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Preserved Lemons Recipe

Preserved Lemons Recipe

Naturopath Lauren Glucina
Moroccan-style salted lemons in spices - intensely lemony and the best addition to your pilafs, tagines, salads and more. This recipe is for one 1 litre / 1 quart jar. In the photographs, you’ll see I made multiple smaller jars, which are ideal for sharing with family and friends. There is no
true science to this – you may need more lemons or salt - eyeball it and all will be well!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Fermentation time 30 d
Total Time 30 d 15 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 6
Calories 66 kcal


  • 1 litre/quart sterilised jar with tight fitting plastic lid


  • 6-8 Meyer lemons large, organic (mine weighed approx. 160g each)
  • 2 tablespoons fine Himalayan sea salt to sprinkle, beginning and end
  • 5 tablespoons fine Himalayan sea salt to stuff the lemons (approx. 2 teaspoons per)
  • lemon juice enough to submerge the lemons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns


  • Sterilise glass canning jar by filling it with boiling water and letting it stand for ten
    minutes in the sink, then drain.
  • Sprinkle a few teaspoons to a tablespoon of salt in the sterilised glass jar. Set aside.
  • Wash lemons and pat dry, slice one nub off the end. Cut the lemon into quarters or sixths depending on the size, from the sliced end downwards – but stop short of cutting all the way through. This keeps the lemons in-tact.
  • Open up the lemon segments and spoon in about 2-3 teaspoons of sea salt into the centre,
    then squish the segments together. Repeat! (Note: if you’re making a large
    batch, and this feel time consuming – don’t worry about keeping your lemons
    intact, add salt to a bowl and toss the segments in there to coat).
  • Pack the lemons as tight as you can into your jar, use a wooden spoon to help squash them
    down and release the juice to create a brine.
  • Add one bay leaf, sprinkle pink peppercorns over the top, and an additional tablespoon of salt.
  • Top the jar off with fresh lemon juice, so the entire contents is submerged – right up to
    the lid. Cap, label and date.
  • After a few days, add more lemon juice if needed. Store somewhere out of direct light. 
  • After one month, the lemons are ready to use – you will notice they have softened and
    changed colour. Rinse under running water to remove excess salt before using.


  • Choose organic lemons as the conventional ones have a wax coating which will prevent fermentation – Meyer are preferred.
  • Bay leaf and peppercorns are optional – experiment with other flavours like cinnamon, coriander seeds and fennel.
  • The harder you can pack/squish the lemons down the better – it will mean you need to use less additional lemon juice.
  • Keep the lemons submerged in brine at all times, and make sure the brine reaches all the way to the top.
  • Use a very well-fitting plastic lid – not metal – you don’t want it rusting and tainting your batch!
  • Lemons are ready when they soften considerably. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to a year.
  • Nutrition panel is an estimate only - it is impossible to calculate the sodium content as most of the salt will be rinsed off before you eat the lemons.


Serving: 1lemonCalories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 10.6gProtein: 2.6g
Keyword Preserved Lemons Recipe
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