5 Substitutes for Lemon Zest

Substitutes for Lemon Zest
Photo by sakulich on Pixabay

Lemon zest is a popular ingredient in many recipes and is great for adding a citrusy flavor to various dishes.

But what if you don’t have any lemons on hand, or you’d like to experiment with some other flavors?

Luckily, several other types of citrus zest can be used as substitutes for lemon zest. 

From limes to oranges to grapefruits, each type of citrus brings its own unique flavor and aroma to recipes.

Read on to learn substitutes for lemon zest that you can use in your cooking and baking.

But before the substitutes for lemon zest come up, let’s know a few things about the lemon zest itself.

1. Lime Zest

While the juice of limes is commonly used in savory dishes, the zest can be used in desserts or baked goods. It has a strong aroma but a less intense flavor than lemon zest. 

Lime is one of the great substitutes for lemon zest in baked goods with a citrus flavor, as it will not overpower the taste of the other ingredients.

You can also use lime zest to bring out the flavor of other ingredients, like rosemary or cumin.

2. Orange Zest

Orange zest is one of the most versatile types of zest, and it can be used in savory and sweet recipes.

It has a distinct flavor that is not as sour as lime or lemon zest but not as sweet as some other types of zest.

Equally important to note, this is one of the best substitutes for lemon zest.

Orange zest is a great addition to baked goods and savory dishes, adding a delicate flavor to most recipes.

Orange zest can be used to bring out the flavor of other ingredients, like cumin, ginger, or cinnamon.

3. Grapefruit Zest

Grapefruit zest is not left out of this list of substitutes for lemon zest in many baked goods, particularly those that call for a subtle citrus flavor.

Grapefruit zest is less sour than lemon but still has a citrusy flavor.

It has a sweeter taste than lemon or lime zest and a unique flavor to grapefruit.

Grapefruit zest is a great addition to cakes, muffins, and other baked goods, as it adds a delicate flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.

4. Kumquat Zest

Kumquat is a small citrus fruit that is often dried and used as a decorative garnish. While the fresh fruit is sour and often eaten as a snack, the zest is sweet and floral. 

Kumquat zest can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and it has the advantage of being a more subtle addition to a dish than lemon zest.

This is also one of the best substitutes for lemon zest; you should give it a try!

5. Bergamot zest

Like kumquat zest, bergamot zest is a more subtle citrus zest that can be used in sweet and savory dishes.

It has a floral aroma and taste and is often used in herbal and Earl Grey teas.

Bergamot can be one of the great substitutes for lemon zest if you are looking for a less intense citrus flavor.


Lemon zest is a common ingredient in many types of recipes, but it is not the only citrus zest that can be used in cooking and baking.

There are many substitutes for lemon zest, such as lime, orange, grapefruit, kumquat, and bergamot zest. 

Each type of citrus zest has its own flavor and aroma, meaning you can use the same amount of zest while bringing a different flavor to your dish.

You can also use citrus zest to flavor savory dishes like soups, stews, and mashed potatoes.

With so many possibilities, citrus zest is a great way to add flavor and aroma to your dishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like