lemon and lemon zest
How To Substitute Lemon Zest When You Just Don't Feel Like Grating
When you don't have lemons or don't want to grate one, the best substitute for lemon zest is the peels of other citrus fruits, particularly oranges or limes.
Lime is closer in sourness to lemon, but you may want to use less, as its flavor is powerful. Orange is sweeter and less bitter than lemon, and it may be best for sweet dishes.
You can also opt for lemon juice, but there are differences. Lemon zest adds lemon aroma and taste, while juice primarily contributes acidity.
For baking, avoid juice and opt for dry substitutes like orange zest or freeze-dried lemon peel. If you don't have these, add lemon extract sparingly.
If you lack lemon zest, consider using lemon-infused olive oil as a substitute, which can replace both the zest and some or all of the fat in a recipe.
Lemony seasonings like lemon pepper mixes can be used in savory dishes, but they often contain other ingredients like pepper and garlic, making them unsuitable for sweet recipes.