The lemon peel zest from The Spice House is three times stronger than fresh lemon zest, and it is guaranteed to be free of the bitter pith that can sometimes be mistakenly added to dishes when zesting your own lemons. When using dried lemon zest, soak it in a small amount of water for 15 minutes to release the full flavor before adding it to dry ingredients.
Substitute for Lemon Zest
Lemon peel has two layers, the oily outer skin, and the bitter, spongy pith beneath it. When using lemon zest, you’re going to want just the outer layer so your dish has a strong, wonderful lemon flavor and fragrance. Lemon zest is great in salad dressings, marinades, beverages and even baked goods. If you don’t have a lemon to zest, or dried zest on hand, you can use one of the substitutes here to get the same impact of lemon zest.
- Lemon extract (½ teaspoon extract for every teaspoon lemon zest)
- Lemon juice
- Another citrus, like lime or orange zest
If your recipe calls for more than a couple of tablespoons of lemon zest, it may be best to run to the store to pick up a lemon. Adding too much liquid substitute could ruin the consistency of your dish. Be especially careful in baked goods because these substitutes can change the reaction to baking soda and baking powder.
Common Lemon Zest Substitution Questions
What is Lemon Zest?
Lemon zest is the outer peel of a lemon. Using a zester or vegetable peeler, you’ll peel the outside of the lemon, but you only want the colorful outer layer, if you start to see white showing (the pith) you’ve gone too deep, and you’ll get a bitter flavor.
Can You Buy Lemon Zest?
Yes! The Spice House sells dried lemon zest, which is stronger and has a better flavor than fresh lemon zest.
Can You Use Lemon Juice in Place of Lemon Zest?
Yes! Use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for every teaspoon of lemon zest called for.
Do You Have To Use the Lemon Zest in a Recipe?
Skipping the lemon zest in a recipe is up to you! Your recipe likely won’t be ruined without it, but if you’re making something like lemon curd bars, or lemon pound cake, you probably should use an alternative, or go pick up a lemon.
Can I Use Dried Lemon Zest in Baked Goods?
Yes! When using dried lemon zest in baked goods, use ⅓ the amount of dried zest for the fresh amount called for.