This recipe for how to make lemon pepper seasoning is a simple, wholesome way to make a pantry staple out of ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Whether you have a surplus of lemons on hand or really love making things from scratch, lemon pepper seasoning is a great addition to your spice cupboard.
It’s a two or three ingredient recipe that’s very low effort and super easy. I, Rebecca of Good Things Baking always have a home stash around because it’s such a versatile seasoning.
Homemade lemon pepper seasoning is made by drying zested lemon peels with whole peppercorns, then grinding them together.
You can add salt if you’d like, or you can keep it low sodium and stick with just lemon peel and pepper.
Plus, this recipe works great even if you don’t have a dehydrator. You can dry out the lemon zest and peppercorns in your oven on its lowest setting.
You’ll never go back to the store bought seasoning again!
Ingredients for Lemon Pepper Seasoning
You’ll need 5-7 lemons, depending on their size. Just keep grating until you have a 1⁄2 cup of zest.
Try to only zest the very outside of the lemon since the white pith underneath doesn’t have as much of the oil that gives that strong lemon flavor and smell.
The pith can also add a bitter flavor if there’s too much of it.
Dehydrating these with the lemon zest really brings out the flavor of the pepper. Use whole, black peppercorns.
Salt is optional in this recipe, and you can definitely eliminate it if you try to eat a low-sodium diet. Whether or not you do use it, this is one of the essential spices to have in your kitchen.
If you do want to add salt, I recommend using 1/4-1/3 cup large grain sea salt, depending on how salty you want it to be.
The coarse pieces of salt grains are a similar size to the lemon zest and pepper after they’ve been ground and keeps all of the ingredients evenly distributed.
Finely ground salt will sink to the bottom of the seasoning mix. I prefer large flake sea salt for this specific recipe.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 — Begin by washing 5 large or 7 small lemons.
2 — Using a micro planer or small-holed grater, zest the outer yellow layer of the lemons until you have a 1⁄2 cup of grated lemon peel.
3 — Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. This is usually between 180° and 200° Fahrenheit.
4 — Spread the grated lemon zest on an edged baking sheet with 1/3 cup of whole black peppercorns.
5 — Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the spices to dry for 30-45 minutes. Check it every10-15 minutes and turn the baking sheet to avoid some areas drying much faster than others.
You may also want to use a spatula to stir and re-spread the lemon zest to make sure it’s all drying evenly.
6 — Once all of the lemon zest has completely dried, it will look slightly darker and have shrunk quite a bit.
7 — Add the dehydrated dried lemon peel and peppercorns to a spice grinder and grind them up until they are coarse mixture, like rough sand.
8 — Mix in the salt, optional if you are using it.
Recipe Notes and Tips
— Store the lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will stay fresh for several months.
— It’s important to dry your lemon zest completely before grinding. If there’s still moisture or lemon juices in it, the lemon pepper won’t grind as well and could end up going bad from trapped moisture during storage.
— For grinding your lemon pepper, you can use a hand-cranked grinder or an electric one. A small coffee grinder is also great option! To clean it out, blitz 1⁄4 cup of rice in the coffee grinder, then wipe it out with a damp paper towel. Repeat the cleaning process after grinding your lemon pepper so you don’t have peppery coffee.
Ideas For Using Lemon Pepper
Lemon pepper seasoning is a versatile spice that can be used in a variety of ways. Sprinkle a generous layer over fish, chicken or beef before roasting or grilling.
Lemon pepper is also a great seasoning blend for salads and roasted vegetables!
Simply sprinkle it over the veggies before you roast them. Broccoli, potatoes, carrots, or any other variety you want to roast are all great.
The most popular use of lemon pepper is a spice mix for wings! And wings are always a game day staple. Throwing a watch party?
- We hosted a football watch party and shared our DIY games and cocktail and snack recipes.
- Make your own DIY football coasters and placemats.
- Enjoy some tailgate ready pineapple beertails (that are soo much classier than beer from a keg).
- Everyone will love this DIY washers yard game during the commercial breaks.
How To Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning Recipe
- Micro planer or small-holed grater
- Baking sheet
- 1/2 cup lemon zest 5 - 7 lemons
- 1/3 cup whole black peppercorns
- 1/4-1/3 cup large flake sea salt optional
- Makes about 3⁄4 cups
- Store the lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will keep
for several months.
- Begin by washing 5 large or 7 small lemons.
- Using a micro planer or small-holed grater, zest the outer yellow layer of the lemons until you have a 1⁄2 cup of grated lemon peel.
- Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. This is usually between 180° and 200° Fahrenheit.
- Spread the grated lemon zest on an edged baking sheet with 1⁄3 cup of whole black peppercorns.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the spices to dry for 30-45 minutes. Check it every 10-15 minutes and turn the baking sheet to avoid some areas drying much faster than others. You may also want to use a spatula to stir and respread the lemon zest to make sure it’s all drying evenly
- Once all of the lemon zest has dried, it will look slightly darker and have shrunk quite abit.
- Add the dehydrated lemon peel and peppercorns to a spice grinder and grind them up until they are a coarse mixture, like rough sand.
Don’t forget to share how you’ve incorporated our lemon pepper seasoning into your meals with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? Find them all right here with a few dinner ideas to go along with them!