8 Best Lemon Juice Substitutes You Can Try!

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Lemon juice is one low-key ingredient we all love! You can pour lemon juice to enhance its taste, whether grilled meat or a bowl of vegetable salad. But if we run out of lemon juice? Worry not! Look for a lemon juice substitute!

Lemon Juice

Lemon is something we have at home most of the time. Squeeze some lemon and add it to anything! Lemon juice pairs well with desserts, grilled dishes, and marinades. Lemon juice is one of the most underrated ingredients of all time!

Lemon juice brings in flavor as well as the aroma; therefore, when we are out of it, it’s hard to find a good substitute. If you are in such a situation, I’m here to help you out. Lime juice, orange juice, citric acid, vinegar, and lemon zest work as great lemon juice substitutes.

Lemon juice needs no special introduction, but to choose the best substitute, you need to understand the flavor profile of lemon juice. In the next section, we are going to understand lemon juice in its entirety!

Quick Peek: Lemon Juice

Lemon juice

This section will help you learn all the important facts about lemon juice. We will discuss its flavor profile, uses, and health benefits. Without wasting our time, let’s get into the topic.

What Is Lemon Juice?

To put out most simply, lemon juice is the juice extracted from a lemon’s pulp. It is intensely flavored and has a citrusy aroma to it. It is widely used in culinary as well as medicinal purposes all over the world.

Lemon juice is a natural ingredient and has been in use for centuries. Lemon juice is something we all use regularly. 

Describing Lemon Juice: Flavor And Texture

Lemon juice has an intense tart flavor. Just a teaspoon of lemon juice makes the entire drink taste acidic. The intensity of the acidic taste varies from one type of lemon to the other.

Lemon juice, as we know, has a runny water-like texture. It also has a strong citrusy aroma. Some people might not be able to handle the tartness of lemon. If you are one of them, this article is for you!

Uses Of Lemon Juice!

Lemon juice has many uses to it. It has so many uses that it’s hard to count! Most of us might have a half-cut lemon in our fridge. From culinary to cleaning purposes, we all rely on lemon and lemon juice.

The first and foremost use of lemon juice is in cooking. Lemon juice is used as the last ingredient to brighten up the flavor and aroma of so many dishes. A teaspoon of lemon won’t alter flavor but enhances the dish’s taste.

It is also used to make drinks. Lemon juice is an easy dish that can be made from lemon juice. All you need is lemon juice, water, and sugar. Mix it up all and gulp it down! It is extremely delicious and refreshing. Lemon juice is also added to different cocktails and juices for its tart flavor and aroma.

Lemon juice is also handy when it comes to cleaning purposes. Since lemon juice is colorless and has an acidic nature, it can be used to remove the stain in both kitchen pots as well as clothes. Lemon juice helps you to bring the lost shine of all your kitchen utensils.

Not just in the culinary world, lemon juice is also a star in the medicinal world. In the next section, we will discuss some of lemon juice’s most important health benefits.

Lemon Juice On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Now that we discussed some of the uses of lemon juice let’s look into some of the health benefits offered by lemon juice.

Lemon juice is a multipurpose ingredient that treats many health issues. Lemon juice has been used as a home remedy for treating multiple health issues in different cultures.

  • Enhances Heart Health: Lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.
  • Helps In Weight loss: If you have ever been on a diet, you would have seen the internet praising lemon juice’s importance in the weight loss journey. Lemon juice contains pectin, which makes you feel fuller and thus makes you eat less food than your normal intake.
  • Prevent Kidney Stone: Lemon juice alters the pH level of the urine and thus prevents the chance of having a kidney stone.
  • Protects Against Anemia: Anemia happens because of low iron intake. Lemon juice has less iron content in it. However, lemon juice helps in the better absorption of iron from the food we eat.
  • Helps to lower blood sugar levels: Lemon juice is high in soluble fibers. Soluble fibers slow down the digestion of starch and sugars, thereby controlling the body’s blood sugar levels.

Why Should We Substitute Lemon Juice?

Now that we have talked so many good things about lemon juice, you might not want to use any other ingredients in its place. But let’s remember the initial reason for which you are reading this article. 

Lemon juice might be a favorite for many people, but not for you! Lemon juice and its flavor might not be your thing. If you are one of those who hate the intense tarty flavor of lemon juice, then without me saying much, you know you need to find a lemon juice substitute.

Even if you love lemon juice, you could have a different opinion and might be allergic to it. So if you are allergic to lemon juice, finding a similar-tasting substitute will help you. 

Last but not least, you could be out of a lemon. Running to a store to get just one lemon sounds like a bad idea. Knowing about a good lemon juice substitute could help you solve the situation.

I’ve persuaded you enough to read the rest of my article. Now that we understand lemon juice better let’s see some of the best lemon juice substitutes.

8 Best Lemon Juice Substitutes

This section will help you pick the best lemon juice substitutes. You will get to read the flavor and texture of each substitute along with its proportion when used as a lemon juice substitute.

1. Lime Juice

Lime Juice

Many people are of the assumption that lemon juice and lime juice are similar. Even though that isn’t true, that comparison makes lime juice a perfect lemon juice substitute

Both lime and lemon juice have a tart, citrusy flavor and can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Lime juice can be used as a lemon juice substitute in most recipes. It works especially well for pickling and preservation.

2. Orange Juice

Orange JUice

Orange juice is the next best lemon juice substitute. It has a slight tart flavor and citrusy aroma, making it a perfect swap for lemon juice in most dishes. However, the tartness of the orange juice may depend upon the type of orange we use.

Orange juice has a very pleasant sweet taste to it. If your recipe calls for a large amount of lemon juice, try some other substitutes, as the sweet taste of orange will get reflected in the final product.

But if you need only a pinch of lemon juice, go for the orange juice!

3. Vinegar


Vinegar is another good lemon juice substitute. Just like lemon juice, it has a strong acidic taste and can be used in almost all recipes that call for lemon juice. 

But the flavor profile of vinegar is stronger than that of lemon juice. The tart flavor of vinegar is stronger with a pungent aroma. Thus while using it as a lemon juice substitute, use it sparingly!

4. Citric Acid 

Citric Acid

Citric acid is the naturally occurring acid in lemon juice. Thus if you are looking for a good lemon juice substitute, find citric acid. Its flavor profile is so similar to lemon juice that it’s hard to differentiate between them!

Most lemon juice substitutes in this article are liquids and, when added, could affect the consistency of your recipe. Citrus acid comes in powdered form and works very well in baking. Thus next time you bake a truffle, try citric acid instead of lemon juice!

5. Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest

If you miss your recipe’s citrusy fragrance and light tartness, try to find some lemon zest. It is the yellow skin of the lemon and is a flavor-packed part. Lemon zest cannot go wrong as a lemon juice substitute.

You can add lemon to juices and cocktails to bring in the lemony flavor. Lemon zest works especially well in baking cakes and cooking. The vanilla smell of baked goods and a citrusy hint are too good to be missed.

Thus if you only have dry lemon at home, try to scrape some of its yellow skin and continue with your cooking.

6. White Wine 

White wine

White wine has a sweet and tart flavor and works as a lemon juice substitute. The intensity of tartness is more pronounced in white wine. It can deglaze the pan and brighten up the flavor of savory dishes.

7. Lemon Extract

Lemon Extract

Lemon extract is the highly concentrated version of lemon juice. It is extremely flavorful and has an intense citrusy smell to it. The lemon extract works well as a lemon juice substitute in most dishes, especially in baked goods.

As we have already discussed, Lemon extract has a very intense flavor profile. You only need a drop or two to flavor the whole dish. Therefore add it sparingly. Also, dilute it with some water before adding it to the dish if you want it in liquid form.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Simply put, apple cider vinegar is apple juice that has been fermented. It tastes sweet with a hint of acidity. Most of us likely have apple cider vinegar in our cabinets, which can be used as a lemon juice substitute.

Like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar can be added to a meal to enhance flavor. It is also one of the inexpensive options for lemon juice that we may get at the store. Your taste buds won’t be let down if you substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice.

Short Recap Of Best Lemon Juice Substitutes

That’s all about our lemon juice substitute. Even though it isn’t extensively long, it is a good one. It includes all the substitutes you can use as a lemon juice substitute. But if you need clarification about which to choose, quickly read the following section.

Best Lemon Juice Substitute In Terms Of Flavor

  1. Lime Juice
  2. Lemon Zest

Best Lemon Juice Substitute Suited For Baking

  1. Lemon Zest
  2. Citric Acid

Lemon Juice Substitute That Should Be Least Considered

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. White Wine

How To Use Lemon Juice Substitutes In A Recipe

Lemon Juice

8 Best Lemon Juice Substitutes You Can Try!

Lemon is something we have at home most of the time. Squeeze some lemon and add it to anything! Lemon juice pairs well with desserts, grilled dishes, and marinades. If you are out of lemon juice, try a lemon juice substitute.
5 from 2 votes


  • Lime Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Vinegar
  • Citric Acid
  • Lemon Zest
  • White Wine
  • Lemon Extract
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
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Now that we have reached the end of the article, I hope you have already chosen your lemon juice substitute. It’s rare that we run out of lemon, but when we do, we need a good lemon substitute to cover its absence.

Lemon juice brings so much flavor and aroma to the dish. Most of the lemon juice substitutes discussed in this article, bring both of these to the recipe. However, lemon juice is just fantastic; if possible, never run out of lemon juice!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best replacement for lemon juice?

Lime juice, orange juice, citric acid, vinegar, and lemon zest work as great lemon juice substitutes.

Which vinegar is the best substitute for lemon juice?

Apple cider vinegar works well as a lemon juice substitute

Can you use lime juice instead of lemon juice on fish?

Yes. Lime juice works well as a lemon juice substitute

Why do chefs put lemon on fish?

Yes. Chefs put lemon juice on fish to manage its fishy smell.

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