From cocktails to entrées, right down to the simplest of baked goods, here are easy, lemony recipes.
When I’m often coaxed by my acquaintances to reveal the secret to a dish I’ve just made, I would resort to an answer that couldn’t be any truer: My mom’s cookbook!
But more often than not, the one that gives them that special kick is not a secret at all.
Okay, it’s lemon. There, I said it. The secret is out!
Adding the citrusy juice to a dish, whether it’s sweet or savory, easily sends its whole flavor profile to a new level.
Suddenly, the neglected, albeit good enough tomato-based sauce of yours is now brimming with such energy; your braised broccolini, on the other hand, is also no longer just one of those convenient side dishes your fave aunt may have asked you to finally ditch months ago.
The citrus element in lemon is one crucial ingredient our dishes gloriously deserve. It is also one of those that gets set aside notoriously—it works just as hard for savory dishes as for sweet!
In praise of the tragically overlooked lemons, we have dished out some of the easiest recipes out there that are now making the rounds.
1. Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze
Add a little lemon to these soft, fluffy, moist, and delightfully baked donuts, and you got yourself a runaway winner in the dessert department. And as they can be prepared in only 25 minutes, making up an excuse not to make them is just silly, don’t you think? As it is, these donuts are ideal for breakfast, brunch, or after taking your much-needed siesta! Here are the ingredients and instructions.
2. Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
There is nothing more addicting than combining lemon with some fresh whipped cream! The recipe I’ve uncovered just for you makes about 12-15 (depending on the size of the pan), which is why I’m telling you: You are now ready to jazz up your desserts a bit for a small gathering or even your family. Now, move over, you chocolate chip cheesecakes. We’ll call you back again when we’re ready! Behold the carefully-unwrapped recipe. of this lemon dessert.
3. The French 75 Cocktail
If you haven’t been acquainted with the French 75 yet, well, you’re missing out! Named after the French 75-mm field gun, which was commonly a thing in World War 1, there is without a pinch of a doubt why this cocktail is packing! The French 75 is refreshing with a powerful one-two punch of lemon. It’s also tangy, bubbly, and ultimately a bit botanical, so, don’t blame your guests if they soon become overly festive. I kid you not. And here’s why honey is your best gal here! Its ingredients include gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne. Ta-da! Here is the Recipe. And you’re welcome!
4. Slow-Roasted Lemon Dill Chicken
So, what to cook with lemon? When coming up with lemon recipe ideas for dinner, does a slow-roasted chicken come to mind? We can’t blame you—it’s hard to go wrong with a flavorful bird. But if you add lemon and dill with this chicken, its overall taste quickly becomes something that is oh-so-mouth watering. And if you need more flair in it, pair this entrée with a side of noodles or a simple mixed green salad! Here’s the recipe.
5. Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
Did I already mention that chicken couldn’t go wrong? Another chicken bonanza that could very well tickle your friends’ taste buds is the Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes. And while it may be a bit intimidating at first glance, this dish is only simple to make! Also, this lemon recipe for dinner is something that you might want to introduce to your pals who are quite a stickler for yummy, plated meals! Finally, the delicious, lemon-herb nuances are to die for! Get recipe.
6. The Perfect Lemonade
One of the most instantly-recognizable beverages in the world is lemonade. But what if I told you there’s more to this lemon drink that doesn’t make it the run-of-the-mill variety? For a more intense lemon favor in your drink, this well-guarded lemonade recipe suggests that it could very well be just about how you grate the zest of a fresh lemon and add it to the syrup. Another thing it reiterates is the art of letting the zest steep into it and beyond. And then, of course, there is the straining part, which is another crucial thing that mustn’t be overlooked! Its ingredients include granulated sugar, lemon juice, water for the simple syrup, and cold water to dilute. Here’s the method.
7. The Secret Lemon Meringue Pie
If you happen to be one of the millions of cult fans of Desperate Housewives, one of the most iconic scenes in the series was, well, not a scene, but a recipe! Katherine Mayfair’s lemon meringue pie, which made mainstay Bree Van de Kamp oh-so furious, was a recipe we’ve all been dying to steal since that episode aired. Luckily, the sleuths online were able to unearth it. The trick, as the Mayfair character would say, is finding the perfect balance between sweet and sour! If you do, then it’s not your fault why the other girls would like your pie better. Here are the ingredients and directions you’ll need.
8. Lemony Steamed Green Beans
These zesty green beans that are steamed to perfection are one of the easiest side dishes you can make—and they are no slouch, either! They go with almost any meal, from pasta, to your prized salmon, right down to the classic American meatloaf. Even better: These lemony steamed green beans will only take you 10 minutes to prepare! Alas, the distinct lemon flavor, along with the bite of the black pepper, is just about one of the best gastro greens out there. Here’s the recipe.
9. Jazzy, Lemony Rice
One of the simplest ways to snazz up your plain, old white rice is by infusing lemon. And as you may have probably gleaned already, this recipe couldn’t be any more straightforward. The cooking that is involved is the same as cooking any regular white rice, but with all that citrus jazz, of course. Add a little zest and squeeze them juicy lemons, and you’re going to be enjoying a flavorful ride soon. And for the showdown – and this is key – ensure that you add both the lemon juice and the zest to the cooking water! Here’s how to make lemon rice.
10. Lemon Sorbet: The Minimalist’s Dream Dessert
A simple and refreshing sorbet adorned with lemon on top is just about as light as it gets, as it is pleasing to the eyes and nose. And whether it is served in chilled bowls or scooped right into cut lemon halves, the end result is only terrifically sweet and tart down the line. But wait: Once you have mustered all of it, a delightful, riveting finish awaits any deserving meal. Here’s the lemon sorbet recipe.
Lemons are truly quite the versatile, culinary players. They not only add that extra, much-needed oomph to your dish, but ultimately cast a spell that is beyond magical, whether it be in a cocktail, lemon recipes as a main dish, or an entrée that needs jazzing up. And so, when life gives you lemons, go and make sure you get every drop. You don’t have to feel guilty about this pure tastemaker, either. Do you have more lemon recipe ideas in your vault that need sharing? Let us know!
- Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze
- Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
- The French 75 Cocktail
- Slow-Roasted Lemon Dill Chicken
- Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
- The Perfect Lemonade
- The Secret Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemony Steamed Green Beans
- Jazzy, Lemony Rice
- Lemon Sorbet: The Minimalist’s Dream Dessert
- Choose a few lemon recipes to try.
- Tell us your favorites below.