Preserved Lemons: That Special Ingredient of Moroccan Cuisine

Preserved lemons are the special ingredient which gives an enriched lemony taste to these north african, Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine. The preserving process suppresses the tartness and accentuated the lemony flavor. It is mildly tart but more lemony.

So how to make preserved lemons?

The lemons of choice in Morocco are the Meyer lemons. They are less tart than the regular lemons. Their delicious flavor and aroma, they make the dishes taste exquisite. If you are unable to find Meyer lemons, use regulars like Eureka or Lisbon.. It is the rinds which are to be devoured so organic are ideal.

Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemons is a classic Moroccan dish. When paired up with tagine (an earthenware used for cooking and serving), it is simply mouthwatering.

You can make as many preserved lemons as you may like but 3 Meyer lemons will fit in one pint sized jar. So let’s start:


  • 8-10 lemons (Meyer preferably)
  • Kosher salt (1/2 or 1cup)
  • Sterilized canning jars 


  • Trim the stems on both ends, if any. Rinse and scrub clean the lemons.
  • Keep the base attached. Cut them in quarter but do not cut till the end. They need to be cut half lengthwise but not all the way through.
  • Put kosher salt about two table spoons, at the bottom of the jar. Put salt in the quarter of your lemon, inside and out.
  • Fill the jar with lemons, the open end down and squish so that all juice is released. Repeat till jar is filled. Put more salt at the top and close the lid.

How to Store Preserved Lemons

  • Let the jar sit at room temperature for few days. Turn the jar upside down often. Refrigerate it for 3 weeks, until the rinds are softened. Occasionally turn it upside down then as well.

  • Remove one lemon when needed and rinse to remove the salt. Discard any seeds or pulp. Then slice or chop the rind to use. They can be used up to 6 months.

Where to Buy Preserved Lemons

If you don’t have time to make them. Check out my our picks below .

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