Need a good substitute for lemon juice ? Fresh lemon juice has a delicious citrus flavor and perky scent and it is one of the most popular fruits of the citrus family. It can be added to vinaigrettes, marinades, poured over chicken and fish, and added to batter for cakes and muffins. If you’re in the middle of a recipe and need a good substitute, here are the best lemon substitutes you can use.

A white colander filled with lemons. A glass juicer filled with lemon juice sits next to the colander.

If you’re in the middle of making a recipe that calls for lemon juice and you don’t have any lemons on hand, there’s a few substitutes you can use to replace it, though the flavor won’t be exactly the same.

Three hand juicers filled with lemon juice sit next to cut lemon halves (for lemon juice substitutes)

Lemon juice is so versatile and makes such a great addition to so many recipes from vinaigrettes, sauces, dips, marinades, baking and more. It adds a perky pop of flavor that’s hard to match, but there are a few good substitutes you can use in a pinch. 

Substitutes for Lemon Juice

If you don’t have any lemons on hand to juice, here are some of the best substitutes for lemon juice that you can use.

1. Lime Juice

Lime juice is the best substitute for lemon juice since their flavors are so similar. Even though lemons and limes are both acidic, using lime juice as a replacement for lemon juice will still provide a slightly different flavor. Use the same amount of lime juice as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).

2. Orange Juice

Lime juice is one of the better substitutes for lemon juice since their flavors are similar. Use the same amount of lime juice as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).

3. Lemon Zest

If you have frozen lemon zest on hand, it can be mixed with a little water to be used as a substitute for lemon juice in dessert recipes and other recipes when lemon is the prominent flavor. 

4. Lemon Extract

Lemon extract is a very concentrated lemon flavor that can also be used as a substitute for lemon juice especially in dessert recipes. You’ll only need to use a drop or two sine it is highly concentrated. You may also need to mix it with a little water to add moisture to the ingredients. For example, if your recipe calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice, mix a drop of lemon extract with a teaspoon of water.

5. Vinegar

You can use vinegar as a replacement for lemon juice in recipes where you only need to add a small amount, not as a replacement when lemon is the primary flavor in the dish. Use the same amount of vinegar as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).

6. White Wine

White wine and lemon juice can both be used to deglaze a pan in savory dishes. Use the same amount of white wine as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).

7. Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar can be used as a lemon juice replacement in baking recipes. Use 1/2 teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You may also need to add a teaspoon of water to replace the lemon juice if the ingredients need added moisture.

Three hand juicers filled with lemon juice sit next to cut lemon halves (for lemon juice substitutes)

25 Lemon Recipes

More Resources

A white colander filled with lemons. A glass juicer filled with lemon juice sits next to the colander.
Yield: 1 Serving

Lemon Juice Substitute

Need a good substitute for lemon juice ? Fresh lemon juice has a delicious citrus flavor and perky scent and it is one of the most popular fruits of the citrus family. It can be added to vinaigrettes, marinades, poured over chicken and fish, and added to batter for cakes and muffins. If you're in the middle of a recipe and need a good substitute, here are the best lemon substitutes you can use.

Ingredients

  • Lime Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Extract
  • Vinegar
  • White Wine
  • Cream of Tartar

Instructions

  1. Lime Juice: Lime juice is the best substitute for lemon juice since their flavors are so similar. Use the same amount of lime juice as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).
  2. Orange Juice: Use the same amount of lime juice as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).
  3. Lemon Zest: If you have frozen lemon zest on hand, it can be mixed with a little water to be used as a substitute for lemon juice in dessert recipes and other recipes when lemon is the prominent flavor. 
  4. Lemon Extract: If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice, mix a drop or two of lemon extract with a teaspoon of water.
  5. White Vinegar: Use the same amount of vinegar as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio), or dilute the vinegar by mixing 1/2 vinegar with 1/2 water.
  6. White Wine: Use the same amount of white wine as you would use for lemon juice (1:1 ratio).
  7. Cream of Tartar: Use 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar for every 1 teaspoon of lemon juice called for in a recipe. You may also need to add a teaspoon of water to replace the lemon juice if the ingredients need added moisture.