Lemon Pepper Seasoning

5 from 3 votes

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Looking for something that will brighten up your meals? My homemade lemon pepper seasoning is the perfect tangy addition for fish, chicken, salads, and more! It also features a lot less salt than store-bought versions.

small white bowl with Lemon Pepper Seasoning

I try to make everything from scratch when I can, which means that I’ve become an expert in homemade seasonings! Between this Montreal steak seasoning, this blackening seasoning for any meat, and my best rib rub, I’ve perfected the technique. The thing I love best about making seasoning blends at home is that I can control the salt levels. Store-bought blends typically include way too much salt for my liking. 

This lemon pepper seasoning has to be one of my favorites for all things seafood and chicken. Its bright citrus tang and peppery flavors accentuate and add to (without taking over) whatever you put it on. Plus, 5 ingredients is all it takes to make it! I like to keep things simple when it comes to seasonings.

This recipe uses pantry staples. The only ingredient you may struggle to find is dried lemon peel, but I find it now in most market’s seasoning aisle and Penzy’s. You can purchase it online — or make your own! All you need to do is zest a few lemons, then dry the zest in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees F. Easy peasy lemon (zest) squeezy! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

overhead photo of spice to make Lemon Pepper Seasoning


  • Dried Lemon Peel – As mentioned, you can purchase this ingredient online (I swear by Penzeys brand) or in a grocery store. You can also make your own as instructed on the recipe card.
  • Black Pepper – It wouldn’t be lemon pepper seasoning without it!
  • Salt – I use just a bit of salt so that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors. 
  • Garlic Powder – All of the flavors of garlic, dried! You’ll want to use garlic powder instead of the raw stuff here.
  • Onion Powder – Same for this ingredient! Both garlic and onion will add much to the flavor profile of the seasoning.


  1. Mix The Ingredients. In a small bowl or a jar with a lid (my preference!), mix the lemon peel, black pepper, salt, garlic, and onion together. If using a jar, shake to combine. If using a bowl, use a whisk. If you want a finer spice mix, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor or blender, or with a spice grinder.
  2. Store The Seasoning. Whether you mix in a bowl or a jar, I do recommend that you store your seasoning in a small mason jar that seals to close. Store it in your pantry. It will last for about 6 months.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning tipped over jar


Wondering what to use your homemade seasoning in? Get inspired by one of the dishes below!

I also encourage you to get creative. As mentioned, this seasoning goes great with nearly any type of seafood or poultry. You may even consider using it as a rub. It also adds a tangy bite to soups and salads. Play around with it until you create your own special recipe!

What Is Lemon Pepper Spice Made Of?

Not all seasonings are made the same, but all will certainly include: dried lemon, black pepper, and salt. I like including garlic and onion as well for an even bolder flavor! Store-bought seasonings tend to include a few other ingredients, so make sure to check the label before you buy to avoid any unnecessary add-ons.

How Do You Make Dried Lemon Powder?

You won’t believe how easy it is to make dried citrus. If you just need a bit of the peel, simply zest 4-5 lemons and place the zest on a baking tray. Dry in the oven at 200 degrees F for about 15 minutes and you’re all set! If you’re looking for dehydrated citrus powder, you can use the same technique. This time, dry the entire lemon peel and then place it in a food processor to turn it into powder. This quick cooking hack is proof that homemade is the best way!

What Can I Substitute For Lemon Pepper Seasoning?

If you’re really in a pinch and don’t have time to run to the store or make this easy recipe, I do have a substitute trick! You can simply use a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. It’s not exactly the same as my seasoning but it does feature some of the same flavors.

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This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking September, 2019, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.

close up of Lemon Pepper Seasoning tipped over in glass jar

Lemon Pepper Seasoning

5 from 3 votes
My special homemade lemon pepper seasoning is the perfect citrusy and peppery addition for seafood, poultry, soups, and salads!
Servings: 24 tsp
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • Mix all ingredient sin a small bowl or jar with lid. Stir or shake to mix and store in sealed container. If you want it finer, pulse several times in a food processor or blender or spice grinder.


1. I get my dried lemon peel from Penzeys (in store or online), or my local market in the seasoning aisle. I typically make my spice and seasoning blends in small amounts to stay fresh. For this recipe, I used half of a 1.6 oz (1/2 cup) jar, which is a 1/4 cup measured.
IF MAKING YOUR OWN DRIED LEMON: I would use the zest from 4-5 lemons, spread it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and dry in a 200°F oven, for about 15 minutes (keep your eyes on it), time may vary per oven, for more or less.


Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: spice blends
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
lemon pepper seasoning spilling from glass jar


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. I’d rather use stock salt and wood ash for seasoning rather than give a single dime to Penzy’s. They decided to become political and lost me as a customer forever. Please do not let your political ideology cross over into your site, a sure way to alienate a percentage of your customers. I thought your bashing of Goya was an indicator of your leanings and is starting to concern me.

    1. Duke, this is a recipe food website and there is no hidden political agenda. I prefer a drama-free zone myself.
      Now, backing up to your Goya comment – I never bashed Goya, just stated the CEO made a statement that gave the company a drop in customers and my Adobo Seasoning blend was for those who wanted to make their own instead. As for mentioning Penzys here, it was an option for those who can’t find dried lemon peel in their market or to buy it online. PLEASE stop with these tainted comments or feel free to read another food website.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe Kevin. I’ve seen a number of recipes that call for Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Thanks to you I can now make my own. Well done you x

  3. Hi Kevin, Have you ever tried to recreate Penzeys Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Fish Seasoning? I like it alot and have been looking for a homemade substitute. I buy most of my spices from Penzeys too, but have been trying to make my own blends.

  4. 5 stars
    I like to do my own lemon bits – but I put the spices on the lemon shards before drying. Tossed together and then dried seems to increase flavor