons quite a while ago and haven’t yet used them all up. What I did use them was: added to a lentil stew (SO GOOD), and on a pizza with asparagus and turkey sausage. I’ve seen a few Moroccan dishes that have them as a key ingredient. Sadly though, I haven’t made the best use of them as of yet! Let us know what you end up using them for!!

    • France Morissette January 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      Hi Tyla, Thanks for the suggestions. I’m looking forward to what everyone suggests I do. Your pizza idea sounds lovely as does the lentil stew. I’ll let you know what I come up with. Hopefully they’ll be some link ups too to choose from.

  5. Linda January 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to do this too!! I’m going to get some organic lemons and give this a try. Guess I’ll need to stop by for some ideas with that to do with them!!!

  6. Janyt January 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi France, Can you tell me, what is special or different about Meyers lemons compared to regular lemons? and why preserve lemons when they are readily available? Just wondering!

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Hi Janyt, preserving lemons started out by being a way to have lemons on hand all year round when they were no longer in season. You’re right that they are now readily available all the time. Preserving them does intensify the lemony taste of the rind. That being said the other parts are useable as well and are key to many Moroccan and Indian dishes. The brine is also useful in dressing and sauces which is an added bonus to making preserved lemons.
      Meyer lemons are native to China. They are thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange or clementine. They have a thin skin, slightly darker yellow color and have a slightly sweeter and less acidic taste. But of course you can preserve regular lemons, grapefruit and limes.

  7. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles January 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Ooh… love the idea of Meyer lemons with pink grapefruit and cinnamon… heaven in a jar! I’ve been seeing so many inspiring citrus posts over the past few days ~ I think we are all craving a little bit of sunshine :) Thanks so much for this tutorial France.

  8. Christy January 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I would cook them with chicken! Chicken pieces (drumsticks/thighs/breasts/etc), lemons and olives are a wonderful combination cooked on the stovetop in a little olive oil. Also, if you’re roasting a whole chicken, add potatoes and asparagus and the lemons (pour some of the preserved juice over the vegetables too) and I bet that would be delicious. I do that with fresh lemons, but I bet preserved would be yummy too.

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 1:00 am #

      Hi Christy, Thanks for sharing your ideas. Lemons and olives are a lovely combination.

  9. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Substitute them in any recipe that calls for capers. Add them to lentil soup.

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 12:58 am #

      My husband doesn’t like capers, so this would a great idea Lydia. Thank you.

  10. Shay January 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Thank you for posting this! I have been wanting to do this…but forgot. You have reminded me and I will look for Meyer lemons.

  11. Mary January 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi, I’ve been adding the lemon peel to my granola, before I bake it. it really adds a lovely subtle flavour.

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 12:58 am #

      Hi Mary, Wow, lemon to granola? I bet that is absolutely delicious. What a great idea.

  12. mossy stone January 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    I just did a post on using preserved lemons:

    Also I preserve them pith and all:
    mossy stone

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      Hi Mossy, thanks for linking up. I found your “using preserved lemons” post really helpful.

  13. mjskit January 11, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    You’re going to love your preserved lemons! They are my favorite condiments. I linked up a pasta recipe that is a staple in my house but here’s a few more ideas. I pretty much put them in anything! :)
    One or two lemon halves – stuff in the cavity of poultry when roasting.
    One or two lemon halves with seeds removed – throw in the pot when braising.
    Rinds – chop and add to salads, pasta, rice, and vegetable dishes. (oh – lemon rice! YUMMY!)
    Preserved juice – wonderful in sauces and salad dressings, as well as added to all of the above.

    • France Morissette January 11, 2012 at 12:55 am #

      Hi MJ, Thanks for linking up. What great suggestions. I’m excited to start adding it to some of our household staple meals.

  14. Elizabeth @Mango_Queen January 12, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Love this meyer lemons prserves! Thanks for the add’l recipe ideas & all the citrus-love!

  15. juniakk @ mis pensamientos January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    i had no idea you could preserve lemons. thanks for the post! sending some #citruslove to you!

  16. Mama's Gotta Bake January 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I love my Meyer lemons! I’ve never preserved anything before, but I think I’ll give this a try. Looks so good!

    • France Morissette January 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      Mamasgottabake, Me neither, But if you feel like starting someplace, this was so easy I even surprised myself. From preserved lemons to jam! Then the world!!!

  17. Jenn/Rook No. 17 January 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Major lemon lover here! I can’t wait to make some preserved meyer lemons! Pinning and sharing on Facebook too!

    • France Morissette January 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Thanks Jenn, If you have any great recipes you’d like to add, we’d love to see them.

  18. Linda January 18, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Hi France. First, I want to say that I always enjoy getting comments from you. Your sweet face and words make me smile.

    I have never preserved lemons and didn’t even know you could until last week. We love lemon recipes and sometimes I buy a bunch of lemons intending to use them, but run out of time. This would be a great alternative to letting them go bad!

    • France Morissette January 18, 2012 at 5:39 am #

      Linda, you are so sweet! I really enjoy visiting your site. It’s such a great resource. I hope that you’ll try out preserving lemons. It’s surprisingly delicious and they’re fantastic in Moroccan style recipes. I happen to have one coming up this week!

  19. Kristi @ Veggie Converter February 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    I saw Meyer Lemons in the grocery store Friday and snapped them up because I remembered this post. My daughter also requested lemon cake for her birthday (which is Saturday) so it was the perfect time to try out these lemons. I think I might try to WholeFoodify (that’s totally a word, right?) this Meyer Lemon Cake. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Janyt February 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi France, I just bought some Meyer lemons. They are so pretty! I have done some up in jars and am wondering if there has to be enough lemon juice to cover the pieces? I did 4 lemons as in your recipe, ended up filling 2 small mason jars, also juiced a fifth lemon into the jars. But there is not juice all the way to to top. Is this okay?

    • France Morissette February 22, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      Hi Janyt, Yes the juice should cover the lemons. Try squishing them down harder into the jar to really get the juices going. If that doesn’t work juice an additional lemon. Just a regular lemon will do, I know the bags of meyer lemons only have 5, so no need to buy a whole other bag.

  21. mjskit February 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    France – wanted to let you know if you’re still looking for additional recipes with preserved lemons I posted my Preserved Lemon Rice recipe a couple of weeks ago. You can it on my home page. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

    • France Morissette February 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      mjskitchen, Thank you for the heads up! I love the idea of using it in rice. Last night we added it to our favorite quinoa salad and it was delicious. I’m heading there right now.

  22. Imperfect machine October 3, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    I top slivers of lemon on sliced cucumbers :) simple, refreshing and delicious!


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