how to make preserved lemons

Preserved Lemons

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + 31 days ripening
  • Total Time: 15 minutes + 31 days ripening
  • Category: Preserves
  • Cuisine: Moroccan


Traditionally used in Moroccan cooking, these have a beautiful bright flavour to add to tagines, stews, salads, and more. I used Meyer lemons, but you can use any breed. 


Lemons (enough to fill your jar – I used about 8) 

Sea salt – approximately 1/2 cup

Fresh squeezed lemon juice, as needed

1 large glass jar, sterilized


Slice the top bit off each lemon to remove the stem cap. Slice each lemon into quarters, down to about 1/2 inch from the end, leaving this end intact. 

Add lemons to a container or freezer bag, and store in the freezer overnight. Allow to thaw before moving on to the next step. While freezing isn’t absolutely necessary, it will allow you to squish the lemons together in the jar more easily. 

Ensure your jar is sterilized. There are several methods, I set mine in boiling water for 10 minutes. 

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of salt into the bottom of the jar. 

Sprinkle salt into the exposed centre of each lemon. Add lemons into the jar, packing them down tightly, and adding salt between the layers. 

Store the lemons in a dark cupboard. After 3 days, check the lemons to ensure liquid is covering the lemons. If it isn’t, pack them down and add fresh lemon juice until they are covered. Continue to monitor to ensure the liquid is still covering the lemons, adding more lemon juice if required

After 30 days total, your lemons should be ready to go! You can continue to store them in the cupboard for up to 1 year. 

Keywords: lemons, salt, sea salt, preserved lemons, preserves, moroccan, tagine