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dish of lemon pickle slices
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5 from 1 vote

Quick Lemon Pickle (Pickled Lemons)

Lemon pickle is a fantastic and flavorful Middle Eastern condiment that's SO delicious! Pickling is easier than you think, especially if you use this quick pickle recipe.
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.
  3. This quick pickle recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's, Jerusalem: A Cookbook.


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