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+ servings

Quick Preserved Lemons

Bonafide Indian and North African dishes more often than not contain preserved lemon, a semi-exotic ingredient than can be easily procured at your local megamart. But, we're going to make our own. Why? Because homemade is better.
Expect peak flavor and texture after about a month. As long as they’re kept refrigerated preserved lemons should keep indefinitely.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: The Return.
Quick Preserved Lemons in wedges
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 days
Yield: 1 pint


  • 4 lemons, scrubbed and dried, plus the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

Specialized Hardware

  • 16-ounce canning jar


  • Trim the ends off the lemons. Slice each lemon into 8 wedges, removing any seeds as you go. Reserve as much of the juice as possible.
  • Layer the lemon wedges in a wide-mouthed, 16-ounce canning jar, covering each layer with salt. Pack the jar as tightly as possible, pressing down to release the lemons' juice as you go and leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace in the jar.
  • Cover the wedges with the reserved lemon juice from the cutting board and the ends. If your lemons do not release a significant amount of juice, top off the jar with the juice of another lemon.
  • Stash in the refrigerator for 4 days, then flip the jar over and age another 4 days before sampling. The peel should be nice and soft. Rinse before using.