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The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Peel

If you love citrus flavor and aroma, a teaspoon of lemon peel in your food can do wonders.

You can add it to both desserts and savory dishes according to a recipe’s demands or preference.

Most people love lemon, and you must be one too, which means you use it in your cooking a lot.

You likely run out of lemon peel more often than you want.

The exciting fact is, most other citrus peels can stand in for lemon, so you don’t have to panic.

Continue reading this short write-up to know a few facts about the 5 best substitutes for lemon peel.

What is Lemon Peel?

what is lemon peel

The entire skin of the lemon, including the colorful part and the fleshy white portion called pith, makes up the lemon peel.

You can use the peel from a fresh lemon by using a grate or buy powdered lemon peel to get the same flavor.

The outer portion of fresh lemon, also called the zest, and the powder form is popular with cooking enthusiasts.

The white part of the peel is bitter.

So, when using a fresh lemon, grate only the yellow portion.

You can use it in many different ways, like marinades for fish, meat, and poultry.

You can also add it to desserts and baked products.

It can also enhance the flavors of soups and stews.

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In savory dishes, you can use it as a garnish over roasted vegetables or mix it with salads.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Peel

There are several alternatives for lemon peel, and these include.

1 – Lime Peel

lime peel

Lime peel can be a suitable replacement when your favorite lemon zest isn’t available.

Since both belong to the citrus family, you can use it in almost any dish that demands lemon peel.

Lime peel can bring freshness in salads, meat and fish marinades, soups, stews and baked products.

If you love the aroma and taste, you can also add it to vinaigrettes, stir-fried veggies.

There is always room for an experiment, so you can try it in different dishes.

Like most other citrus fruits, lime peel also has several nutrients and so they are healthy to eat.

Experiments with rabbits showed that eating lime peels and juice aided in slowing the progression of atherosclerosis.

The suitable ratio would be.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel = 1 teaspoon lime peel.

2 – Orange Peel

orange peel

Though a sweet citrus fruit, orange peel can also work as an alternative for lemon peel.

It has a similar essence and works well in many dishes.

Orange has a lovely aroma, and its flavor can give freshness to any food when added.

Orange is a popular fruit worldwide, but people throw away the peel most of the time.

However, peels can be a healthy addition to your diet as they are rich in several nutrients, vitamin C and fiber.

There are two ways to use it, just like lemon peel.

You can grate the outer rind of fresh orange and sprinkle it over your food, or you can also buy the orange peel powder, which is readily available on the market.

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You can add it to meat and fish dishes, desserts, salads, and soups.

You can put orange peel in many dishes that ask for a lemon peel.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel = 1 teaspoon orange peel.

However, since orange is sweeter, you can taste and balance the flavor according to preference.

3 – Citrus Juice

citrus juice

All fruits in the citrus family have some similar qualities though each one is unique.

So, citrus juice can also replace lemon peel when you don’t have the latter.

You can use the juice of citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, tangerine and grapefruit.

It may not provide the same texture, but you will have a similar flavor and scent.

Add it to baked products, rice dishes like risotto, meat and fish dishes, marinades, salads, soups, stews and even fried dishes.

Since citrus fruits contain plenty of nutrients, pure juice can be very healthy; so, look for pure products when buying the stuff.

You can also make the juice at home from fresh citruses.

Taking moderate amounts regularly can offer significant nutritional and dietary benefits.

Since citrus juice is milder, use.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel = 2 teaspoons citrus juice.

4 – Citrus Extract

citrus extract

Citrus extract is another option for lemon peel which works great in many dishes.

Several varieties come under this variety, such as lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.

Each one will taste a little different but can replicate lemon peel flavor up to a certain extent.

The extracts can be very versatile, and you can add in plenty of recipes.

Add it to baked goods like cookies, cakes, pies and cheesecakes.

You can also add some in drinks, dips, fudge and salsa.

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Your fish and meat marinades will also be more flavorful if you add some citrus extract.

Besides providing freshness and enhancing the flavor, citrus extract also improves your health.

It boosts your immune system, lowers heart disease risks and fights infections.

As the extract is denser, add a little less than lemon peel.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon lemon peel = 1 teaspoon citrus extract.

5 – Lemon Oil

lemon oil

Lemon oil is multipurpose oil, and it offers many health benefits.

However, you mustn’t ever consume it by itself.

It makes a suitable alternative for lemon peel because it has a similar fragrance and flavor, and even a small quantity is enough.

You can use lemon oil in many ways and come up with aromatic and delicious dishes.

Add it to meat and fish marinades, yogurt, spreads, sauces, desserts and salads.

You can also use it in roasted potatoes, baked dishes, and beverages like iced tea, warm tea and even have it with a glass of water.

It’s present in many other products such as soaps, perfumes, lotions, creams, cleaning products etc.

It helps detox the body and reduce acne.

Besides, it can also help you calm down and improve your focus.

Lemon oil is also dense and a small amount will be enough.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon lemon peel = 1 teaspoon lemon oil.


Citruses add so much flavor and fragrance to food items, so they are pretty popular with chefs and home cooks.

While lemon is the most popular, you may not have it all the time.

But since there are so many options, you can cook and make a perfect dish.

Follow the correct ratio and add more only if needed, and your dish will be delicious.

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Apart from the above items, you can use candied citrus peel, concentrated juices, lemon marmalade and grapefruit rind (last option).

Everyone has a different preference so you might like one of these ingredients more than lemon peel in some dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use in place of lemon peel?

If you’re looking for a lemon peel substitute, there are several options available.

Some of the best substitutes for lemon peel include lime zest, orange zest, ginger root, and ground cinnamon.

Each of these substitutes have their own unique flavour profile and can be used to add a bit of citrus-like tang to your dish.

What is the difference between lemon zest and lemon peel?

Lemon zest is obtained by grating the outermost layer of a lemon’s skin, which contains essential oils that impart a citrus-like flavour to dishes.

On the other hand, lemon peel refers to the entire rind of a lemon, including the white pith beneath the skin.

Lemon peel is typically used for flavouring stocks and sauces, while lemon zest is used to give a dish a bright, citrusy flavour.

Is lemon zest just the peel?

No, lemon zest is not just the peel. Lemon zest is obtained by grating the outermost layer of a lemon’s skin and does not include the bitter white pith underneath.

Zesting a lemon involves removing only the very top layer of its skin.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Peel

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Peel
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Lime Peel
  • Orange Peel
  • Citrus Juice
  • Citrus Extract
  • Lemon Oil


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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