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.
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.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- 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.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON PEPPER SEASONING
- 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.
- 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.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR LEMON PEPPER SEASONING
Wondering what to use your homemade seasoning in? Get inspired by one of the dishes below!
- Lemon pepper chicken
- Lemon herb roasted pork
- Lemon rosemary broiled swordfish
- Citrus pepper and celery salad
- Shrimp fajitas
- Lemon rosemary pork medallions
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.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking September, 2019, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1/4 cup dried minced lemon peel (See Note 1)
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 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.
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.