Can You Freeze Lemons?

Can you freeze lemons? If you’ve got a surplus, here’s how to preserve this popular citrus fruit.

Can you freeze lemons

Got a few fresh lemons and want to preserve them? Lemons last up to 1 month refrigerated, so the fridge is a great way to store this citrus fruit. But don’t think you can use your lemons in time? The freezer is your next best bet! We often have fresh lemons on hand, since the fresh juice is so crucial for recipes and cocktails (no bottled substitutes here!). So these preservation tips have changed the game for us. Here’s what to do!

Can you freeze lemons?

Lemons can be frozen for up to 3 months, either whole or zested and juiced. Frozen lemon juice or zest is ideal for adding to recipes that call for fresh lemon, from bars, bread, muffins, sauces, cocktails, and more. You can use frozen lemon zest in cooked or blended dishes without thawing it, though you’ll need to defrost the juice.

Freezing lemons works for long-term storage. But if you’re simply trying to extend the life of lemons for a few weeks, there’s an easy trick: the refrigerator.

How long are lemons good for?

Stored on the counter at room temperature, whole lemons last about 1 week. But in the refrigerator, they last about 1 month! Refrigerating lemons is one of the best ways to extend their life. If you’d like to preserve lemons beyond 1 month, you can freeze them for 3 to 4 months.

Lemon zest
A microplane grater is the best tool for how to zest a lemon

How to freeze lemons

Lemons are easy to freeze, once you know a few tricks to preserving them. You can freeze them whole or freeze them zested and juiced. In our opinion, it’s preferable to zest and juicing the lemon first so you don’t have to do so after defrosting. But either way works! Here’s what to know:

  1. To freeze whole lemons: Place the lemons in a sealable plastic bag and place them in the freezer.
  2. To freeze juice and zest: Zest the lemon and place the zest in a resealable plastic bag. Juice the lemons and place the juice in a small container or into ice cube trays (the volume of each cube in a standard tray is about 2 tablespoons). Once the ice cubes are frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label with a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  4. Freeze. Place the container or bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. For best results, use in 3 months.
Can you freeze lemons

Defrosting lemons

Frozen lemon zest can be used right from the freezer, but you’ll need to thaw whole lemons or the juice. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Zest: You can use the frozen zest without thawing.
  • Juice: Defrost frozen lemon juice by placing the container in the refrigerator overnight. Or place the ice cubes in a bowl and microwave for a few second bursts at a time.
  • Whole lemons: To defrost a whole lemon, place it in the refrigerator overnight or for a faster method, microwave the lemon in 20 second bursts until it is thawed. To zest a whole frozen lemon, rinse it with warm water first, then dry it and zest it. Whole lemons become mushy after thawing, so only use the zest and juice (not slices).

Lemon recipes

Frozen lemon zest and juice works in so many lemon recipes! Here are a few ways to use them:

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Description

Wondering if you can freeze lemons? If you’ve got a surplus, here’s how to preserve this popular citrus fruit.



  1. To freeze whole lemons: Place the lemons in a sealable plastic bag and place them in the freezer.
  2. To freeze lemon juice and zest: Zest the lemon and place the zest in a resealable plastic bag. Juice the lemons and place the juice in a small container or into ice cube trays (the volume of each cube in a standard tray is about 2 tablespoons). Once the ice cubes are frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label with a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  4. Freeze. Place the container or bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. For best results, use in 3 months.
  5. Defrost. You can use the frozen zest without thawing. For the juice, defrost it by placing in the refrigerator overnight. To defrost a whole lemon, place it in the refrigerator overnight or microwave the lemon in 20 second bursts until it is thawed. To zest a whole frozen lemon, rinse it with warm water first, then dry it and zest it. Whole lemons become mushy after thawing, so only use the zest and juice (not slices).

  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Can you freeze lemons