Orange Zest Substitute- All That You Need To Know!
Best Way to Zest an Orange- Secret tips unleashed!

Orange Zest Substitute- All That You Need To Know!

No oranges and the recipe calls for some orange zest? Here are some orange zest substitutes that are easily available.

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Orange Zest is extracted from the orange peel and offers a unique type of tangy flavor to various desserts and also the main course. Many experimental beverages can also be made with zest. If you wish to make some recipe using it but fail to have it in your pantry, here are various orange zest substitutes to select from.


What Is Orange Zest?

Orange zest has striking taste characteristics that give a tasty tangy flavor to anything you make. The outer peel of this citrus fruit also releases some oils that come along with a tiny peel known as zest. Well, needless to say, researches show it has a good amount of vitamin A and hence is popularly used in the kitchen. For a professional recipe, adding this zest is a great option as it gives a fantastic flavor that even competes with the actual fruit. Especially in recipes that require the orange aroma and texture, adding up this zest is certainly a great idea. It is a striking combination when you are preparing some lime or orange-based beverages.

If you do not have the orange zest in your pantry and are searching for its alternative options, here are a few options that might prove helpful. But substitutes are only an option when it is very much essential. They might not exactly give you the flavors and consistency like the original ingredient. Especially for baking purposes, there are hardly a few options that can match the criteria of orange zest.

Before learning about its substitutes, you also have to know a bit about its properties. This is a wonderful combination of fruity aroma with a tangy touch. It has a balanced degree of lightness that makes it a perfect option to go with many recipes. Researches even show that it has more in limonene than the actual fruit which is used for various health benefits. Also, there are certain acidic properties that give dishes a unique blend.


Fresh oranges for grating zests. The outer peel releases oil along with the zest.

Also read – Best Lemon Zest Substitutes: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Zest!


Best Orange Zest Substitutes

Citrus Zest

There are many other fruits that can be an easy orange replacement in your recipe. The most common ones include grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and also clementine. All these fruits have a similar kind of texture and taste. Using all of them in the right way just as you use the orange peel can be highly useful. All you need to so is peel any of these fruits to finely remove their zest and use it as a substitute in your recipe. This can be a wonderful way to add the taste of zest and that citrusy aroma in any recipe. There are many cuisines that require the addition of citrusy flavor for a perfect touch to your recipe. If at all you are falling short of orange zest, these alternate options can definitely be beneficial to you.

Orange Fruit juice

Next up on the list of the orange fruit juice, if you fail to have the original citrus fruit zest at the home. While looking out for any orange zest substitute, there is one common thing that you need to keep a note of is that the fruit must be a part of the orange zest family.

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Have you ever directly had a taste of orange zest? There is a mild unique bitterness that makes it all the more flavorful. However, the orange juices available at the home would lack this bitter taste. But you can end up getting a good flavor that matches the orange zest. It is the juice of that fruit and therefore there might a certain level of sweetness that you might have to balance with the addition of spices.

Fruit Concentrate

Fruit concentrates comprise of flavors that are very exact and strong in nature. Thus, it is essential that you add the fruit concentrate in the right amounts, or else they might overpower the original flavors of your dish. There are can be a citrusy concentrate that can work well as a substitute, it can be lemon concentrate or the orange concentrate. Both these fruits serve as a great option to replace the orange zest when unavailable with you. Ideally, you can use ¾ of fruit concentrate for 1 part zest. When you are using fruit concentrate as a substitute, there are a couple of other things that must be kept in mind. Concentrates are made with the juggling of various cocktail mixes and therefore it comprises added sugars. As a result, it might be effective in altering the taste of your recipe. Using them in adequate quantities is very important.

Pure extracts

Next up in the line for orange zest substitute is the pure extracts. These extracts are derived from the flesh and rind of the particular fruit. They consist of many flavors and you can add them as a substitute to any of your dishes that need orange zest in it. You need to add only ½ quantity of pure extract in place of 1 part zest. Extracts are a more pure version of the fruit and you can get the desired taste only by adding some of it. Although extract from any citrus fruit could help in getting the alternate option it’s preferable if you opt for the orange pure extracts. Lime and tangerine extracts are the other options that you could opt for.

So these are the primary substitutes of orange zest that can be an option while you are looking to make a replacement in the recipes. But sometimes you might also not avail of these first-hand options by your side. Food lovers are always in constant search of what can be the probable replacements and try to catch unconventional techniques and methods.

Their in-depth knowledge about the food and flavors allows them to give complete information about the substitutes, their proportions, and even the equivalents. After zooming through the primary substitutes for orange zest, let’s understand in brief about the secondary alternatives that are available.

Off-beat options that can be a good orange zest substitute are stated below. However, they are just the experimental wonders and the selection of alternatives purely depends on the type of recipe and the quantity of substitute you require in it.


Secondary Orange Zest Substitutes

Tamarind paste– Another popular option for alternating the orange zest is tamarind paste. It is widely added in various Indian and South Asian recipes to give a tangy twist.


Tamarind used to make paste widely adds tanginess

Orange Marmalade – If you are really fond of desserts and have made up your mind to make some even without the orange zest, opting for orange marmalade is a good way out. It is again a tang based option that can provide the citrus properties for your desserts. You can easily find it at the grocery stores around you.


Add orange marmalade to your desserts to give it a citrusy-feel.

Candied orange peels – This alternative would go only in certain specific recipes and desserts. Candied orange peels are quite close as far as the citrusy taste is related but they might differ in the level of sweetness or texture.


Colorful candied orange peel

Dry mango powder – Also popularly known as amchur in India, dry mango powder is a common spice in most of the Indian recipes. Its tangy flavor can definitely allow you to play with the flavor and replace it with orange zest when unavailable. This would work in savoury recipes ONLY.


Dry mango powder, a common spice in Indian households

Limoncello Liqueur – In many desserts as well as cocktails, Limoncello liqueur can be a perfect alternative to substitute with orange zest. So if you are engaged in some exotic preparations of beverages, this secondary alternate can prove to be a hidden alternate that might also be unexplored by many of them.


Limoncello Liqueur in cocktails and other beverages.

These are the secondary options that can work great for the taste and flavors which you need to alternate for the orange zest. All primary and secondary orange zest substitutes can give a great fragrance and flavor for several savory or sweet preparations. The only thing to keep in mind is the proportions and the combinations with the dishes is a crucial aspect. Anything in an inappropriate quantity might lead to blunders.


Uses Of Orange Zest


  • Orange zest and all kinds of other citrusy zest can work wonders in cookies, cakes, and other moderately cooked stews.
  • Its vibrant flavor makes it an exotic element in most of the preparations.
  • Teaming orange zest is quite tricky as it can either elaborate or ruin the dish if not added in expert proportions.
  • An important fact about the orange zest substitute is that it is available from the waste of orange fruit. The outer peel that is inedible can give you this awesome zest that can work wonders in giving you great taste to the food.
  • Kids love eating fresh yogurt and adding a fresh zest to it can definitely enhance the flavors. Orange zest is the best way to add a fruit punch to any dish without the addition of any liquids to it.
  • Another important use of orange zest is in sauces. It nourishes the orange flavor in various types of sauces and salad dressings. Bacom jam recipe is a popular example of apt orange zest usage. If you have ever had Fresh Cranberry Orange sauce, it can work as a great substitute.
  • Orange zest is also an addition to many baked food products such as sweets and other items. It offers a citrus flavor that gives a perfect balance to your recipe. Glazing orange zest on baked Muffins can also be a very tempting option. You can also offer a sweet treat such as orange kettle corn or curd with the use of this zest.
  • Savory recipes can be a perfect example of orange zest inclusions. It is an exceptional option with recipes like Caribbean Pot roast that absorb the zest flavors with mild cooking.
  • Salads can be made exceptionally tasteful by tossing all vegetables or fruits with a pinch of orange zest.


How Are An Orange Zest And Orange Peel Different?

This is an important question as most people stay confused about the selection of either ingredient. Although orange peel and zest are closely related, still there is a lot of difference in their taste and properties. When any recipe calling for an ‘orange peel’, it emphasizes its outer colourful portion along with the white base at the core. The complete thick covering of the orange is utilized in such dishes.

On the other hand, orange zest is simply the slight fine peel of the orange skin. Zesting is a specific technique that acquires the complete citrusy gist of orange peel. If done appropriately, orange zest can impart you some wonderful tang and taste that even overcomes the original orange fruit.


How To Remove The Orange Zest?

Using a zester or a fine knife, you can easily pull out the orange zest from the fruit. This is the easiest way to pull off the zest and can be done conveniently. Let’s understand in brief the process in which you could possibly do this.

Start with a properly rinsed and dry orange fruit. Now take peeling equipment and finely grate the outer orange peel into a clean bowl. Once you are done with the peel removal, there is enough amount of zest in your bowl. After that, you can store it in an airtight container and can preserve it for quite a long time.


Tips To Preserve Orange Zest

If you wish to not opt for any orange zest substitute, storing it appropriately can save a lot of your time. You can take it out and use in any recipes as per your wish. One option is to refrigerate the zest with an airtight bag for around a week. Besides, you can also seal it in a freezer-proof bag and preserve up to a month.


Flavors Of Orange Zest Vs Orange Zest Substitutes

It is essential to get some information about the flavors of zest before choosing the final option. Zest is the outer bright portion of orange that is a bundle of flavors and textures. In order to use them, you have to scrape off the orange skin and then enjoy its taste. Tangy flavor with a pinch of bitterness is something you get with this option.

If you wish to alternate this with another tangy substitute such as lime, tangerine, or any other citrus fruit; it is important to study about their flavors. Only after you are completely aware of its taste and texture, it is possible to adjust the tones as per the recipes. Every substitute has a unique flavor and being a smart cook, it is essential that you must know the correct blending process.


Recipes That Require Orange Zest

It is essential to know about the popular dishes that need orange zest in it. With this, you can either prepare the same or its alternate using the original element or an option to it. There are a few recipes that must contain this tangy fringy ingredient. They are stated as follows:


  • All types of citrus juices
  • Orange sauce dip with amazing Fried Tuna Fillet
  • Cocktail blend with ice and fruit
  • Breakfast plate including fruit and waffles.
  • Lime flavor Panna Cotta
  • Sweet Peach Tea



Keep in mind that orange zest is a wonderful flavoring agent that can add a desired tang and flavor to all your recipes. It is however essential that you must store it well in advance to avoid last moment hustles. Or another wiser option is to read above the properties and alternate orange zest substitutes that can work perfectly with your recipe. However, if you are indulged in the baking process, it is better to opt for an original ingredient as the other options might not offer apt consistency or flavor.


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