What to do with a lot of Lemons? Whether you have a bag or a tree full of lemons, here is how to preserve and use them. No more wasted lemons! These brilliant ways to use up lemons will surprise you.

We love fresh lemon juice in homemade Lemonade and the brilliant sauce in Shrimp Scampi Pasta. Lemons are wonderfully useful and so good for you!

Lemons read for preserving

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What to Do with Lemons:

So often, I find myself with a bag of lemons when my recipe called for a single lemon. Is anyone else frustrated that a single lemon can cost $1 while an entire bag of lemons is $3? Most times I just needed 1 lemon and it’s sad to see perfectly good lemons shrivel up and die on the counter.

My Mother-in-law sent us a ton a lemons from their tree. Read on to learn how we made the most out of every single lemon.

These ideas will save you both time and money, and your kitchen will smell amazing. Let me know which idea surprised you most.

Rinsing lemons for using lemons

Are Lemons Healthy?

The health benefits of lemons are impressive, particularly in the lemon peel and lemon juice.

Lemon peel is one of the most beneficial parts of lemons because it has lemon oil. It helps with digesting fats and cleansing your lymphatic system (for when you’re sick with a cold or flu). It also has immune boosting properties and D-limonene which can help to fight cancer.

Lemon juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C which will helps boost your immune system. If you feel a cold coming on, start increasing your lemon juice intake. Lemon juice also helps reduce inflammation and that sour flavor can help detox your liver to cleans your body. Nutrition Source: Dr. Axe.

Freezing Lemon Slices:

Rinse, pat dry and slice your lemons. Arrange them on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen solid, transfer the slices to a freezer safe bag and freeze up to 3 months (longer in a deep freezer). Frozen lemon slices can be used in summer and winter drinks. You can also preserve lemon slices in sugar but frozen will last longer.

Frozen lemon slices

Freezing Lemon Zest:

Before juicing your lemons, you should zest them. Be sure to remove only the Zest (yellow outer skin) and not the bitter white pith underneath. The lemon peel/zest is so healthy and freezes beautifully. Zest the lemon then transfer to a freezer safe container or a mason jar with lid (loosely packed), then scoop it out and use in any recipe that calls for lemon zest.

Keeping the lemon zest makes it worthwhile to buy organic lemons. If you have non-organic or waxed lemons (although the wax is considered safe for consumption), you may want to de-wax your lemons first.

Lemon zest in jar for freezer

Fresh Lemon Juice:

Fresh squeezed lemon juice will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks before it loses its vibrance and freshness. Keep it in a glass mason jar and use in salsas, drinks or any recipe that calls for lemon juice. It also makes the best Lemonade you’ll ever try! Here is our favorite lemon juicer.

Fresh Lemon juice in jar

How Much Juice in One Lemon?

The amount of juice in a lemon depends on the size of the lemon. A large lemon will yield about 3 Tbsp of juice while a medium sized lemon will yield 2 Tbsp lemon juice.

Juice squeezed from lemons

Lemon Ice Cubes: 

Lemon juice can be frozen for 3 months or even longer in a deep freezer. We love this spill proof ice cube tray from OXO. The ice cubes release easily when you push down on one side. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer safe ziploc bag and store in the freezer. Add frozen lemon juice cubes to:

  • Lemonade (since regular ice cubes can dilute the flavor)
  • Your morning lemon water (see below)
  • Any recipe that calls for lemon juice (just thaw and use)

making lemon ice cubes

Is Lemon Water Good For You?

Lemon water and flavored water is one of the latest health crazes and it’s a good thing! People start their day with lemon water to hydrate, feel good, get a healthy dose of vitamin C and promote digestive health. Lemon water is just 8 oz of filtered water with 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon. You can also use a frozen lemon ice cubes and put that in a glass of water to save time.

Uses for Leftover Lemon Peels:

Once your lemons are zested and squeezed, you can still use the leftover lemon rind/peels:

  • Freshening up the Sink Disposal: throw in 2-4 at a time and run your garbage disposal with the water on until they clear.
  • Clean your Microwave: Place 4-5 squeezed lemon peels into a large measuring cup or bowl. Add 1 cup water and heat in the microwave 5 minutes. As soon as it’s done, remove the bowl and wipe down the interior of the microwave with a paper towel.
  • Refrigerate Un-Used Peels: place in a ziploc bag for up to 2 weeks and use them to clean the microwave and disposal as needed.

Cleaning microwave with leftover lemon peels

Lemon Recipes for Lemon Lovers:

Lemon is an essential ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. Whenever a recipe calls for lemon juice, always use real lemon juice squeezed from a lemon (not from concentrate) for best results, especially when it is a critical ingredient.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

What to do with Lemons (Zesting, Juicing, Freezing)

5 from 21 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Never let your lemons go to waste again! Save time and money by zesting, freezing and juicing your lemons.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 20 people (makes 2 cups lemon juice and 10 Tbsp zest)
  • 10 large lemons

Instructions

Freezing Lemon Slices:

  • If you wish to freeze lemon slices: rinse, pat dry and slice whole lemons into rings. Arrange them on a parchment or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the slices to a freezer safe bag and freeze up to 3 months.

Freezing Lemon Zest:

  • Before juicing remaining lemons, zest them. Be sure to remove only Zest (yellow outer skin) and not the bitter white pith beneath. Transfer zest to a freezer safe container or a mason jar with lid (loosely packed). Scoop it out and use in any recipe that calls for lemon zest.

To Make Lemon Juice:

  • Cut zested lemons in half and use a lemon juicer to squeeze out the juice. Store fresh juice in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

To Freeze Lemon Juice:

  • Pour lemon juice into an ice tray and freeze. Once frozen, ice cubes can be transferred to freezer safe ziploc bag and stored in the freezer up to 3 months.

Nutrition Per Serving

16kcal Calories5g Carbs1g Protein1g Fat1g Saturated Fat1mg Sodium75mg Potassium2g Fiber1g Sugar10IU Vitamin A28.6mg Vitamin C14mg Calcium0.3mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
What to do with Lemons (Zesting, Juicing, Freezing)
Amount per Serving
Calories
16
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
75
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
10
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
28.6
mg
35
%
Calcium
 
14
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.3
mg
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemons
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 16

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Larry
    April 13, 2024

    Lot of great ideas for people like me with a very productive lemon tree

    Reply

  • Jacinta
    February 11, 2024

    Hi! I didn’t read all the comments but you can use the leftover peels (white part) to make marmalade as they contain a lot of pectin!

    Thanks for the ideas. Last year we made limoncello and it was so so good!

    Reply

  • Valerie
    July 18, 2023

    Thanks for the wonderful Tips Off to go slice n freeze my lemons. Enjoy your Day!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 18, 2023

      You’re welcome, Valerie!

      Reply

  • Jeanie Miller
    May 18, 2023

    You can freeze the whole lemon. Then when you need zest or even juice, just take it out of the freezer and grate it with a box grater right into your recipe. No fuss, no muss (or mess).

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 18, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Jeanie.

      Reply

  • Constance
    June 24, 2022

    Hahahaha I tested, juiced, then peels in jar with vinegar then finally added last peels to water steaming artichokes along with salt and garlic!! Thanks for suggestions.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 24, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Constance!

      Reply

  • Anne Debens
    March 27, 2022

    It should also be noted that lemons contain magnesium which is vital to the body

    Reply

  • Tania
    December 28, 2021

    Another way to use the leftover peels; Make lemon infused vinegar for cleaning! Add lemon peels to a mason jar and top with vinegar, store in the fridge. I use this to clean almost every thing in my kitchen..it smells wonderful ☺️

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 28, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Tania! That’s a great idea!

      Reply

    • Carmen Aguila Westberg (aka: treehugnhipi)
      January 13, 2023

      i also do that for a diy fabric softener that makes your clothes smell dreamy and clean. it also keeps the washer clean! much cheaper and healthier for you than store bought. (i also make my own laundry detergent 😊)

      Reply

  • karen
    December 9, 2021

    Hello. Superb ideas thankyou. Just did the first batch of lemons (100 or so) from the tree. 4L juice, 750g zest. I wondered is there anything in garden that could use the “slush/pulp” (have about 750g) and then the skins (zested). Or do i need to put to waste. Too much lemon in compost is not good.

    I suspect the tree currently has 10 batches.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 10, 2021

      Hi Karen, I haven’t tried anything besides what I mentioned in the post. If you experiment, let me know how it goes. That is amazing you have that many lemons!

      Reply

    • Becca
      January 24, 2022

      Put into your pasta water before adding the pasta. Delicious!

      Reply

  • Kim D.
    November 16, 2021

    I LOVE your recipes, but I have to alter all of these recipes since my lemons weigh almost three pounds each! Gotta love Florida!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 16, 2021

      WOW! We don’t quite have 3 lb lemons here – they must taste so fresh and delicious too!

      Reply

  • rifa
    June 29, 2021

    hi , wow great recipies

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 29, 2021

      Thank you!

      Reply

  • Kerry Kitus
    May 15, 2021

    I am shocked that no one on here suggested making Limoncello! It’s delicious and so easy! You just need patience!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 15, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

    • sue franzi
      September 5, 2021

      Hi, do you have a good, easy receipe for Limoncello?

      Reply

      • Diedric
        October 5, 2021

        15 peeled lemons
        1 750ml bottle of grain alcohol

        Put peels into mason jar with grain alcohol. Let sit for 6 weeks.

        After 6 weeks, pull out peels & discard. Add simple syrup mixture (3 cups water/3 cups white granulated sugar).

        Pour over ice & enjoy.

        Reply

    • L.
      November 28, 2021

      Yep! That’s exactly how I am left with 10 lemons with no zest 🙂

      Reply

  • Jackie
    April 12, 2021

    Hi there! Curious how long the lemon zest will keep in fridge or freezer?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 12, 2021

      Hi Jackie, please see the section “Freezing Lemon Zest:” I would say it would be safely frozen for up to 3 months. We try not to keep anything frozen longer than that.

      Reply

  • VIRGINIA CATH
    February 27, 2021

    Be Greek – squeeze lemon onto your lamb/pork chops/Souvlaki/bbq meats of all sorts. Squeeze onto fish of course!

    Roast potatoes with lemon juice and salt on them.

    Use lemons to clean oil of your hands.

    Roast your chicken with a lemon inside.

    Make lemon/egg soup.

    Use on salads with olive oil (Greek is best!)

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 27, 2021

      Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Juan Jose Casero
    December 31, 2020

    I have a Eureka and a Meyer lemon tree in my home orchard. Every year I harvest about 30-40 pounds of lemons from each tree and it has been really hard to figure out what to do with them. This year I just juiced everything and poured the juice into plastic containers and froze them. Each container is about a pint and I have about 10-12 containers in the freezer right now. I can’t zest many of my lemons though because leaf miner insects get into the peel and you know do their nasty stuff in there. It doesn’t affect the fruit or the juice but it renders the zest unpalatable.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 31, 2020

      Hi Juan, thank you for sharing – that is amazing you are able to preserve those lemons.

      Reply

  • Sydney
    December 25, 2020

    Why do you say that lemon juice is good for only up to 3 months in the freezer? We have 2 Meyer lemon trees that produce A LOT of lemons each year. We juice them and freeze the juice in mason jars and use it all year long. It’s perfectly fine.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 26, 2020

      Hi Sydney, that is just the standard for freezer recommendations. If it’s packaged well, it can be frozen longer and definitely would be longer in a deep freezer.

      Reply

  • Nancy
    November 9, 2020

    Hi I need a good lemon juicer and lemon zester. I see you use some during your videos but I can’t find them in the notes. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 9, 2020

      Hi Nancy, we have all of our tools linked in our youtube video, but you can also find them in our Amazon Affiliate Shop HERE and our Blog Shop HERE.

      Reply

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