The three best lemon juice substitutes for any uses, from salad to baking, plus some honourable mentions so you always know what to use! If you don't have a lemon on hand, try some of these instead.
For some more handy tips, tricks, and go-to recipes, learn how to cook beans in the oven, read more about tahini replacements, or use the basic granola ratio to make your own at home.
Best Lemon Juice Substitutes
Whether you're cooking, baking, or making a vinaigrette, there are options to replace lemon juice for any use. This can be other citrus juice, various vinegar types, wine, and even citric acid.
Lemon extract is an option, especially for baking, but I find it often has a strange flavour that doesn't taste much like lemon. It's not a very good substitution for lemon juice (and if you don't have lemons, what are the chances of having extract?).
Perfect in baking, for cocktails, and in salad dressings.
Lime Juice: use an equal amount, or 1:1 ratio. This is often the best substitute for lemon juice but it depends on what you're making, because lime has a stronger taste than lemon.
Orange Juice: substitute 1:1 for lemon juice. Orange juice is ideal for anything sweet, but works well for some savoury dishes too.
Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and rice vinegar can all be substituted at a ½:1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then, sub 1 tablespoon vinegar and replace the rest with water if needed. Usually you won't need to add any extra liquid but it depends on the recipe.
Vinegar works well in baking if an acid is necessary (usually if baking soda is being used) or to make your own buttermilk.
To deglaze when cooking, use a 1:1 ratio to replace lemon juice with a dry white wine.
Cream of Tartar
For baking only, substitute ½:1 for lemon juice and make up the remainder with water. For 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then, use 1 tablespoon cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon water.
A teaspoon of citric acid is equal in acidity to about ½ cup of lemon juice, so use only a small amount. Depending on use, you may also need to adjust the wet to dry ratio (replace the amount of lemon juice called for with an equivalent amount of water).
More Kitchen Staples
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Lemon Juice Substitutes
- 1:1 lime juice
- 1:1 orange juice
- ½:1 apple cider, white wine, or rice vinegar
- 1:1 white wine for deglazing/cooking only
- ½:1 cream of tartar for baking only
- Citric acid
- Lime or orange juice: use equal amounts to replace lemon juice in almost any recipe with no changes needed.1:1 lime juice, 1:1 orange juice
- Vinegar: use half the amount of vinegar to replace lemon juice and replace the remaining liquid with water if needed.½:1 apple cider, white wine, or rice vinegar
- White wine: only for cooking, use an equal amount of dry white wine to replace lemon juice.1:1 white wine
- Cream of tartar: this only works for baking. Replace half the lemon juice with cream of tartar and add water to make up the difference.½:1 cream of tartar
- Citric acid: 1 teaspoon citric acid = ½ cup lemon juice, so use it sparingly and replace the liquid lost from the lemon juice with an equivalent amount of water.Citric acid
Such good tips! I didn't know about the use of cream of tartar.