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Preserved Lemons Specialty Ingredient Glossary and Guide

Preserved Lemon Definition, Uses, Recipes, and Buying Guide


Preserved lemons
© Flickr User Rubber Slippers In Italy

Definition: An essential flavor element in North African, and particularly Moroccan cuisine, preserved lemons are made by packing lemons in salt or pickling them in brine. They are allowed to cure at room temperature for at least 30 days, and often several months. The resulting preserved lemons have a complex, piquant, salty-sour flavor. Generally it is the rinds - which take on a soft, smooth texture - that are used in recipes, though sometimes the pulp is added to stews or tagines.

Also Known As: Pickled Lemons


  • Add preserved lemons to tagines or stews.
  • Whisk finely chopped preserved lemons into vinaigrettes.
  • Try chopped preserved lemon as a condiment on sandwiches.
  • Use a thin piece of preserved lemon in place of other citrus in cocktails.


Chicken Tagine With Preserved Lemons and Olives

Parsley & Preserved Lemon Salad

Tagine of Lamb With Preserved Lemon and Olives

Moroccan Spinach Salad With Preserved Lemons and Olives

Moroccan Fish Tagine (Mqualli) with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Peppers

Make Your Own Preserved Lemons:

Preserved Lemons Step-By-Step

Paula Wolfert's Preserved Lemons

7 Day Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemon Recipe

Moroccan Preserved Lemons - Pickled Meyer Lemons

Where to Buy Preserved Lemons:

Zamouri Spices uses organically grown lemons, Moroccan pickling spices, and a recipe unique to Southern Morocco. The lemons come in a 16-oz jar for home cooks, and are also available in bulk for restaurant kitchens and caterers. Buy online at zamourispices.com. Price: $9.95/16 oz.

Mustapha's Moroccan preserves its lemons in a simple saltwater brine.Each jar contains 2 whole preserved lemons. Buy online at mustaphas.com. Price:$7.95/jar.

Williams-Sonoma carries Les Moulins Mahjoub preserved lemons from Tunisia. Handmade on the 250 year-old Majoub family estate, they're certified organic, and are pickled in salt brine with a red pepper. Buy online at williams-sonoma.com. Price: $10/7 oz.

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