Got citrus? Here are the best lemon recipes for how to use this sweet tart fruit, from pancakes to dressing to of course…lemonade.
Got lemons? We’ve got recipes! The lemon is one of the most versatile citrus fruits around. It adds a brightness that lifts recipes to new heights. Add it to asparagus or green beans to make them sing. Spritz it on salmon or shrimp to give them an irresistible tang. There are so many ways to use this ingredient: and it’s featured in hundreds of our recipes.
Here we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best! Here are all the best lemon recipes for using this yellow fruit. From pancakes to vinaigrettes to sauces, we’ve got you covered. And of course: why not try fresh squeezed lemonade? Let’s get started.
And now…the best lemon recipes to try!
But if you’re a citrus-lover, this lemon recipe has a place in the muffin hall of fame: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins! This muffins recipe is bright and zingy, with just the right light texture and citrusy zing. Seal the deal by drizzling on a quick, flavor-popping lemon glaze.
Lemon bars are one of the best ways to use this citrus fruit! A zingy lemon custard topping layers over a thick shortbread layer, making the best textural contrast of gooey versus crunchy. It’s got just the right burst of lemon and hint of vanilla in the shortbread. And, they’re simpler than you’d imagine to whip up.
Here’s a bright, zingy lemon recipe that will make friends and family come running: this Lemon Blueberry Bread! This one is beautifully moist and lemon-scented, thanks to a secret ingredient. Drizzle it with a cream cheese glaze, which makes a festive look and another pop of sweet to each bite.
If you've got lemons...why not make lemonade? Compare this lemonade recipe to store-bought and there’s no contest. This is the way it was meant to be! Make it the real way, and you’ll find out why this beverage became so popular in the first place. You’ll use less sugar than anything you’ll find in a store, and the flavor is perfectly sweet tart.
Also try: Raspberry Lemonade or Pink Lemonade
Here's a show-stopping lemon recipe: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes! They’re impossibly fluffy and light, with a pop citrus flavor on the finish. Even better: they’re packed with protein and made with half the flour of a normal pancake! They might sound fancy, but they’re so easy to whip up and perfect for impressing friends and family at a lazy breakfast or brunch.
Here's a lemon recipe that tastes like pure lemon: a lemon vinaigrette! It makes gives all salads a refreshing zing. And it uses only 4 ingredients! This easy lemon salad dressing is just begging for you to make a salad to put it on. Try it on classic French Nicoise salad and as a main dish dinner salad.
Here’s a lusciously creamy pasta that will become the meal of your dreams. Try this Lemon Pasta! It’s rich and silky, with just the right balance of sharp citrus from loads of lemon zest. Don’t consider this a health food or even a healthy spin: it’s here for when you need a properly indulgent bit of pasta.
Want a lemon recipe that's an easy weeknight meal? Enter: lemon dill salmon. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s even fancy enough for a dinner party. The baked salmon is perfectly savory, and doused in a creamy lemon dill sauce it’s pretty irresistible. Want an even faster piece of salmon? Try it broiled.
What’s better than the combination of zingy lemon and pure sweet blueberry? These Lemon Blueberry Muffins are the epitome of the pairing, with a bright citrusy kick from the lemon and studded with pops of purple berries. Heighten the flavor with a lemon drizzle, which takes these muffins from good to wow.
Are you a lemon dessert lover? Then you absolutely must try homemade Lemon Sorbet! Each bite is loaded pure citrus flavor: icy and bright, with just the right amount of zing on the finish. Both lemon juice and lemon zest bring a bold flavor, and it’s irresistibly refreshing after a meal or as a palate cleanser.
At the top of our lemon recipes...lemon blueberry pancakes! These are quite the treat: tender and fluffy, they have just the right citrus zing! Top them off with tangy sweet blueberry compote and it’s all you can do not to exclaim Wow! on your first bite (we did). Lemon is the perfect pairing for this sweet berry.
It’s creamy, rich and sumptuous slathered onto a hot crispy French fry. It’s perfect for slathering sandwiches and burgers. Meet lemon aioli! This classic Mediterranean-style sauce is full-flavored and rich. Go to a restaurant and you’ll find all sorts of flavored aiolis for dipping fries. But the best aioli? Homemade. It’s a great skill for any home cook to learn: and we’ve got two ways to do it: the real way and the cheater way. Try it on our Baked French Fries.
Love citrusy drinks? Then let us introduce you to your new soulmate: this Homemade Lemon Soda! Sure, purchased citrus soda is tasty and refreshing. But make it at home with fresh-squeezed citrus juice and it’s next level! All you need are 3 ingredients and it comes together in a flash.
Looking for a sauce that’s packed with flavor? Try this Lemon Butter Sauce! It’s garlicky, rich, acidic, and bright: ideal for drizzling over a piece of salmon or roast chicken. It’s so simple to whip up: in just 5 minutes, you’ve got a sauce that tastes like pure gold. All you need is a small drizzle to take a piece of fish from tasty to magnificent: like this Lemon Garlic Salmon.
Shh, we have a secret. Frozen peas can taste amazing in 5 minutes. Yep, you can transform a bag of these frozen green spheres into an easy side dish that everyone around the table will love. (Promise!) The secret? A little olive oil, butter, garlic and lemon. That’s it! Turns out it’s not as hard as you would think.
Here’s a quick and simple pasta that’s the perfect shortcut for weeknights: Lemon Ricotta Pasta! Mixing ricotta cheese with olive oil, Parmesan and a little pasta water makes a makeshift white sauce that’s ideal for coating on long noodles. This quick weeknight trick has become a staple over here: the zing of the lemon zest makes it absolutely irresistible not to keep slurping down noodles.
The easiest of all lemon recipes? Cucumber lemon water! We all know we’re supposed to drink a lot of water. But do you ever get kind of…bored? Here’s a solution: cucumber lemon water! Making an infused water brings big flavor to boring old water: and it takes only 5 minutes. It’s also a perfect drink for entertaining, because it looks so beautiful and seems “fancy”.
Need a soothing drink that takes just 2 minutes to make? Try Lemon Tea! This herbal tea is a simple infusion of water, lemon and honey, and it’s amazing what those three ingredients can do. This drink is soothing for sore throats and colds, and invigorating as a morning drink. It’s simple to make, low in calories and hydrating!
Here’s a key sauce every home cook should have in their repertoire…because it’s just that good. Meet this Tahini Sauce! It’s rich, creamy, zingy and ideal for drizzling on just about anything. Try it on a falafel bowl or a grain bowl, on roasted sweet potatoes, on a sandwich, even as a French fry dip!
Lemon Layer Cake
Here's everything a lemon lover needs: this lemon cake! It's beautifully moist, buttery and full of fresh lemon flavor, sandwiched with a moist lemon buttercream icing. via Sally's Baking Addiction
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
This lemon recipe works for a weekday breakfast or dressed up with candied lemon slices and glaze for fancy brunch or occasion. It's moist, flavorful, and speckled with plenty of poppy seeds. via Sally's baking Addiction
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Cot lemons? Try these Lemon Crinkle Cookies! They've got perfectly cracked tops, a tender butter soft texture, fragrant vanilla and fresh lemon flavor. via Grandbaby Cakes
Homemade Lemon Curd
Lemon curd might be the ultimate in all lemon recipes! It's easy to make and takes just 6 ingredients. Taste a spoonful and it's bursting with bright, citrusy flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. via Grandbaby Cakes
Lemon is used in so many great cocktails! One of the most famous is the Lemon Drop Martini! This mixed drink is intensely sweet tart! Use citron vodka for the most lemony flavor: otherwise, regular vodka works. It’s festive and refreshing, with a lemon twist and sugar rim.
Also try: our 20 Best Lemon Cocktails
Want the best bubbly, refreshing lemon drink? Try homemade Sparkling Lemonade! Use real lemon, soda water and sugar to make this summery drink: it’s perfect for sipping on the patio, or drinking in the winter when you’re dreaming of sun.
Last up: a beautiful lemon tart recipe! The filling is not too sweet but not mouth-puckeringly sour either, and so custardy it melts in the mouth. This classic French tart is elegant and pretty: a great way to use lemons!
More ways to use lemons
Need more ideas? There are lots more ways to use this bright citrus fruit. Here are some ideas for more lemon recipes:
- Use the juice to brighten smoothies, like strawberry mango smoothie, blueberry banana smoothie, celery smoothie, avocado smoothie, kale smoothie or spinach smoothie.
- Throw lemon zest into baked goods, like scones or cookies
- Mix into lemon cocktails, like whiskey sour, gin fizz, French 75, vodka lemonade, or Tom Collins.
- Use a spritz to brighten seafood dishes like creamy shrimp pasta or blackened shrimp, baked shrimp or garlic butter shrimp.
Related: Lime vs Lemon: What’s the Difference?Print
25 Zesty Lemon Recipes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover in a lemon glaze for even of a citrus pop.
For the lemon poppy seed muffins
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons poppyseeds
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest*
For the lemon glaze (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or add muffin cup papers.
- Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the vegetable oil, yogurt, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until a thick batter forms. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups: the cups will be full to the top, using about a heaping ¼ cup per muffin.
- Bake: Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour.
- For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice until a thick icing forms. If the texture is not drizzlable, add a few more drops lemon juice and continue stirring until it comes together. Drizzle with a fork across the muffins in a diagonal pattern.
- Serve: Eat immediately or store up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or freeze unglazed muffins for up to 3 months.
*One lemon yields about 1 tablespoon lemon zest, so buy 2 lemons for this amount of lemon zest and juice (including the glaze).
- Category: Muffin
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Lemon recipes