What is the Best Substitute for Lemon Pepper? Lemon pepper seasoning is incredibly versatile, adding a bright flavor to almost any meal. However if you don’t have any to hand, what can use as a substitute? Read on to find out more.
What Is Lemon Pepper?
Lemon Pepper is a popular seasoning often used in cooking to enhance the flavor of various dishes. Here’s more about this intriguing spice, both store-bought and homemade:
Store-Bought Lemon Pepper:
- Seasoning: Store-bought lemon pepper is a versatile seasoning for chicken, fish, pasta, vegetables, and more.
- Citric Acid: One of the key ingredients in store-bought lemon pepper is citric acid, which gives it a tangy, citrus flavor.
- Spice Blend: The lemon pepper blend typically includes lemon zest, black pepper, and salt. Consider adding spices like garlic powder and onion powder for an enhanced taste.
- Convenience: Store-bought lemon pepper seasoning is a convenient option, ready to use without the need for preparation.
Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning:
- Citrus Flavor: Homemade lemon pepper seasoning provides a fresh citrus flavor that’s hard to achieve with store-bought versions.
- Ingredients: To make your own lemon pepper spice home, you’ll need fresh lemons, ground black pepper, and sea salt. Optional additions include garlic powder, onion powder, and black sesame seeds.
- Preparation: The process involves zesting the lemons, mixing the zest with the other ingredients, and then drying the mixture in the oven. Once dry, you can grind it in a spice grinder to your desired consistency.
- Customizable: One of the advantages of making homemade lemon pepper seasoning is the ability to adjust the flavors to your liking, making it less salty or more peppery, for example.
- No Preservatives: Homemade lemon pepper spice is free from preservatives and additives often found in store-bought versions, making it a healthier choice.
What Does Lemon Pepper Taste Like?
Lemon pepper is a popular spice blend with a vibrant, tangy flavor. It combines lemon’s fresh, citrusy taste with a sharp, spicy hint of black pepper.
The lemon flavor comes from dried lemon peel ground into the mix. This gives the blend a bright, zesty undertone.
The pepper, on the other hand, adds a nice kick, balancing out the tartness of the lemon. Its unique combination of flavors makes it versatile and well-loved in various culinary applications.
Is Lemon Pepper the Same as Lemon Zest?
Lemon pepper and lemon zest are not identical. Lemon zest refers to the vibrant outer skin of the lemon, frequently utilized in culinary creations for its zesty taste.
Fresh lemon zest delivers a potent lemony flavor that can replace the citrus element of lemon pepper. Whether using fresh or dried lemon zest, remember a little goes a long way due to its concentrated flavor.
Therefore, while you can substitute lemon pepper for lemon zest in some recipes, especially savory ones, it’s important to remember that it will also add a peppery flavor.
11 Best Substitutes for Lemon Pepper
The substitutes offer various flavors, from pure citrus to exotic spices. The best choice will depend on the flavors you’re aiming for in your specific dish. Here’s a more detailed description of some of the best lemon pepper substitutes
Lemon thyme is a variety of the thyme plant with a distinct lemon aroma. It’s a great substitute for lemon pepper as the herb provides a citrusy tang and an earthy herbal note that complements many dishes, from roasts to soups.
Lemon Curry Powder
Lemon curry powder is a fusion of various spices such as turmeric, coriander, and cumin, all imbued with a subtle touch of lemon.
This fusion of flavors makes it a good replacement for lemon pepper, especially in dishes that can benefit from a slightly exotic twist.
There are various types of peppercorns, each imparting a unique spiciness. Black, white, and green peppercorns or a mix can bring the pepper notes to your recipes when you’re out of lemon pepper.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice offers a strong citrus flavor that closely mimics the tanginess of lemon pepper. It works well in marinades, sauces, and dressings where the liquid form isn’t a hindrance.
Roasted orange peel combined with other spices can replicate the citrus-spice balance of lemon pepper. Remove the bitter white pith before roasting the peels on a baking sheet. This can work particularly well in ribs and baked goods.
It is also known as the Japanese seven-spice blend. This Japanese spice blend includes ground ginger, garlic pepper, poppy seed, and hemp seed. Its complex flavor profile with a hint of citrus from dried orange peel adds an extra layer of zesty and peppery flavor that enhances the overall taste of savory dishes like roasted vegetables, noodles, soups, or grilled chicken. This seasoning can be the dish.
Lime zest, similar to lemon zest, offers a citrusy tang but with a bit more tartness. It can be used as a direct substitute in any recipe for lemon pepper.
Known for its robust lemon scent and flavor, lemon verbena can bring the citrus notes needed when substituting for lemon pepper. It can be used fresh or dried and is especially good in poultry and fish recipes.
Lemon balm is an herb with a sweet, lemony flavor. It can be used fresh or dried and complements fish, chicken, and salad dressings well, making it a suitable lemon pepper substitute.
Citrus pepper is a blend of dried citrus peel and black pepper. It can be used as a one-to-one substitute for lemon pepper in any recipe, providing both the citrusy tang and the peppery kick.
How Long Can You Keep Lemon Pepper?
Lemon pepper seasoning can be stored for 3-6 months under proper conditions. However, it can be kept in the freezer for an extended period to maintain its freshness.
Store-bought lemon pepper may contain additional ingredients like salt and garlic. The longevity of the seasoning can depend on these additional ingredients and the storage conditions.
Checking the expiration date if you’re using store-bought lemon pepper is always a good idea.
What Do You Do With Lemon Pepper?
- Lemon Pepper Recipes: Lemon pepper is a key ingredient in many recipes. It’s a versatile spice blend in various dishes to add a tangy and spicy kick.
- Roasted Veggies: One great way to use lemon pepper is on roasted veggies. The seasoning adds a zesty flavor that pairs well with the natural sweetness of roasted vegetables. Simply sprinkle lemon pepper over your veggies before roasting them in the oven.
- Seafood Dishes: Seafood dishes and lemon pepper are a match made in heaven. The seasoning adds flavor to seafood, making it a must-have for fish, shrimp, or scallop recipes.
- Grilled Meat: Lemon pepper is often combined with dried herbs like rosemary and thyme. This blend can add a lemony taste to chicken, turkey, or pork before roasting or grilling.
Best Substitute for Lemon Pepper (Final Words)
Lemon pepper is a popular seasoning blend that can liven up many dishes. It combines the tartness of lemon with the zing of black pepper.
While it’s hard to replicate its exact flavor, there are several substitutes you can use in place of lemon pepper in your recipes.
If you’re looking for a citrusy zest, use lime or orange peel, juice, or zest. As an exciting alternative, you can also try exotic spice blends like shichimi togarashi or citrus pepper.
No matter what substitute you choose, remember to adjust the amount used to get the desired flavor. Experiment and find the right combination for your dish. Have fun cooking!