Lemon pepper seasoning is a popular condiment used to add flavor to food. It is made up of lemon zest, black pepper, and salt. Lemon pepper is versatile and can be used on a variety of meats and vegetables. This seasoning is usually sold in a shaker or can at most grocery stores.
If a recipe calls for lemon pepper and you don’t have any available, a lemon pepper substitute can be made to create a similar flavor. Some substitutes can also be used as a replacement for lemon pepper seasoning if there is an allergy or preference not to have it.
If you are looking for a lemon pepper substitute, there are a few things you can try. These substitutes typically include ingredients that have citrus or peppery flavors.
What are the Best Lemon Pepper Substitutes?
It is always best to use fresh ingredients when possible, although dried versions of some items may work as well.
Making substitutions for lemon seasoning isn’t difficult. The most important thing to keep in mind is what flavor profile you are trying to achieve with your recipe. Smell each ingredient before adding it into a mixture so you know if the substitution is working correctly. If you don’t have any of the following ingredients on hand, you can also purchase pre-made substitutes from most grocery stores.
Here are a few popular lemon pepper substitutes to try:
This combination uses lime in place of lemon and gives food a slightly more acidic flavor. It is great for fish or chicken dishes.
This substitution uses orange zest instead of lemon zest and has a sweeter flavor. It is perfect for pork or lamb recipes.
Garlic pepper seasoning includes both garlic and black pepper, which can be used as a substitute for lemon pepper. It has a stronger flavor than traditional lemon pepper and is best suited for heartier dishes.
Lemon thyme adds a fresh herbal flavor to food. This seasoning is particularly good for poultry and seafood dishes.
Zest of Orange or Lemon
If you don’t have any citrus on hand, try using the zest of an orange or lemon instead. Be careful when adding this into recipes because it can overpower more subtle flavors.
Can I Make My Own Lemon Pepper Seasoning?
If you like the taste of lemon pepper but don’t want to make a substitution, it is possible to make your own seasoning mixture. Lemon zest and black pepper are both easy ingredients to use when making lemon pepper seasoning at home.
The ratio for this recipe varies depending on personal preference or what can be found in the kitchen.
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons Black Pepper (Coarse Ground)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest or Peel
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
Combine all ingredients and store in a small container with a tight-fitting lid.
If you only want to use part of the mixture, it is important to store the remainder in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator or spice rack until next time.
What are Some Dishes that Use Lemon Pepper Seasoning?
Lemon pepper is used in many different cuisines around the world, including French, Italian, Chinese, and Thai foods. It is typically used as either the main seasoning in a dish or added to enhance an already existing flavor.
Foods with lemon pepper usually contain other seasonings like salt and sugar to make the flavors pop even more. Here are a few examples of recipes that use lemon pepper seasoning:
Lemon Pepper Chicken
This dish is simple to make and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as grilled, baked, or even fried.
Creamy Lemon Pepper Pasta
This pasta recipe is hearty and flavorful. The sauce is made with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
Grilled Salmon with Lemon Pepper Rub
This salmon dish has crispy skin and is flavored with a lemon pepper rub. It pairs well with rice or couscous.
Blackened Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce
Tilapia is coated in a blend of spices including paprika, cumin, and garlic before being pan-fried. The sauce is made from lemon juice, butter, and a bit of white wine.
Tuna Steak with Lemon Pepper Rub
This simple recipe for tuna steaks uses ground black pepper and lemon zest as a rub. It can also be paired with salad or rice.
Lemon Pepper Tofu Stir-Fry
This tofu stir-fry pairs nicely with rice or noodles and adds protein to your meal plan. It includes soy sauce, garlic, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and scallions.
Lemon Pepper Substitute: Final Thoughts
A lemon pepper substitute is a great way to add flavor when you don’t have any of this versatile seasoning. You can also use it if someone in your household does not like the taste or has an allergy to citrus fruits.
If this sounds interesting, grab one of the substitutes below and give it a try!