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9 Acidic Substitutes For Lemon Juice

Every once in a while, I get myself in a situation when I start making a nice salad dressing or some of my favorite recipes like lemon bars or stir-fry, and I realize that I am out of lemons to squeeze out some fresh lemon juice.

Trust me, it happens to the best of us but luckily, lemon juice is something that can easily be replaced with other acidic products. Lemon juice is used in many savory recipes, and it’s a key ingredient in seafood. 

Substitutes for lemon juice are

  1. Lime Juice
  2. Orange Juice
  3. White Vinegar
  4. Citrus Fruits
  5. White Wine
  6. Lemon Zest or Lemon Peels
  7. Lemon Extract
  8. Cream Of Tartar
  9. White Wine Vinegar

To learn exactly how to substitute lemon juice with these alternatives, keep on reading the entire article.

Substitutes For Lemon Juice

Lime Juice

Lime Juice

Lime is the best choice when it comes to substituting lemon juice since they are basically the same thing taste-wise and nutrition-wise.

Fresh limes are usually smaller and rounder than lemons and they have a bright green color. Limes have a slightly more acidic taste than lemons and you may notice a difference when using limes in your baking but, otherwise, the flavors are uncanny to each other. 

Orange Juice

Orange Juice

Oranges are a decent substitute for lemons and a rich source of vitamins if you’re searching for something sweeter and less acidic.  Orange juice does not share the same flavor profile as lemons but it can be a great addition to some baked goods(although, the flavor will be slightly different), cocktail recipes, and smoothies. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting orange juice for lemon juice. 

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a perfect substitute for when you want to add an acidic taste to your savory dishes. Although, if you’re substituting this type of vinegar for lemon juice, start with a small amount and add a little bit more if needed; white vinegar has a very intense sour flavor that can easily make your dishes very sour and edible.

Use half the amount of white vinegar when substituting lemon juice. For example, if a recipe calls for half a cup of lemon juice, you should use a 1/4 cup white vinegar. I suggest adding the white vinegar to your dishes slowly and tasting the food before adding a bit more. 

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Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

This class of acidic fruits includes lemons, limes, grapefruits, citrus, and oranges. They all have bright colors and a fresh, acidic flavor. Citrus fruits are a great substitute for lemons in savory dishes and cocktail recipes. While not all the citrus fruits share the same flavor pallet(some may taste rather sweet than sour) they have a similar citrusy flavor and an acidic note.

White Wine 

White Wine

White wine is an important kitchen staple that belongs in every good chef’s kitchen. White wine is excellent for cooking as well as baking and maybe sneaking a little taste while cooking, even though it does not give you that lemony flavor in your recipes. Just like the white vinegar, white wine also has an intense acidic flavor and it’s important to use it with caution.

Use half the required amount of lemon juice when substituting white wine for lemon juice. For example, if a recipe calls for half a cup of lemon juice, you should use a quarter of a cup of white wine. 

Lemon Zest/Lemon Peels

Lemon Zest Lemon Peels

Lemon zest and lemon peels make decent substitutes for lemon juice in baked goods and savory recipes if you just want the fresh aroma of the lemon but not the acidic taste.

You can find powdered zest in the more equipped grocery stores or health food stores or simply just buy it online. It works great for baked goods and gives a refreshing lemony flavor. 

Lemon peels are also a great substitute for lemon juice. You can use them as a twist in your favorite cocktails, stock recipes, and even make a homemade lemon extract. Lemon peels are also a great substitute for lemon extract.

Lemon Extract

Lemon extract is an excellent way to get the aroma and flavor of lemons in sweet recipes without actually using it in your recipes. Lemons are pretty acidic and dominant in everything they’re added, this is a smart way to make your favorite lemon bars have a lemon flavor without them tasting sour or having a bitter flavor.

You can find lemon extract in the more equipped grocery stores in the baking section. A teaspoon of lemon extract instead of a teaspoon of lemon juice is more than enough to make your baked goods smell and taste extra fresh and zesty.

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Cream Of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a dry, acidic powder that’s used in many baking recipes and frostings. This product is mainly used to stabilize whipped egg whites in cakes and meringues, as well as to add a slightly acidic flavor.

Cream of tartar is made from a byproduct of winemaking called tartaric acid. When the grape juice is in its process of fermenting it forms crystals that are then collected and processed to make this fine powder known as cream of tartar.

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is a white wine that has been fermented and oxidized into an acid. This vinegar offers the same bitterness as lemon juice but it is quite intense even though it’s less acidic than regular white vinegar or distilled vinegar. White wine vinegar makes a great addition to salads, marinades, sauces, and savory dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Substitute For Lemon Juice In Apple Pie

Lemon juice adds a little bit of freshness and sourness to your apple pie filling. You can even add a little to your crust dough to make it slightly lemony. If you happen to not have lemon anywhere around you, you can add lime juice, orange juice, or even pineapple juice if you have it.

Non Acidic Substitute For Lemon Juice

You can substitute lemon juice with orange juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, and any other type of juice you’d prefer.

You can also add alcoholic beverages and non-acidic extracts like wine(red and white are both wildly used in cooking), bourbon, cognac, rum(especially great for desserts), lemon extract, orange extract, etc.

Can You Substitute Lemon Juice For Lime Juice In Salsa

Yes, you absolutely can. In my opinion, lime juice tastes way better than lemon juice in salsa, and many dips. The fragrance that lime juice contributes to salsa is much fresher and a little bit more acidic.

Lemon Substitute For Fish

Instead of lemon, you can add a little bit of white or apple vinegar, lime juice, or lime slices, or add orange slices on top of your fish. The juice of orange tastes much sweeter than lemon juice so expect your fish to taste a little bit sweeter.

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Substitute For Lemon Juice In Marinade

You can add a tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar, orange juice(be careful with the amount you add because orange juice has a sweeter taste than lemon juice), other types of citric acid, lemon zest, orange zest, cream of tartar, and white wine.

Substitute For Lemon Juice In Salad Dressing

Swap the lemon juice for your favorite salad dressing for some white, red, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, and you can even add a little bit of Dijon mustard to imitate the acidity from the lemon juice. You can also add a little bit of applesauce for a sweeter taste.