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Citrus Twist: 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest

We all know that feeling of being midway through a recipe and oops, we’re out of orange zest.

It’s not just about adding a tangy kick; it’s that special zing that takes dishes from good to unforgettable. Finding the right substitute can seem tough.

Lucky for us, the kitchen is a place for creativity, not stress. We’ve played around, mixed things up, and found five awesome swaps that’ll save your dish. These aren’t just stand-ins; they might even become your new favorites.

Our goal? To make sure you never miss a beat, even if the orange zest is playing hard to get. With these tricks up your sleeve, every meal can still burst with that citrusy magic we all crave.

What is Orange Zest?

what is orange zest

One of the key ingredients in most kitchens, orange zest, is a type of citrus fruit peel used to enhance the flavor of an array of dishes.

A common ingredient in everything from beverages to entrees, orange zest is popular for its distinct taste and aromatic qualities.

If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your next recipe, orange zest is one of the most versatile choices available.

In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, orange zest also has many medicinal uses.

Orange zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest

Although orange zest is a popular ingredient in cooking, many people cannot prepare orange zest for various reasons.

When it comes to adding a burst of citrus flavor to your recipes, orange zest is commonly used. However, if you don’t have access to orange zest or you’re looking for alternative options, there are several substitutes that can provide a similar citrusy punch.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Grapefruit ZestTangy flavor with a hint of bitterness1:1 substitution
Lemon ZestBright and tangy flavor1:1 substitution
Lime ZestZesty and refreshing taste1:1 substitution
Orange ExtractIntense orange flavor in liquid formUse 1 teaspoon of orange extract for every 1 tablespoon of orange zest
Orange JuiceCitrusy flavor with a slightly milder intensityUse 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice for every 1 tablespoon of orange zest

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Grapefruit Zest

grapefruit zest

Perusing the aisles of the local grocery store, you may notice that grapefruit zest is one of those ingredients that some people use as an alternative to oranges.

In many cases, oranges are commonly used as a substitute for lemons.

This is extremely common in baking recipes because it enhances the finished product’s flavor.

If you’re one of those individuals who can’t stand oranges, grapefruit zest is a good alternative, as it has very similar characteristics to orange zest.

In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, grapefruit zest also has many medicinal uses.

Grapefruit zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.

2 – Lemon Zest

lemon zest

Lemon zest is another popular citrus fruit that has been used for hundreds of years to add flavor and enhance the aroma of food items.

If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your next dish, lemon zest is one of the most versatile choices available.

The taste is both zesty and sweet.

In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, lemon zest also has many medicinal uses.

Lemon zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.

3 – Lime Zest

lime zest

Although not quite as commonly used as orange zest, lime zest is still useful for many recipes.

Lime zest can be used in sweet and savory dishes, making it another popular choice for food enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for a versatile ingredient that will add flavor to your next meal, lime zest is a good choice.

As with orange zest, lime zest has a naturally fresh flavor that will enhance any dish.

You can use it in many Asian dishes or drizzle some lime juice over your favorite Thai rice dish for an extra kick.

Make sure you don’t mistake lime juice for the zest – limes contain a high acid content that can alter the taste of your dish.

4 – Orange Extract

orange extract

If you run out of orange zest and aren’t able to pick some up from the store, don’t panic.

Fortunately, you can substitute orange extract to get that bright citrus flavor in your dish.

Using any extract, only use a few drops because too much can ruin the recipe.

The natural taste of oranges is much stronger than the taste of orange extract, so you won’t need to use it as much.

If you can’t find orange extract, lemon extract can be used in its place.

You can also substitute lime zest or combine both extracts for a unique citrus flavor.

5 – Orange Juice

orange juice

As an alternative to orange zest, orange juice can be used in many dishes.

Since oranges are not often used as ingredients, they are not commonly found in most pantries.

However, finding them at the supermarket or grocery store is very easy.

Depending on the recipe, orange juice can be used alone or mixed with other liquids.

Some chefs even recommend using it in place of milk for a more intense flavor.

Conclusion

Orange zest is a popular ingredient for many dishes, but it’s not always available.

Whether you are using orange zest in sweet or savory recipes, many other ingredients can get the same zesty taste.

The best substitutes for orange zest are lime zest, orange extract, orange juice, and lime juice.

What is your favorite substitute for orange zest? Why do you like it more than the original?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest

Searching for the ideal substitutes for orange zest? Your quest ends here! Explore our carefully curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace orange zest, ensuring your recipes maintain that delightful citrusy essence.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Grapefruit Zest
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lime Zest
  • Orange Extract
  • Orange Juice

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for orange zest
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