Lemon Recipes

Usually a supporting player, lemon shines in these recipes

Lemon is at once pervasive and underappreciated. It appears as a garnish on countless plates, its juice flavors countless dishes. Always a bridesmaid, lemon seems destined to play a supporting role, albeit an important one. But we think it's time for lemon to take its place at the altar and prove that its bright, tart flavor can star in a dish. From complex Moroccan tagines to zesty potato salad to creamy lemon curd, we've rounded up our favorite lemon recipes.

Lemon's bright acidity makes it great for cutting through rich, creamy foods. Lemon curd is an eggy, sweet-tart spread that is delicious on toast or as an ingredient in other desserts. It serves as the filling for lemon bars and as a frosting for our lemon layer cake, which also uses lemon zest in the batter and lemon syrup between the layers.

Like with desserts, lemon can cut through creamy savory dishes with ease. Our lemon mayonnaise smashed potato salad is rich without being heavy. Try cooking up a creamy batch of orzo and flavoring it with sweet Meyer lemons and earthy mushrooms.

Preserved lemons are a staple of North African cuisine. You can make them at home with lemon juice, salt, bay leaves, and seasonings like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns. One of our favorite uses for preserved lemons is Moroccan tagine, where we combine them with chicken, green olives, and spices.

Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of lemon recipes.

Lemon Custard Tart
Lemon Custard Tart
Use leftover dough from the butter crust of this creamy lemon custard pastry to make decorative cookies to adorn the outside.Joseph De Leo
Egypt, recipe, sumac roast chicken
Sumac Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic
Egyptians love tart flavors like the bracing, floral herb sumac, which is rubbed all over this juicy chicken.Helen Cathcart
Preserved Lemons
Preserved Lemons
Lemon and salt—powerful on their own, but even better when combined and let mature into preserved lemons, a North African pantry staple.Romulo Yanes
Lemon Granita
Lemon Granita
Like a frozen lemonade, this refreshing dessert is achieved with little more than lemon juice, sugar, and time.Matt Taylor-Gross
Strawberry Lemon Cake
Strawberry Lemon Cake
At New York's Milk Bar, Christina Tosi makes this towering cake every spring, when sweet and tiny tristar strawberries are in season. This is by no means an everyday cake, but it's worth the work that you'll put in, and worthy of a special occasion. Get the recipe for Strawberry Lemon Cake »Matt Taylor-Gross
Creamy Orzo Risotto with Meyer Lemon and Wild Mushrooms
Creamy Orzo Risotto with Meyer Lemon and Wild Mushrooms
Simmering orzo slowly with butter, shallots, and chicken stock and enriched it with cream yields a silky, risotto-like texture.Helen Rosner
Avgolemono
Avgolemono
Avgolemono, a simple Mediterranean soup of eggs, lemons, and chicken broth, is the Mediterranean equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Get the recipe for Avgolemono »Todd Coleman
Lemon Bars
Lemon Bars
Lemon bars are a light, brightly-flavored dessert, best served with a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.Noah Fecks
Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce
Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce
This is a pasta dish of strong flavors: Dark, earthy kale is offset by bright lemon cream and a warm, aromatic heat from crushed red chiles and garlic.Maxime Iattoni
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
A quintessential muffin recipe combines the nutty flavor of poppy seeds with a generous hit of fresh lemon zest.Maxime Iattoni
Lemony Fried Cauliflower
Lemony Fried Cauliflower
In this take on a traditional Sephardic Jewish dish, culupidia frita con limón, cauliflower are coated in a flour and egg batter, fried, and then bathed in lemon juice. As a side or a snack, it's crunchy, tender, and brimming with fresh, tangy flavor.Yossy Arefi
Lemon Mayonnaise Smashed Potato Salad
Lemon Mayonnaise Smashed Potato Salad
Homemade lemon mayonnaise adds zesty flavor to these tender, coarsely mashed potatoes.Gemma and Andrew Ingalls
Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Olive Oil
Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Olive Oil
Simple roasted baby potatoes with whole garlic cloves are the perfect foil for a zesty lemon and olive oil emulsion.Ingalls Photography
Stuffed Fried Fish
Stuffed Fried Fish
This recipe for whole fried fish with garlic, fiery chiles, lemons, and earthy spice originated in Yaffa and came courtesy of The Gaza Kitchen.Penny De Los Santos
Lemon Parmesan Dip
Lemon Parmesan Dip
Creamy and bright-tasting, lemon parmesan dip makes for an excellent accompaniment to a chip or crudité platter.Helen Rosner
Lemon Soufflé
Lemon Soufflé
There is something about a souffle—a magical blending of eggs, air, and acid—that turns any meal into an unforgettable event.Todd Coleman
Lemon-and-Herb-Roasted Vegetables
Lemon-and-Herb-Roasted Vegetables
Chopped whole lemon and spicy fresh ginger lend brightness to hearty roasted vegetables including sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and carrots.
Green Beans with Lemon and Capers
Green Beans with Lemon and Capers
Inspired by the briny flavors of veal piccata, this elegant side dish is simplicity itself: blanched green beans tossed in a vinaigrette of capers, bright lemon, and a beautiful olive oil.Maxime Iattoni
Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwich
Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwich
Peppery arugula and zesty red onion are an ideal garnish for this flavorful, light, lemon-pepper tuna salad.André Baranowski
Herbed Lemon Quinoa
Herbed Lemon Quinoa
Quinoa, which is botanically a seed and not a grain, is widely accepted as a Passover-friendly starch. In this recipe from cookbook author Leah Koenig, it gets dressed up for the seder table with a mix of sweet sautéed shallots, lemon, and parsley. Get the recipe for Herbed Lemon Quinoa »Cory Baldwin
Spicy Lemon Pickle
Spicy Lemon Pickle
A salt and spice cure transforms fresh citrus into tart, briny pickles that perk up many Indian meals. Smita Chandra uses them as a condiment to punch up soft naan flatbreads and steamed white rice.Ingalls Photography
Lemon-Glazed Persimmon Bars
Lemon-Glazed Persimmon Bars
Sweetened with ripe persimmons and dates, and coated with a tart, toothsome, lemon-sugar glaze, these bars are a wonderful celebration of late-fall fruits.Noah Fecks
Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemon
Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemon
Roast chicken is a classic dish all over the world. In this beautiful version from Spain, the bird is rubbed with musky, floral saffron and stuffed with bright lemons and fresh rosemary before being popped in the oven.Andre Baranowski
Salmon Glazed with Rosemary- and Lemon-Infused Honey
Salmon Glazed with Rosemary- and Lemon-Infused Honey
Rosemary-infused honey gives this dish a sweet and aromatic flavor.Maxime Iattoni
Lemon Risotto
Lemon Risotto
Complement this dish's intense lemon flavors with a hefeweizen served with a lemon wedge.Ben Fink
The Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake
The Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake
Lemon extract, juice, and zest permeate a rich and moist loaf to create what really is is the best damn lemon cake we've ever had.André Baranowski
Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd
This thick, tangy spread is great spooned on toast and as a filling for tarts and cakes.André Baranowski
Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto)
Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto)
Garlic, lemon, and rosemary enhance simple, juicy roast chicken.André Baranowski
Lemon-Thyme Lamb Chops (L'agneau Grillé au Thym)
Lemon-Thyme Lamb Chops (L'agneau Grillé au Thym)
These grilled lamb chops are simply grilled with nothing more than olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper.Todd Coleman
Lemon Icebox Pie
Lemon Icebox Pie
This creamy lemon pie with homemade candied lemon peel is a delicious frozen treat.Anna Stockwell
Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon infuses this layered masterpiece in three ways: zested into the batter, in a tart syrup that get drizzled over the cakes, and in a thick lemon curd frosting.Todd Coleman
Corsican Lemon Mousse
Corsican Lemon Mousse
This rich, silky mousse brightened with tangy lemons makes an elegant end to a meal.Todd Coleman
Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Tagine (Djaj Mqualli)
Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Tagine (Djaj Mqualli)
Tagine, the Moroccan stew, shares its name with the terra-cotta pot it's traditionally cooked in, whose neat conical lid promotes convection and even cooking. There are many versions; maybe the most classic is braised chicken, green olives, and lemons in a sauce fragrant with ginger and coriander.Todd Coleman