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dish of lemon pickle slices
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5 from 4 votes

Quick Lemon Pickle (Pickled Lemons)

This quick pickle recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's, Jerusalem: A Cookbook.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Kevin


  • ½ red chile chopped (See Note 1)
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • 3 lemons very thinly sliced (See Note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin


  • Use a mortar and pestle to mash the red chile with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; mixture should have a paste consistency. Alternatively, substitute the chile and teaspoon of lemon juice for 1 tablespoon red shatta sauce (my preference).
  • Slice the lemons as thinly as possible. First, cut each lemon in half lengthwise, then cut each half widthwise into very thin slices. Add these to a bowl.
  • Add the chile paste or shatta to the sliced lemons along with the remaining lemon juice, garlic, sugar and spices. Either use clean hands or a rubber spatula to combine mixture, being sure to coat all the lemon slices well. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 24 hours.
  • You can then transfer sliced lemon pieces along with accumulated juices to a sterilized sealed jar, this will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. You can also opt to make this into a chunky spread, which I prefer. If so, drain and discard juice. Then puree in food processor to desired consistency, this will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks as well.


  1. If you choose not to mash the red chile with lemon juice, substitute 1 tablespoon of red shatta sauce.
  2. First cut each lemon lengthwise, then each half cut widthwise as thinly as you can.


Sodium: 195mg | Calcium: 7mg | Vitamin C: 19mg | Vitamin A: 37IU | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 47mg | Calories: 22kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 6g | Iron: 1mg