6 Lemon Juice Substitutes You Can Try

Lemon juice is used in a range of different recipes from cakes to salads. If you happen to run out of this ingredient, then there are other ingredients that can be used as substitutes. Depending on the dishes you’re making, some substitutes will work better than others. So next time when you’re stuck without any lemon juice, take a look at these replacements.

Lemon Juice Substitute

1. Citrus Juice or Vinegar

Lemon juice is very acidic and sometimes it is this acidity that is needed in the dish, rather than the lemon flavor. Foods like salsa, fresh fish and guacamole are just some of the dishes that need the acidity. Vinegar or another citrus juice can work just as well for this, but make sure you dilute the vinegar with some water as its flavor can be too strong. For example, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to replace a splash of lemon juice into sugared strawberries for dessert. Instead of lemon juice in risotto, try half a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar for each teaspoon of lemon juice that's needed in your recipe.

2. Vitamin C Solution

Another reason why you may need a lemon juice substitute is to prevent certain foods from browning when they are exposed to the air. This browning is known as oxidation and is stopped by the vitamin C that is present in lemon juice. Other ingredients that contain vitamin C include limes, grapefruits and oranges, so you can squeeze these onto your fruit or vegetables to stop them browning. Another option is to dissolve 3000 milligrams of vitamin C tablets into a gallon of water and pour this on your food.

3. Powdered Citric Acid

Powdered citric acid or citric salts are good substitutes for lemon juice if you want to make some jam or jellies. This ingredient helps the fruit set and provides you with a great tang. Instead of one tbsp of lemon juice, try to use 1/8 tbsp of citric acid, or sprinkle the citric salts on dishes like soup or risotto.

4. Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is another great lemon juice substitute as it contains lemon oil which gives you the taste and smell of lemons. This is great for making marinades, baking cakes and using in salad dressings. Lemon zest can be peeled off from a fresh lemon or be bought dry directly from stores.

5. Freezing Lemons

While whole lemons can last for up to two weeks in the fridge, once they are cut open, they will spoil and rot very quickly. To keep them preserved, squeeze the lemon juice into an airtight container and place it in the freezer, peeling the membranes and seeds off first.

6. Lemon Extract or Lemony Herbs

Lemon extracts are a great substitute to add into baked goods like cakes and cookies as the flavors are very concentrated. Use up to 2 tablespoons of potent lemon extract in a cake or a smaller amount for a less lemony flavor. Herbs such as lemon verbena and lemongrass are also a great substitute for more savory dishes like chicken, as you can sprinkle the herbs on top.

More Ingredients Substitutes for Healthier Recipes

Apart from lemon juice substitutes, there are other substitutes you can try to make your diet healthier. 




Italian hams, turkey substitutes

White bread

Whole-grain bread

Bread crumbs

Ground cereal or oats

Butter or margarine

Applesauce or prune puree to replace half of the butter; spread butter without trans fats

Butter or margarine to prevent sticking

Non-stick pans or cooking spray


Half fat-free cream and half whole cream

Cream cheese

Low fat cottage cheese


Egg whites for each whole egg

Plain flour

Whole-wheat pastry flour which can be used in baking soft products, like muffins and cakes

Syrup canned fruit

Water based canned fruit or fresh fruit

Minced beef

Ground chicken or turkey breast


Kale, chicory, dandelion greens, watercress or spinach


Low fat/calorie versions

Meat on pizzas or in stews

Around three times as many vegetables as the meat

Evaporated milk

Skimmed version

Whole milk

Fat free milk

Oil-based marinades

Balsamic vinegar, fruit juice, fat-free broth, or wine

White pasta

Whole-grain pasta

White rice

Brown rice 

Salad dressing

Flavored vinegar or fat free dressings

Seasoning salt

Garlic powder, celery seed, onion flakes, or fresh herbs

Creamed soups

Milk based soups; pureed tofu, potatoes or carrots as thickening agents

Canned meat or dressings

Low salt versions

Sour cream

Low fat version or plain yogurt

Soy sauce

Low-sodium versions, sweet and sour sauce


Nutmeg, vanilla or cinnamon


Pureed fruit


Herbs and spices with strong flavors

Fruit flavored yogurts

Plain yogurt with fresh fruits added


Current time: 09/23/2023 01:21:34 p.m. UTC Memory usage: 66116.0KB